Mental Health in the New Year

by | Jan 5, 2023 | HR Trends, Workplace Culture

This past year, 48% of workers said their well-being declined, and 28% were miserable at office.[1] Some remote workers dealt with mental health issues as well. There are many reasons for the increase in stress – everything from a global pandemic to politics, to war, and much more. Here are some ways you can support your employees’ mental well-being:

  1. Flexible Scheduling

Across the nation, many of us adjusted to working from home or lost jobs during the pandemic. Working remotely may have been new for many, and some of us may have even enjoyed it more than going into the office. If your company must have employees work in the office, consider adding non-traditional hours or allowing workers to work from home when needed. Some companies have gone so far as to reconfigure the work week to a four-day week, giving employees an extra day to rest so as to be more productive at work.

A World Health Organization (WHO) survey showed 45% of companies already offer this option while 43% are considering it for 20231. A recent experiment with 900 workers across 33 businesses in the U.S. and Ireland found 97% of employees wanted to continue the 4-day work week. “Their self-reported levels of performance went up while burnout and fatigue went down,” an analysis by CNBC found. “They had more control over their schedules and also saved an hour per week on commuting, even though in-person work increased throughout the trial period.”2

  1. Managing Stress Levels

Monitor employees’ stress levels from a far and check in with them throughout the year.  A study by 1Passwordshowed that 1 in 3 employees (32%) say they’re the most stressed they’ve ever been in their lives, while 4 in 5 (79%) say they are distracted at work with younger employers expressing the most stress of all of age groups.3Younger workers were more likely to show disinterest in working during the pandemic, while older workers with children were more exhausted because they also had to help with virtual schooling. Managers and employers are encouraged to develop a system for checking in on employees to monitor for stress and burnout.

  1. Five Step Program

84% of recent survey respondents said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge and 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition.3 In October, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., released a new framework for mental health and well-being in the workplace which is a 5-step program. The five-step program has these Essential components for workplaces to include to protect and improve mental health in the workplace1:

  • Protection from harm: employers should prioritize physical and psychological safety

    at work with diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility policies in place.

  • Connection and community: workplaces can foster positive social interaction and

    relationships through workplace culture and by fostering collaboration and teamwork.

  • Work-life harmony: give workers more autonomy with flexible schedules and

     predictable work times with increasing access to paid leave.

  • Purpose: knowing that you and your work is valued contributes to wellbeing;

    workplaces should provide a living wage, and build a culture of recognition.

  • Opportunities for growth: employers should work to create more opportunities for

    employees by offering training, education, and mentoring.

  1. Offer benefits for mental health

There are many ways to offer benefits for mental health. Some companies offer money to be used towards a gym membership or other forms of well-being while others offer health benefits with a strong emphasis on mental health.

Premier Workforce Solutions has an affordable virtual medicine solution that can be added to your employee health plan at any time during the benefits cycle. Our virtual medicine platform offers behavioral health services for employees to access the care they need in the privacy of their own home. To learn more email today to schedule a no-obligation, 30-minute virtual meeting to discuss which benefits solutions could be the right fit for your organization.