Focus on your employees’ mental health for maximum productivity

Winter’s gloomy days and chilly nights tend to make everyone a bit melancholy. For months, it was dark before you even left work and too cold for many outdoor activities, meaning you have very little opportunity to get sunshine and vitamin D on weekdays. Even though spring is on its way in -- bringing longer days, warmer weather and sunnier skies -- you likely manage employees who deal with depression all year long.

one-on-one work meeting

Whether you’ve noticed a change in emotional and social behavior or an employee’s productivity is suffering, depression may be the cause. If it starts impacting their work or negatively affecting others, you’ll need to sit down and have a conversation about their mental health.

It’s essential that you create a welcoming environment where staff feels comfortable talking openly about what they’re going through. They don’t need to tell you every detail of their psychiatric history and you shouldn’t be offering diagnoses if they don’t have one from a doctor, but you should be open to discussing how their health is affecting their presence at work.

Depression shows itself in a range of ways. Symptoms can include:

  • Lack of concentration

  • Decreased productivity

  • Slow movement and actions

  • Exhaustion

  • Social isolation

  • Overly emotional reactions

  • Apathy

Read more from Forbes about how to appropriately broach the topic of depression with employees and how to make an action plan. Placing more focus on overall employee health and wellness can help your staff with their physical and mental well-being.

Yoga will provide your employees with the energy, exercise and mindfulness they need to feel their best. It can help them handle depression in a holistic way, as it connects the mind and body to create internal harmony. From an emotional standpoint, your staff can find the balance necessary to stay level-headed through breathing sequences. Physically, the movement will activate endorphins and trigger serotonin production to provide the energy they need to fight against that lethargy brought on by depression and anxiety.