For some people, working in an office is great. It provides a stable work environment where they can focus on getting the task done.
But for others, working in an office environment is really tough, and you might be surprised to learn just how much of an impact it can have on their mental health. You can’t truly know how someone is feeling, and a lot of the time they are hesitant to tell you.
If you are an office manager and want to pinpoint situations that could cause poor mental health in your office, have a look at some of the key points below.
People don’t always get along
The office is a mismash of personalities, a small community in itself. As people in an office are likely to spend a lot of time together, strong relationships will be formed. Some of these will be good and contribute to a working relationship but others may simply not get on.
Offices can quickly become tense if there are problems and staff may start to splinter off into their own cliques. Simply changing the seating arrangements every once in a while, or adding/removing desk separators can have a huge impact on morale and productivity. Be careful though, some people can become unsettled if they often have to switch workstations.
Banter can be another way of bullying
Some offices have a lot of ‘banter’ and this isn’t always a bad thing. If it’s left unchecked, or not everyone is a willing participant, it can quickly start to escalate into bullying.
Even if the other person is joining in, you never know how much of an effect this is having on them deep down. Having a quick word with these employees can help solve the problem in the long run.
Once this banter is ingrained into an office, it is very hard to stop and simply splitting people up doesn’t always work. It may be hard at first, but a strict ‘no-bullying’ policy has to be put in place. When left unchecked, banter-turned bullying can even lead to a lawsuit if a member of staff decides enough is enough.
One reason some people don’t enjoy working in offices is due to the immense social pressure. In a small office shared with the managers, or even having the director of the company sitting behind you, can sometimes cause employees to feel tense and under pressure.
If you find employees working through their lunch breaks, staying behind to finish things up or simply starting to communicate less, these could all be signs of a bigger problem.
This, in turn, can cause other employees to do the same. If they see someone regularly working late, they may start to feel like they’re being judged for not doing enough. While this might sound great for productivity, it often isn’t.
This self-imposed pressure can lead to high levels of stress, burnout, and has a huge impact on mental health.
Power trips & office politics
Even though a happy workplace is a productive workplace, some managers insist on ruling with an iron fist. If this power hasn’t been put in place to aid workflow, then it’s really only being done to satisfy the ego. It can create a negative work environment.
Office politics is another thing that can be dangerous when left unchecked. Colleagues turning on each other for their own gain is an indication of a toxic working environment.
This ties into social pressure so it’s important to take an honest look at your office to identify the problems, ask employees what they think, and see where you can improve for everyone’s benefit.
Do you have problems like this in your office? Are you looking for ways to solve it? Let us know in the comments below how you’ve had success dealing with these situations.