Mental wellness in the workplace

Aerial view of rows of desks in a public library and people sitting at desks.Sitting down for long periods in the workplace could be bad for your mental health. Perhaps that’s one reason working from home is popular – at least some of the time. Putting on the washing, clearing the dishes, or seeing to the dog in between workplace tasks might be the short breaks we need. We need to take mental wellness in the workplace more seriously.

Sitting for prolonged periods is just one factor discussed in an article on the Wellbeing website. There’s some evidence that breaking up excessive sitting with light activity is good for mental wellness. The average employed adult sits for more than nine hours a day. Solutions include dynamic workstations and encouraging standing during meetings. However, some strategies might be more suited to some than others. While standing can relieve back ache, standing for too long can aggravate it. So all workplace policies need to have worker input and be flexible. 

Job autonomy is another factor and may improve the mental health of younger workers. Evidence from the literature shows that improvements in job autonomy can have a positive impact on anxiety and depression.  They could be given the opportunity to craft how their job is done.

In the second article in the series, flexible working policies can help reduce work-home conflict. This conflict can be a major source of depression and anxiety. Flexible working policies may include working from home, flexible working hours, job sharing or a compressed working week.