Modern offices are increasingly latching on to fun, environmental perks as a means of promoting wellness. Think ping pong tables, healthy snacks and in-office meditation. But these changes aren’t getting to the heart of our workplace mental health crisis. Work-induced burnout, anxiety and depression are still on the rise. Not to mention, employees with pre-existing conditions are often unsupported by their bosses, or worse, judged for needing a little extra help.
As an outspoken mental health advocate, RSR and Made of Millions cofounder, Aaron Harvey, believes that long-term mental wellness is about a lot more than occasional perks. It’s about comprehensive policy change. He spoke with Fast Company about the problem with wellness as a workplace trend, and how businesses can start taking tangible steps forward.
Even with mental health days and in-office lounges, many employees still feel an inability to disconnect from the office mindset, which makes them feel overworked and exhausted for prolonged periods. Job-induced anxiety is on the rise as technology blurs the lines between work and home life. The idea of work-life balance has all but disappeared.
According to a 2015 study put out by NAMI Massachusetts, 64% of absenteeism and 81% of presenteeism (a lack of productivity due to working while sick) can be attributed to poor mental health.