Depression ranks among the top causes for work absenteeism, costing workplaces substantially in time, productivity, and finances. Depression at the workplace might not be evident at all times, but paying attention to the symptoms can save the workplace a lot, and offer help to the employee at a time when it is most needed.
Have you noticed a colleague that has been exceptionally quiet recently? Perhaps you’ve been wondering why and employee has been uncharacteristically late to work or struggling to finish working hours, or someone who’s been exhibiting a low and anxious vibe?
If so, it might be time to pay attention.
We are all fighting battles that can be concealed from the eyes of others. Part of a healthy work environment should be regular check-ins between employees and employers where open communication is encouraged and topics such as life stress, anxiety, and depression are brought up and discussed.
Keeping an open line of communication can look like offering to meet your colleague outside of work to talk over a cup of coffee. It could also mean intentionally listening to what your colleague is trying to say and paying attention to what they are trying to express with their actions and body language.
Between employees and employers, open communication can look like weekly or biweekly meetings whereby the employer offers the employee a safe space to express their worries and causes of stress, and a helping hand where applicable. Confidential, non-judgmental conversations are crucial first steps towards tackling the causes of depression and attempting to counter them.
Acknowledgement and understanding from managers can be huge uplifters for the employee. In the case where the employee is struggling with depression, hearing words of appreciation for their hard work and making them aware of their significance in the workplace can make them feel needed and connected, and part of a greater cause, which can positively affect their mental wellness.
Organizations need to have mental wellness resources available for all employees. In the case where an employee is revealed to be struggling with depression, managers and colleagues should be ready to refer them to professionals which would be able to help them navigate their depression. General awareness on mental wellness topics at the workplace is the key for such cases, whereby all employees should feel safe and supported, and aware of the signs that they or their teammates might be suffering with depression or other mental wellness challenges.
Did you know that Takalam offers mental wellness solutions for the workplace? Contact us today.