Mental Health in the Workplace

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Mental health covers how we feel, think and behave. Anxiety and depression often come hand in hand usually, but not always, in response to a difficult life event and can be triggered by work related stress.

As a result of Coronavirus, a substantial proportion of the workforce are likely to be working from home for the foreseeable future. Stress levels for some have increased where working from home or working exclusively from home is not their choice, staff can feel isolated, anxious and lack perspective.

Employers continue to have a duty to ensure, as far as is reasonable possible, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees. Employers should take a proactive approach to monitoring the wellbeing of their employees so that they can recognise mental health issues, such as workplace stress, early on.

Some simple tips to enhance wellbeing of employees and reduce the risk of workplace stress:

  • Keep in contact – make the effort to maintain a connection with your work colleagues.
  • Priorities – assess them and communicate them within your team so everyone knows where the focus should be.
  • Fairness – acknowledge where usual performance indicators are not currently achievable;
  • Rest – encourage employees who are working from home to take regular rest breaks during the working day and to take their annual leave, research shows that our ability to cope with stress is improved if we can punctuate it.
  • Training – consider offering training on mindfulness, problem solving or time management to give employees the skills they need to manage their stress levels.

By taking a proactive approach both employers and employees can work together to minimise the risk of workplace stress becoming a mental health crisis.

If you need advice regarding any employment matters please get in touch with our employment law team on 01189 516 621, or email: