When Ananya received the good news that she landed her dream job, she expected her life to finally get better. With a stable source of money, she would finally be able to buy the things that she wanted, travel to the places that she wished to see, and enjoy her life to the fullest. What she didn’t expect, however, was working for more than fifty hours per week in a highly competitive and negative work environment.
She spent majority of her time in the office, more than what she spent in her own home. She barely had time for her family and friends. When she had days off, she spent them catching up on sleep or relaxing at home. As days passed, Ananya became more and more stressed, irritable, and moody. It wasn’t just her, though. Many of her co-workers also felt miserable and many other companies across the country have employers who are in the same boat.
Workplace Stress is Not a Myth
Ananya and her co-workers weren’t alone. In an article from HR Asia published in July 2018, they spoke of a report by Cigna TTK health insurance which claimed that the majority of India’s workforce is reporting high levels of stress and depression due to the workplace.
In addition to this study, economictimes.india, wrote a similar article in 2018 citing the rise in stress, anxiety and depression in India’s workforce and even an increase in those who are vulnerable to suicide. The problem is quite clear and it is a global issue, not just in India. So it is important to recognize signs of a negative work environment and have the tools to make changes, to improve the mental health and morale of employees.
Signs of a Negative Work Environment
Working a full time job and building a career is the dream of any working professional. In order to get where you want to be in life, you have to work for it. Although building a career has many benefits, it can also cause problems that affect our lives in negative ways. Working in the corporate world is not easy, especially if you are in a negative environment that puts profits over its people. The following are some signs of a negative work environment:
- Pressures employees to stay late
- Unrealistic performance goals
- Tight and last minute deadlines
- Expects people to work or answer work calls while at home
- Manipulative or controlling boss
- High School culture among employees
- No room to grow or be challenged
- Insensitive to employees feelings and requests
- Toxic emotions between employees
- No change or excitement or Too much change
Work-related mental health problems are common. Employees are part of a company’s resources and their workplaces need to fully utilize them. But, many times, their jobs have high expectations, heavy workloads, and unrealistic deadlines. Which can cause stress, anxiety depression and even substance abuse.
It’s Not Just the Employees That Lose
Employees aren’t the only ones affected by such mental health problems. Companies and businesses also suffer. The problems that arise from poor mental health in the workplace can affect companies’ performance levels and profits. So it is important that managers consider the environment they are creating and to think about ways to promote positive mental health in the workplace.
Promoting Mental Health and Positivity
Executives should strive to build healthy relationships with their employees and always reflect on how the company is and could be running. Finding ways to make employee’s lives easier and creating a positive work environment is essential to keeping employees happy and in good mental health.
Through the help of their human resources departments, corporate executives can also implement good practices and provide interventions and programs that promote and protect the mental health for themselves and their employees. Since employees are an important company resource, workplaces should prioritize their well-being to allow them to perform fully and stay healthy.
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About the author
Dale Vernor is a writer and researcher in the fields of mental health and culture. Dale likes to write about mental health to help lift the stigma associated with these problems and to make mental illness more acceptable in today’s culture. Dale is a major proponent of workplace wellness and believes that the employer plays a major role in helping improve the mental wellness of his or her employers. When not working Dale loves playing basketball. You can Find more of his work on Twitter.