Mental Health at Work
Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 by Venn Group — 1 comment
The mental health awareness movement has gained significant momentum in recent years, with more people than ever openly discussing the topic and its importance.
As we spend such significant amounts of our lives at work, these environments can have big impact on an individual’s wellbeing. In fact, research from the Royal College of Psychiatrists shows that 14.7% of people experience mental health problems in the workplace, with further evidence suggesting that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK could be attributed to mental health.
Happy and healthy employees certainly make for the most productive. It is therefore of paramount importance that employers ensure that they are taking steps towards furthering the wellbeing of their people.
At Venn Group, we understand our responsibility to help with this wherever possible, and have taken a number of steps to ensure that our people thrive both in and out of the office.
Employee Assistance Programme
Last year, Venn Group partnered with Lifeworks; an employee assistance and wellness programme that offers support 24/7 both over the phone and online. As well as easy access to experienced counsellors, LifeWorks provides specific resources on issues such as legal matters, family wellbeing and career development to name a few, through their mobile app. The wide remit of assistance goes well beyond the confines of our employees’ working lives, ensuring they are equipped to succeed on a multitude of levels.
Mental Health Awareness Sessions
In conjunction with LifeWorks, we also held training sessions with our management focusing on how they can spot the signs of mental health problems and support the wellbeing of their teams. One manager had this to say about the sessions:
“The training provided was a great way for us to understand the basics of mental health and how this can effect individuals. Having a better understanding of how mental health might effect employees, how to recognise this and how to start a conversation about it will help us to support the wellbeing of our workforce.”
There are clear links between physical and mental health, and exercise is known to lead to an increase of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. We encourage our employees to keep active, offering national discounted gym membership to all employees through DW Fitness First as well as office initiatives such as our London Running Club.
As the days get longer and (sometimes) sunnier, some of our managers have utilised the opportunity to do their employee catch ups on the move. On average, people spend around 75% of working hours sat at their desks, so walking meetings offer an accessible and efficient way to incorporate some extra physical activity into their schedules. It also has further benefits for business too, as research has shown that changing your environment can increase creativity and inspire new ideas.
Our Senior Manager, Rula Tripolitaki has found that utilising walking meetings has been a welcome introduction in her division:
“Our walking meetings have so far encouraged open and comfortable conversations on sometimes uncomfortable subjects; perhaps because of the neutral setting along with side-by-side dialogue rather than face-to-face conversation. In addition, the fresh air and decent distances walked seem to enable improved critical thinking and creative solution finding, with positive discussions in every case.”
As a people-centric business, we will continually strive to support the mental wellbeing of our employees in every way we can, to ensure their success both in and out of the workplace. By placing the importance on mental health that it deserves, we can all strive towards a happier and healthier society.