On some workdays, do you need time to regroup? Do you ever burn out and just need a brief break? Well, it’s no secret that the workplace can be a major source of stress. With deadlines, demanding bosses, and the constant pressure to perform, it’s no wonder that so many people often feel overwhelmed.
Studies have shown that chronic stress can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, anxiety, and depression. That’s why it’s so important for employers to do everything they can to support the mental health of their employees.
One way to do this is by offering mental health days. Allowing employees to take a day off to relax and recharge can go a long way toward reducing stress levels and promoting a healthy work-life balance. In addition, mental health days can also help increase productivity and reduce absences due to illness.
So if you’re looking for ways to support your employees’ mental health, consider offering mental health days. It could be just what your team needs to thrive.
What Is a Mental Health Day?
A mental health day is a day taken off from work for the purpose of taking care of one’s mental health. This can involve anything from taking a mental health break to see a therapist or counselor to simply taking some time off to relax and de-stress. Other examples of activities that can be done on a mental health day include spending time in nature, exercising, reading, meditating, spending quality time with family and friends, and even just staying at home doing things that are unrelated to work.
Mental health days are an important part of promoting a healthy work-life balance and can be beneficial for both employees and employers.
Why Taking a Mental Health Day Should Be Encouraged
There are a number of reasons why mental health days should be encouraged in the workplace.
1. Mental health days can help reduce stress levels.
As mentioned previously, the workplace can be a major source of stress for many people. Allowing employees to take a mental health day every now and then can help them recharge and come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle their tasks with renewed energy.
2. Mental health days can improve productivity.
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a day off can actually improve productivity in the long run. This is because when employees are stressed out, they’re more likely to make mistakes and have difficulty concentrating. By taking a mental health day to de-stress, employees will be better able to focus on their work tasks and avoid costly errors.
3. Mental health days can promote a healthy work-life balance.
One of the most important benefits of mental health days is that they promote a healthy work-life balance. This is essential for avoiding burnout and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance are more likely to be engaged in their work and less likely to experience job dissatisfaction.
4. Mental health days can reduce absences due to illness.
Chronic stress can take a toll on one’s physical health, making them more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. By taking a mental health day, employees can reduce their stress levels and improve their overall health, reducing the number of days they need to take off due to illness.
5. Mental health days can improve morale and decrease turnover.
When employees feel supported by their employer, they’re more likely to be happy in their job and less likely to look for work elsewhere. Offering mental health days is a great way to show your employees that you care about their well-being and want them to succeed. This can lead to improved morale and decreased turnover.
6. Mental health days can show that your company is progressive.
In today’s workplace culture, mental health is increasingly being viewed as just as important as physical health. By offering mental health days, you can show that your company is progressive and cares about the well-being of its employees. This can be a major selling point for prospective employees and help your company attract and retain top talent.
7. Mental health days can improve mental health awareness.
Mental health days can also help to improve mental health awareness in the workplace. When employees take mental health days, it starts a conversation about mental health and can help break down the stigma that surrounds mental illness. This can encourage employees to seek help if they’re struggling with mental health issues and can create a more supportive and understanding workplace culture.
Overall, mental health days offer a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Companies like Voya Financial, Workiva, Axon, Habitat for Humanity, and Kubra have all implemented mental health days into their workplace culture with great success.
If your company doesn’t currently offer mental health days, this is something to consider implementing. Take your cue from the best companies out there and show your employees that you value them.
The Dangers of Not Offering Mental Health Breaks
To better understand why mental health days are so important, it’s helpful to look at the dangers of not offering them.
- Higher health care costs. According to the CDC, mental health disorders cost U.S. businesses over $100 million annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, and treatment expenses.
- Increased chance of mistakes. In a study done by the American Institute of Stress, it was revealed that mental health issues are responsible for as much as $300 billion in lost productivity each year in the United States. This is due to employees making more mistakes and becoming easily distracted when they’re experiencing mental health problems.
- Low morale. When employees feel like their employer doesn’t care about their well-being, it can lead to lower morale and job satisfaction. This can then lead to increased absenteeism and turnover.
The above three points demonstrate how mental health days can actually save companies money by preventing lost productivity, mistakes, and turnover. In today’s workplace culture, it’s more important than ever to offer mental health days and show your employees that you care about their well-being.
How To Implement Mental Health Days At Work
If you’re interested in offering mental health days at your workplace, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Make sure your employees are aware of the policy.
The first step is ensuring your employees are aware of the mental health day policy. This way, they can take advantage of it when they need to. You can do this by including information about the policy in your employee handbook and mentioning it during new hire orientation.
2. Encourage employees to use their mental health days.
It’s important to encourage your employees to actually use their mental health days when they need them. Some employees may feel hesitant to take a mental health day for fear of looking like they’re not committed to their job. It’s important to remind them that taking a mental health day is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. It shows that they’re taking care of themselves and their well-being, which will ultimately benefit the company as well.
3. Don’t penalize employees for taking mental health days.
Some companies penalize employees for taking mental health days by docking their pay or counting it against them in their performance reviews. This is the wrong approach to take. Not only does it discourage employees from taking mental health days, but it also sends the message that you don’t support their well-being. If you want your employees to take mental health days, you need to show them that you’re on their side.
4. Offer other resources for mental health support.
In addition to offering mental health days, you should also offer other resources for mental health support. This could include an employee assistance program, mental health counseling, or stress management workshops. By offering these resources, you’ll show your employees that you’re committed to their well-being and that you want to help them succeed.
5. Lead by example.
As the leader of your company, it’s important to lead by example. If you’re not taking care of your own mental health, your employees won’t feel comfortable doing so either. Make sure you’re taking mental health days when you need them and that you’re using other resources for mental health support. This will show your employees that it’s okay for them to do the same.
Offering mental health days at your workplace is a great way to show your employees that you care about their well-being. Not only will it improve their disposition and attitude towards work and others, but it will also benefit the company as a whole. A workplace that has employees who are happy and healthy is a productive workplace, so it’s in your best interest to offer resources and opportunities for mental health support.
Establishing mental health breaks at work can have a profound impact on company culture. If you’re looking for a career change and want to work in the best companies with mental health programs for employees, check out BestCompaniesAZ. We have a list of the top employers in Arizona that also offer mental health programs and other resources for support.