I grew up with the 1980s model of keeping work and life separate: you do your work at the office from nine to five, and take care of your personal life before and after. That meant that most days you’d come home exhausted, get a little time to recharge or take care of personal errands, get some sleep, and then do it all again the next day, and the next week, and the week after that and so on. At some point, you might be able to take your two weeks of vacation. Hopefully that model worked for you, because there wasn’t much room or concern for mental health.
That Model Has Changed
The idea of keeping “work” and “life” separate has needed to change for two reasons:
- We don’t leave work at work anymore. We often don’t have our evenings, weekends and vacations free. And just as our work creeps into our personal life, our personal life needs to creep into work. We don’t have the same ability to unplug and recharge as a few decades ago, so we need to be more aware of our mental well-being as part of our worklife.
- People’s mental health takes all sorts of forms, from needing the occasional mental health day to living with mental illness, and it’s important for everyone to be in top shape to perform their best at work. By giving people the time and space to take care of stress, anxiety or the occasional personal issue during work time, and by providing accommodation for those with mental illness who need it, you can create a more inclusive workplace that maximizes the contributions of everyone on your team. (Not to mention those accommodations are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.)
As the workforce becomes more mobile, global, always-on and remote-friendly, it’s become easier to create a flexible work environment. It’s time to start actively using our flexibility to support mental wellness on our teams–we expect our people to bring their whole selves to work, so we have an obligation to support their whole selves.
Just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, Grovo is releasing new Microlearning® content to help companies bring mental wellness care into the 21st century. Created by producer Ashley Thomas, this content covers:
- Mental Health Basics: Learn what it means to be mentally healthy at work, and how to recognize signs of burnout or more serious conditions.
- Addressing Mental Health Problems at Work: Learn ways to support yourself and get support from your manager and colleagues so you can be your most productive and healthy self.
- Create a Supportive Environment for Mental Health: Learn how to contribute to a culture of mental wellness and support colleagues who might be struggling with mental health issues.
- For Managers — Support Your Team’s Mental Health: Learn how to foster mentally healthy work habits on your team, and support direct reports struggling with burnout, mental illness, or other mental health issues.
Mental health is a topic for everyone. Just like with physical health, taking care of yourself and providing accommodations where you can for those around you is crucial. It can help you be more productive, perform better, and ultimately feel happier. To learn more about how you can take care of your mental health at work, check out one of our new lessons: Improve Your Mental Wellness.