At a time where the government is encouraging us to work from home, the focus on good mental health has never been more important. Whilst some are finding that remote working is aiding their productivity, for others who live alone the solitariness is difficult to bear. With mental health a top priority, what can businesses do to fortify employee support and interaction whilst they work remotely?
There has been a huge increase in the amount of people working from home in lieu of the pandemic. I started my role at Amodal whilst working from home – an alien process which seemed at odds with the traditional, in-person learning method that I’d been accustomed to.
As a result of this transition to virtual interaction, many companies have now established a working environment or culture that keeps employee mental health buoyant in these uncertain times. Although there has been a real willingness from many, it is still somewhat blocked by the stigmas which cloud the perception of mental health. In part, this is a result of the unknown; mental health is an intricate and sensitive concern which varies from one individual to another. This ambiguity is further complicated by the fact many people who suffer with poor mental health do not feel comfortable speaking of their experiences, whilst others are happy to share their disposition.
In these situations, the responsibility shifts to fellow workers who must reach out to whoever is suffering so they can get the right support. In doing so however, remember that people need assistance in different ways; there isn’t a single remedy for the colossus that is mental health.
A more proactive route such as the likes of the example above ensures people can get help when they need it the most. My colleague Dan and I will be participating in a two-day course to identify the signs of poor mental health. When we think of ‘first aid’ in the workplace we typically think it to be something that is physical – a trip over ageing carpet or a scald from boiling water. Yet, health and safety is equally to do with wellbeing as much as it is synonymous with physical injury. ‘Adult Mental Health First Aid – 2 Days’ is a course programmed by the St John Ambulance service which gives delegates the skills to be mental health first aiders. As well as learning practical skills to spot the signs of mental illness, Dan and I will gain the confidence to step in and support a fellow employee who requires assistance in a given situation.
This first aid course will be fundamental to the way we work during the pandemic and beyond. With the ongoing government advice to work from home, Amodal has to ensure that people’s mental health is not put at risk, and that our stance on mental health is clear throughout the year. For Amodal, mental health is more than a token of our regard for a malady, it is something we are proud to be committed to.
Our supportive working culture is evident in the simplest of examples: everyone catches-up every two days, and team members have other calls relating to the projects they’re involved with. We keep connected on a daily basis to keep our wellbeing on the right track. Although we might not be able to lend a physical hand during the pandemic, we can always keep our eyes and ears open when someone is in need of help.