Depression. Burnout. Stress-related troubles. Anxiety disorder.

These are the most common mental health issues that are associated with life in an office. Admittedly there can be many others — and some of these issues might not have been triggered by the workplace itself — but ultimately, there is no denying that stress can be at the core of more serious complaints. In fact, stress is by far the Number One killer in the workplace. It is therefore surprising that so many businesses continue to ignore how mental health can impact their company — and how their company can affect mental health too.

The impact of mental health on businesses

Ultimately, mental health affects primarily how you feel, think and behave. While benign cases might isolate a person for a short period — such as during a depressive episode — the most severe cases tend to dramatically limit your ability to deal with relationships and work effectively. In fact, work absence as a result of mental health issues costs the UK £26 billion per year. The cost of lost production and staff turnover can be crippling for small and medium businesses.

Manage your fear before it controls you

When it comes to stress, it’s important to note that managers, leaders and business owners are the most exposed population. They can suffer from debilitating fears that affect not only their mental health but also the overall health of their business. Indeed, a business owner who is afraid of failing will be less likely to take risks and build a growth strategy, which ultimately could be the end of the company. Playing it safe might seem like a reasonable direction, but in the business world, keeping to a known scenario can rapidly prove counterproductive — the market is filled with competitors, and it’s fair to say that your customers will want something new from time to time.

You’re responsible for other people’s stress

Unbeknown to a lot of business owners, poor management decisions can increase stress levels for employees. Indeed, a company that doesn’t focus on education and growth for the team can face a difficult situation in which employees need to cope with increasing demands that are beyond their knowledge and expertise. Similarly, this can lead to the delivery of poor quality services or products, which affect customers and the customer service team — and nobody likes a frustrated customer! At the core of the issues is the absence of an effective organizational strategy,  which you can tackle with these 5 strategies to improve organizational effectiveness. Indeed, a messy internal structure produces stress, low self-esteem and anxiety problems for employees.

What’s the real connection?

Last, but not least, as employees spend most of their adult life working, businesses can’t afford to ignore how employees feel. Mental health can threaten a business’ success, and ineffective management and structure can put your employees’ mental health at risk. Teaching healthy and productive communication skills can help to address problems at home and in the office. Similarly, the introduction of conflict and time management support can also transform someone’s aptitude towards dealing with stressful obstacles.

Mental health and business health are tightly intertwined. While one can affect the other, teaching employees and managers how to best tackle obstacles can help them to dramatically improve their work conditions and reduce stress levels, as well as any potential mental health issues.

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