For most of us, work is a major part of our lives. It is where we get our income, where we spend a lot of our time, and even make friends. A great and fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and overall wellbeing. The workplace is where you spend hours a day together. The time when an employee is subject to the management and control of the employer must not be detrimental in any way to their health. Basically, you can’t go home from work sicker than before you went.
Mental Health in IT company.
In IT companies, a huge amount of employees sit behind a desk and look at different screens. This can lead to different mental and physical problems. In this article, I am going to talk about maintaining good mental health in an IT company.
With good mental health you can cope with life problems, make the most of your potential, and give your best to different relationships in your life (family, work, community).
When the work is emotionally draining (monotonous, stressful, overwhelming, boring, etc.), it can quickly cause mental health problems. Lack of processes, the lack of specification of goals, and aimless actions, can cause confusion, which in turn can create tensions within the team, rude behavior, and additional tasks on the table for those who already had them. If these kinds of things happen and time passes, the stress that the working environment causes can pile up and break employees down. IT companies also have to have great communication, otherwise, it leads to not being really connected to your colleagues or manager. This in turn can create isolation, and quite easily leads to burnout.
Mental health management in the company
Good management goes together with good mental health at work. Sharing different “how to prevent burnout” websites alone doesn’t help. The employer has to know, and pay attention to, how to combine positive practices, so that employees really feel good in their workplace and that their employer cares. Employees who are supported by their employer are less likely to underperform and miss work, and are more likely to feel proud about working there, and have positive views of their company and its leaders.
As much as there are people, then there are different ways to care about your well-being. Here are some things I see can work to bring your employees’ mental health up to a different level.
How to improve mental health continuously
The employer prioritises the improvement of communication within the workplace, and reduces unnecessary communication. The employee feels safe and heard when giving feedback or sharing problems, and has a place to talk or a person to talk to (direct manager, HR, etc.).
Leaders treat mental health as an organizational priority. Clear task and roll management (distinguishable tasks for the tester, developer, project manager, etc.) and open and honest communication help employees understand how things work in the company. Misunderstandings and unnecessary stress are avoided.
Learn new things and share those with your colleagues. Employers can organize different learning sessions which are related to work directly (PHP course, Laravel) or indirectly (mental health care and time management seminars). Training employees can make them more confident in their field and build positive emotions toward the employers.
Where possible, provide remote work opportunities; sometimes if you change the work environment from office to work or vice versa, it can bring a new atmosphere for the employee. While in the home office, it is important to set time for breaks and stick to them. Also, a good thing to introduce is time flexibility, where it doesn’t matter what time you do the work, the main thing is that the work is done. But this requires trust between the employee and the manager, and clear communication on the terms.
Do one thing at a time and stop multitasking. If you have a task, concentrate on that and close all irrelevant windows. Respect your free time and stop working during your personal time. Disconnecting will help to improve a work-life balance, which leads to boosted productivity.
Take the time to ask “how are you”, and be ready to ask “how can I help” if needed afterward (especially as a manager). Provide opportunities for employees to connect and trust each other. Do one-on-one conversations preferably face-to-face.
Activities that take attention away from work
Not all activities that take attention away from work are bad. Get yourself a Chief Happiness Officer for the office (many companies allow dogs in the office); participate in different competitions (in Estonia for example Start IT Cup for IT companies); get together after hours (a board game night, or Winter and Summer Days, etc.); celebrate different things in the office (birthdays, a new project completed, reaching a goal, Easter, etc.). Those activities help employees remember to take a break and rest; it also brings the team together.
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Mariella Oja, HR specialist