8 Top Tips to Support Employee Mental Health in the Office

5 minute read


Now more than ever it’s important for companies and employers to support the well-being of their workforce. With added pressures such as the cost-of-living crisis, supporting mental health for teams and individuals is vital not only on a personal level but from a business point of view as well to ensure that everyone is content and that the door is open if there is ever a problem or issue.

The working environment can be a stressful one, especially with deadlines, outside pressures, or the morning commute. Also, depression and anxiety could be caused at work or in their personal lives, therefore employers have a duty of care to ensure that their mental health, safety and well-being are cared for. Whether that’s by providing an Employee Assistance Programme which is independent of the company, making sure the working environment is safe, carrying out risk assessments and protecting staff from discrimination.

There are a number of other ways to support everyone and enhance productivity in the workplace.

1. Create a comfortable workplace

Contemporary offices have become more than just places of work. They’re now a hub of inspiration and activity, where employees come to the office to complete specific tasks or job roles.

Create areas where people can collaborate or have quiet time with comfortable chairs and surroundings. Additionally, including meeting spaces dedicated to one-on-one discussions with line managers or colleagues promote a safe environment. Including a communal space within your office design is another great addition to the office allowing for the team to get together and enjoy some downtime for example, on team building days or the like.


2. Make the most of Natural Light within the office

It’s no secret that working inside a windowless office isn’t the best environment for us to thrive, that’s why it’s vital to have natural light coming into the office. There are many benefits to this including the fact that natural light boosts vitamin D in your body, increases productivity and improves your mood.

Also, increased access to natural light help us sleep better. Away from the interiors, why not set up well-being walks for the team at different times of the week. They don’t need to be long, but it’s good to get out into the fresh air to break up the day and have those informal chats with colleagues whilst also getting your steps in.


3. Training Lead Staff & Managers

There is a range of mental health first aid courses available to staff and managers who want to better their workplaces and provide an outlet for those who are going through challenging times.

Within the course, participants will learn about the early stages of a mental health problem, how to spot the signs, how to help someone dealing with a mental health issue, is self-harming or hurting others, how to help someone recover and find professional help, as well as breaking the stigma of mental health. It’s a professional qualification and is a good way to demonstrate that your company are taking the right steps to support others.


4. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible working is something that was debated long before the pandemic, but many employers were reluctant to give it a chance. If there is one thing positive to come from the pandemic is proof that remote working and flexible working times to fit around an individual’s personal needs, can be done.

Whether that’s working around the school run, working from home on set days and in the office for others, or as some companies have experimented with in recent times with a four-day week. These steps have proven that employees are still proactive, productive, and getting the job done, regardless if they’re in the office or not.


5. Listen to Feedback

Open communication in the workplace is key when it comes to supporting staff’s mental health. Employees want to feel comfortable in the knowledge that they can speak to someone at work if they have a personal or work issue and need a safe space to talk in a confidential way.

Schedule dedicated times once a fortnight to have individual catch-ups with members of staff where they can talk freely about a topic or air any concerns they may have. Also, run online surveys where staff can put forward their thoughts on how well the workplace is running and suggest any improvements that could be made for the better.


6. Regular Team Socials

Team socials are a great way to let your hair down, but also show that the work that you do is valuable and you’re being rewarded along the way. It’s a chance to get to know colleagues on a personal level and have some enjoyment away from the office.

Whether that’s Christmas parties, tickets to sporting events, or even nights down at the bowling alley. There are plenty of ways to take time out throughout the year and show appreciation and thanks.


7. Raising Awareness

We’ve talked about how mental health first aiders help to break the stigma of mental health, but there are other ways to raise awareness. From putting up posters around the office about who your mental health first aiders are, what times you’re doing well-being walks, having educational talks with outside experts in their field to share tips on better mental health, or signposting to the independent Employee Assistance Programme.


8. Support Healthy Lifestyles

Finally, find ways to support healthy lifestyles within your work culture. From offering free or discounted gym memberships, complimentary fruit, lunchtime exercise classes or team walking challenges, you’ll soon reap the benefits. By providing healthy options in the workplace not only are you providing some perks you’ll also see how employees can become more productive and in better moods thanks to all those endorphins.

Speak to our team to find out how we can transform your office.