How mental health affects your work performance
From an employers perspective, mental health is often attributed to absenteeism, loss of productivity and of course, profitability.
But as you dig deeper into the impact of mental health issues that people face in their roles, it becomes apparently clear that some jobs are just not meant for people who struggle with certain conditions.
An actor for instance, cannot struggle with crippling anxiety that makes them unable to perform. Not only would the 'show not go on' but it would cost production houses millions in lost time, cost of wages, set hire, production crew etc. A pilot, the same.
According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety and depression has cost the global economy approximately 1 trillion dollars.
How does anxiety and depression affect some people?An inability to screen out environmental stimuli or an inability to concentrate, can cause not only lack of productivity and performance, but it can cost a business dearly. A person could experience a lack of stamina and difficulty handling time pressures or multiple tasks, and for them their whole world is tumbling down and any little thing around them causes them to think the world is against them or unfair. They could also have a problem handling negative feedback or in responding to any type of change within the workplace.
The question is, what does a person who is sitting in these shoes do?
Unfortunately, only a psychologist or psychiatrist can assist a person who is experiencing the feeling of anxiety or depression that affects their work performance and makes them unable to do their jobs. Changing jobs to something that is more fitting, without deadlines and multi-tasking is often the only way to move forward unless you take the steps to create change (and sometimes even this is not possible).
It's unfortunate that many people suffer from mental health and this rolls over into the workplace affecting not only themselves but others. Showing empathy and compassion is essential to minimizing the psychological impact of lack of performance or deadline anxiety, but unfortunately, business leaders have to make a decision and if everyone is working sub-par then, the business will fail and no-one will have a job.
What can companies do to help employees dealing with mental health issues?
There are a number of things that employers can do to minimize the impact of mental health issues affecting work performance. While it is impossible to not provide productive feedback or meet a deadline, if a company can afford it:
- Have a mental health practitioner either in the office or on call for employees to reach out to (see television show Billions for the advantages that come with having an on-site mental health practitioner)
- Provide healthy meals for your staff and get rid of sugary drinks or alcohol
- Provide flexible working arrangements
- Encourage lunchtime walks during the day