Is it time to rethink how we approach mental health? #worldmentalhealthday2018

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Today is world mental health day and whilst social media is alive with support, I can’t help but think about how mental health has become such a wider issue and how this has been responded to within organisations.

Long gone are the days where people “leave their problems at the door” before walking into their workplaces each morning, now there is a much greater emphasis for organisations to be more proactive when it comes to supporting employees mental health and wellbeing.

Promoting positive mental health at work is a great place to start, many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health facilities and some are taking it that one step further by implementing Mental Health First Aiders within their businesses to proactively support employees.

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Work hard, but not too hard… how trying too hard can actually damage your career

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Many people believe that the harder you work, the quicker you’ll climb the career ladder quicker, resulting in more money and a greater sense of achievement. WRONG!

Researchers from City University have collected information from over 500,000 people in 30 different European countries, and considered the effects of long working hours hours, verses the effort put into an individual’s job against measures of wellbeing, and have linked this to career outcomes.

The research is a painful read, especially for those who put in the hours in a bid to increase their prospects.  The study revealed a connection between an increased work volumes and reduced wellbeing. The results also highlight the negative effects of working too hard such as increased stress levels and increased risk of burnout, this is shown to outweigh the reward for demonstrating commitment and going the extra mile.

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Simple ways to boost employee productivity

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Productivity has always been a big taking point whether it is an intention to boost it, identify is causes or if enough is being done to improve it by organisations. At the moment, the subject is pretty much overshadowed by GDPR, Brexit and the gender pay gap, but we shouldn’t forget about how important it is to ensure employees productivity doesn’t suffer in such uncertain times.

I think can all agree that being productive in today’s working environment is harder now than what it has ever been and with the conflicting information regarding how many hours a week we should work verses presenteeism, and not forgetting achieving that desirable work life balance, it’s no wonder that productivity is easily lost in translation.

There is an increasing pressure upon organisations to improve their workplace experiences, and whilst this is not a bad thing, it needs to be considered that smaller organisations may not be able to be as accommodating as larger ones.

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Managers wellbeing; the way we are working now is simply not working

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A recent report produced by the Chartered Institute of Managers (CIM) has revealed that managers are working an extra 44 days per year above their contracted hours. This is leading us towards a concerning management crisis.

In days where it is the normal expectation to never be “off duty” managers have a tendency to work unpaid overtime, and with continued advances in technological ways of communicating, there is an increasing culture of always being available. The report highlights that 59 per cent of managers admitted they check their emails outside working hours. The increased presenteeism combined with technology is having a detrimental impact upon managers’ health and wellbeing.

In short; the way we are working now, is simply not working at all.

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Back to work blues? Blame the bosses…

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 “A bad boss can take a great workforce and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation”

After all the festivities, it’s time to head back to the office and it’s no surprise that January is notoriously known for being the most depressing month of the year (yikes, tough crowd you’ve got here January!).

However, despite the dark days, dark nights and miserable weather, January is a month of opportunity and a perfect time for organisations to review their working practices to make improvements for the future.

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