How Important is My Workplace When It Comes to My Mental Health?
Writer Annie Dillard once stated, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
According to Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, the average person will spend 90,000 hours of work over the period of their lifetime. With this much time at work taking place, it’s crucial to work in a place that is conducive to mental health and well-being if at all possible. There are so many components of the workplace that can affect a person’s mental health: workplace conditions (temperature, cleanliness, comfortability), task-related factors (type of work, deadlines, ability to complete tasks), workplace communication (teamwork, managers coworkers, overall workplace environment), ethics (respect, boundaries, safety), and much, much more. By taking an inventory of your workplace, you can assess just how much it’s contributing to (or taking away from) your mental health.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health sought to explore work-related stress, burnout, job satisfaction and general health of nurses. A total of 1,200 nurses participated in the study, completing several assessment measures for analysis. Results from the study found that staff issues were related to burnout and job satisfaction, with burnout playing a key role in nurses’ mental health.
If a person’s mental health is affected due to lowered job satisfaction, stress, and burnout, a number of other effects could take place:
- A person may not perform their job correctly, placing them at risk for termination
- Safety at work could be compromised
- A person could quit their job unexpectedly
- Difficulty completing other responsibilities could ensue
- Personal life, such as intimate relationships, could be compromised
If you notice your workplace is causing you stress, lowered job satisfaction or burnout, consider whether you should seek out a different place of employment or if there are minor changes you can make to your workplace environment to improve these outcomes. If you believe that you may have a mental illness and it’s affecting your ability to perform in the workplace, it’s important that you seek help. Many resources are available, and oftentimes, workplace insurance helps cover the cost. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about your options. Recovery is possible.
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