Right now, 1 in 6 workers in the UK are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress. The right amount of stress, managed in the right way, can help people perform and excel, but too many long hours juggling heavy workloads will eventually take their toll on someone’s wellbeing. So it’s vital that employers put in place measures to promote a mentally healthy workplace.
We advise employers to adopt an approach which promotes wellbeing for all staff, tackles the causes of work-related mental health problems, and supports members of staff experiencing a mental health problem. There are a number of measures, many of which are small and inexpensive, that employers can put in place. According to the Centre for Mental Health, poor mental health in the workforce costs businesses the equivalent of £1,035 per employee every year. So investing in the good mental health of staff will save money in the long run, with healthier, more productive, and more loyal employees.
Initiatives such as flexible working hours, regular catch-ups with managers, and giving staff opportunities to build supportive networks, can help staff have a better work-life balance and strengthen relationships. Employers who invest in these approaches send a clear message to employees that the organisation appreciates and values wellbeing.
When it comes to creating a more open working environment, there are some key things employers can do to open up the conversation about mental health.
Twelve law firms have already signed our Employer Pledge and we’re keen to work with more. The Time to Change Employer team offers free, bespoke support to employers for one year, including advice and guidance on implementing an action plan that will have real impact, and free access to masterclasses and networks with similar employers.
Madeleine McGivern, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes, Time to Change