At TBSC we value our employees wellness and offer a workspace environment and culture that encourages mental health discussion, understanding, and support to reduce stress at work.
With ourselves and our partners, we are striving to find the balance of our productive teams being challenged but not at the expense of their health or happiness. However, everybody’s capacity to manage stress is different, which raises the importance of society changes and individual changes to ensure stress-relief.
Stress at work is a major cause for mental health concerns, often causing depression and anxiety. Research commissioned by Mind has found that work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives with one in three people (34 per cent) saying their work life was either very or quite stressful, more so than debt or financial problems (30 per cent) or health (17 per cent).
According to Champion Health, across the board, employees experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression are high. Our data reveals that nearly 60% of employees feel anxious and just over half feel low in mood. Poor mental health is also cited as a factor that impacts productivity for 1 in 5 employees, contributing to costly levels of presenteeism (on both a personal and business level).
We have compiled a list of UK professional resources below to help with managing stress at work or general mental health:
- Anxiety UK: Anxiety UK works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders. 08444 775 774
- *Business Disability Forum: Business Disability Forum is an employers’ organisation focused on disability as it affects business. They aim to enable companies to become disability confident by making it easier to recruit and retain disabled employees and to serve disabled customers.
*for employers only
- Counselling Directory – set up by a team who know how difficult it can be to find support. Through their experiences of mental health issues, they learnt how having the right support and information can help transform lives. The website encourages those in need to seek help and contains information on the common reasons people turn to counselling, as well as articles, news, and events. To ensure the professionalism of its website, all counsellors have provide details of their qualifications and insurance cover or proof of membership with a professional body.
- Dealing with Depression: Dealing with Depression is an online forum that provides a friendly and safe place for people to share information and talk about their experiences of depression.
- Mental Health Helplines Partnership Project: The Telephone Helplines Association’s website lists a number of different mental health telephone services.
- Mind Infoline: The Mind Infoline service is run by a dedicated team of specialists, responding to more than 20 000 enquiries a year. Topics range from types of mental distress, where to get help and drug treatments, to alternative therapies and who’s who in mental health services and advocacy. 0300 123 3393 (Open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm except for bank holidays) or text 86463
- NHS: The NHS in England and Wales offers people medical information and advice by phone or over the internet. They can also refer callers to various self-help and support organisations. 111. In Scotland, contact NHS 24 on 111
- Rethink Mental Illness’ National Advice and Information Service: Rethink Mental Illness’ National Advice and Information Service provides expert advice and information on issues that affect the lives of people coping with mental illness. 0300 5000 927 (Open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4pm)
- SANEline: Support, information and advice for anyone affected by mental health problems (Open 6pm to 11pm every day) 0845 767 8000
- SANEmail: SANEmail runs alongside SANEline to provide an additional channel of support to those affected by mental health issues
- The Mental Health Foundation: The Mental Health Foundation provides information, carries out research, campaigns and works to improve services for anyone affected by mental health problems, whatever their age and wherever they live
Our advice for helping your employees:
At TBSC we are in the process of improving our mental health communication and understanding. With that, we have implemented changes to the work culture to ensure our employees are getting the help they need.
- Boost communication with Microsoft Teams – We use Teams as the main form of communication, having morning meetings and catch-ups throughout the week. Since we are primarily remote, this scheduled time to catch-up with one another provides the space to speak up about any concerns or issues whilst providing connections and updates. For instance, deliberately communicating our moods can help us connect with and understand our remote colleagues better, including contextual things you might not think of. For example, a team that is geographically distributed might have members whose emotions are affected by changes in the seasons, natural disasters, political upheavals… Even if our team is all in one city, you won’t be aware of the roadworks outside, the noisy neighbours or the ongoing family problems a colleague is enduring, unless they feel safe enough to share them. Talking about mood can also bridge gaps in understanding and ensure alignment of mood. If you sense that your team is really demotivated and disengaged, but someone else thinks everything’s going swimmingly, you’ve got a huge disconnect to overcome. Moods, and our perceptions of them, are indeed subjective — but they can be openly discussed and light shed upon them, to improve understanding all round (Remote Teams).
- Automating business tasks – We are in the business of software as a service so we know first hand how taking a manual task and turning it automatic can help reduce stress at work. According to Forbes, more than 70 percent are in favor of using technology to replace manual and laborious tasks. A majority of workers who reported high base levels of stress (82%) said they would welcome technology that would provide them with the right information at the right time. Fifty-eight percent want their employers to use more automation technology such as AI, and 55 percent have outright asked their employers for better technology to help them work more effectively.
- Take breaks throughout the day – According to Forbes, most of us go through the day using a “push, push, push” approach, thinking if we work the full eight to 10 hours, we’ll get more done. Instead, productivity goes down, stress levels go up and you have very little energy left over for your family, Melnick says. She advises scheduling breaks throughout the day to walk, stretch at your desk or do a breathing exercise. “Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project has shown that if we have intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, we can clear the buildup of stress and rejuvenate ourselves,” she says.