During this unprecedented time of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of employees in the corporate sector experiencing depression have increased drastically. The continuous flow of negative emotions are being observed owing to the global crisis. So here in this article we have come up with some key tactics HR & business leaders could employ to curb the rate of depression in their organization.
Everyone goes through a bad day at work where they feel lonely, sad or depressed. However, at times when one of your most dependable employees begins to miss deadlines or a project manager strives to make simple decisions or a friendly outgoing worker stops socializing and becomes withdrawn, it may be an indication that they are coping with more than simply a bad day. There are chances that they might be struggling with clinical depression, a condition that influences a person’s feelings, behaviors and thoughts. Luckily, depression is one of the most treatable mental health complications. Approximately 80% of people who take treatment show improvement within three to six weeks. This is why it’s significant for business leaders to pay consideration to the mental wellbeing of their workforce. Executives must know the warning signs of depression at work as well as what measures to take to assure that their employees get the required mental health care they require so they can return to being happy, productive and victorious members of the team.
With reference to WHO’s latest estimates, between the years 2005-2015, there has been a steady increase of 18% in people dealing with depression, that is nearly 300 million people.
Several people around us, who seemingly come across as withdrawn, anti-social, or aloof might not be awkward socially, unlike what we think. Possibilities are they might be battling with issues that they cannot share because of the lack of support, taboo, as well as stigma linked with depression.
Possibilities are, someone at your workplace might be suffering from depression. It could be a co-worker or it could be even you. We aren’t just talking about the case of blues or deadline burnout, but clinical chronic depression, that necessitates ongoing treatment.
There are various symptoms of depression, some of them are listed below.
Symptoms Of Depression At Work
- Decrease in interest
- Slow actions and movement
- Missed deadlines and procrastination
- Emotional or overly sensitive reactions
- Diminished work quality and increased errors
- Tardiness, absenteeism, or frequent absence from the desk
- Difficulty in concentration, memorizing or making decisions
- A shift in performance and on-the-job behaviors, like inconsistent or decreased productivity
Tips To Deal With Depression At Work
Nowadays, workplace depression is getting common and gradually becoming an area of increasing concern especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Whenever an employee is depressed, it not only affects that employee’s happiness and productivity but also the mood of the co-workers as well as their productivity. Fortunately, depression in the workplace is not hopeless or inevitable.
1. Foster Atmosphere of Open Communication
When you talk to an employee regarding their mental health, it’s essential to build an atmosphere where they feel comfortable speaking with you. You must begin the conversation showing your concern about their wellbeing rather than concentrating on the errors they have made during the job. Concentrate on the individual instead of the problems. Try asking open questions that help them to express and join the conversation.
During the conversation, it’s very important that the employee seems positive and supported. Simply because an individual has a mental health illness or going through depression at work does not imply that they are incapable to execute their job. Try to be supportive and set fair performance expectations that require a meeting for the organization.
2. Ask for Help
If you’ve realized that you’re feeling depressed, then positively, you’ve already started the treatment for fighting depression—working with a support group or a therapist are one of the best ways that will help you deal with all the symptoms that you’re facing, which in turn will encourage you to better handle your professional life.
If not, keep in mind that most organizations offer some or the other type of coverage for mental health. Many companies also offer additional services for mental well-being through employee assistance programs.
It’s essential to find a trusted friend, ideally a co-worker, who can assist you through this stressful time. There will be unfortunate days—some of them might seem nearly impossible—on your way to recovery, and you must realize how important it is to possess someone to lean on moreover talk to. Group therapy is yet another excellent way to deal with depression at work as you see that you’re not the only one struggling. Participate in an anxiety and depression therapy groups, where you can learn several coping strategies for fighting stress at work from other participants.
3. Setting Clear Goals
One of the most difficult things concerning depression is that it nearly makes impossible for an individual to keep and maintain the focus on work. Hence, it is very important that you make clear and realistic goals about what you need to accomplish and keep a check on it.
Create a list for the entire day and highlight your top priorities, which would ensure that you are meeting the expectations of your most important audience—your boss. Double-check any important memos, take extra time for preparing assignments and let a colleague give a second look at your work if it was a rough week.
4. Talk It Out
You can help your employees fighting with depression by asking them to talk about their concerns openly with any college, friend or family member. It has been observed that If you’re mentally ready and comfortable to open up with your colleagues regarding depression, it’s better, to begin with, people you share a comfortable relationship. When they understand what you’re going through, they can support you and have your back at the times of stressful periods and projects. Family and friends outside the office can also help cope up with depression, all you need to do is take some time and talk it out.
5. Be Easy On Yourself
You can ask your employees severely effected with depression to take a short term break as if you think you’re suffering from depression, and you fear that talking about it might adversely affect your job, you need to take a break and realize that you’re not alone. And once you take the courage to open and talk about this condition, you’ll notice that are more people who understand your situation and are sympathetic to you as compared to those who are critical. During your treatment it is very important to be proactive about it, always take it one day at a time and be gentle with yourself.
Do whatever encourages you, and don’t be excessively hard on yourself when you’re already having a difficult time. Remember, the road to recovery is not a sprint but a marathon.