Mental illness is a health problem that affects the way we relate to ourselves and the way we relate to and interact with others and the world around us. The most common mental illnesses affecting workers today are depression and anxiety. These often impair concentration, decision-making and ones capacity to work efficiently. Furthermore, employees suffering from such illness may have a hard time forming positive relationships with their fellow employees due to tendencies to withdraw from others, acting in unexpected ways, taking more time off work, or appearing to be less productive.
Studies have shown that people who work long hours, 11 hours or more, are 2 times as likely to experience a major-depressive episode compared with their colleagues working the standard 7-8 hours a day. However, the relationship between hours worked and likelihood of developing depression is complex. There are more factors to take into account; job characteristics (hours, work stress, strain), socio-demographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, marital states, socio-economic status), health related activity (alcohol consumption, smoking), and physical health.
After observing so many businesses and the general well being of their employees, BMF consultants finds it pertinent that we pay attention to the substantial affects of such illnesses as depression and anxiety on the overall success of small businesses. To what extent must we go in our businesses to make sure that employees are successfully cultivating a positive mind space. Studies have found that Canadian employers have lost billions of dollars due to absenteeism, disability and other benefits as well as losses of productivity, where employees are coming to work despite their inability to work well. Also, when employees lose their concentration they don’t particularly finish one job, and all the time they are juggling between priorities. And when you juggle you make oversights and errors.
Some others though, who are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, are able to work just as efficiently despite their troubles, even working overtime. This obviously poses a detriment to the well being of the overworked individual. So, not only is this relevant to business concerns and maximizing business efficiency, but it also raises the question of our social responsibility to our fellow human being.
Since the recession the workload of many employees has risen, this is in situations where the company is reluctant in hiring more workers. This makes economic sense as companies are preserving cash for future economic shock. But as a product, current employees are experiencing an increase in anxiety and depression related difficulties. As a product the health of their home life is no doubt at risk. Sure, one might be working enough hours to produce all the material possessions that a family or individual might desire. But what good are such luxuries if they cannot be enjoyed by a balanced and healthy mind?
BMF consultants believe there is a potent need for businesses owners to address the aforementioned issues. As part of our consulting services and methods we have assisted and mentored the behaviors of organizations and their attitudes towards mental health. Working with small businesses, we have implicated a series of restructuring and reorganizing techniques. And through the coaching and mentoring of employees and owners, we have quite often found there is a success factor. Whilst stimulating communication between employees and owners needs and wants, and doing that with specific roles in place, BMF consultants will identify the gaps and help to bring healing to the underlying structures which keep our businesses and our minds running more smoothly and efficiently.