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Mental Health Corporate Wellness

Boosting Employee Productivity With Therapy

It didn’t happen often, but when it did, Abu (not his real name) would call in sick. He’d use all the excuses he knew - gastric, pink eye, diarrhoea - anything debilitating enough to skip a day but not enough to force him out of work for an extended period of time, or worse, permanently. He would then spend the whole day curled up in agony, wracked with guilt and unease, unable to get out of bed to shower or eat, and in isolation from everyone he knows.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Working adults with depression, anxiety, or stress find it more difficult to maintain productivity at work. They experience higher than average rates of work absences, job loss and turnover, premature retirement, and impaired work performance impacting their lives and their families, and costing employers billions annually

Why does this happen and what can be done about it?

Mental disorders are more common than you think. Even before the pandemic, the WHO recorded that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. This doesn’t take into account unreported cases or post-pandemic numbers which have pushed health - especially mental health - to the forefront.

There are many contributing factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality type, chronic pain and illness, trauma, abuse, conflicts, lifestyle, current events, and environment that can cause mental health to become imbalanced. Mental conditions do not discriminate and are not an indication of weakness or failure. In fact, mental health is as important as physical health and research shows that therapy can improve symptoms, boost resilience, and reduce work productivity loss.

Working with a trained mental health professional will help you better understand yourself, your level of stress, your relationship to that stress, and what you want and need in a work environment. It can help you perform better than ever, achieve more than you thought possible, and ultimately feel more at home in your own mind and body.

Here’s how:

  1. Navigate your professional environment better
    You may not always be in control of your work environment or have a chance to choose who you work with. Working with a therapist can help you proactively develop and adopt habits and routines to help you integrate into your team and office environment. This will also help you understand your role and how you fit into your workspace.

  2. Boost your communication skills
    Therapy also becomes a powerful environment to practice communicating your needs to those around you. By strengthening your communication skills, you become more able to ask for what you need to do your job especially well and if these needs aren’t being met, you’ll be more aware of the reason why taking weight off of your shoulders and improving your self-esteem over time.

  3. Draw healthier boundaries
    The more you understand and communicate your wants and needs, the better you’ll become at saying “no” at work where it makes sense to push back. This is difficult but deeply empowering and can help you prioritise your tasks better thereby increasing your productivity. Therapy can help you define your boundaries and express them to your co-workers and manager.

  4. Gain a clearer sense of your values, priorities and goals
    Therapy can also help you strengthen your sense of self and gain more clarity about your values and goals. As your long-term objectives become more defined, you can more easily figure out the steps you need to take in the short- and middle-term in order to achieve them. Too often important tasks are side-swept because you are overwhelmed by how much there is to do.

  5. Become more engaged and productive
    Studies show that productivity isn’t directly correlated to the amount of time you spend working but to how efficiently you use your time. You would ideally be working on challenging enough tasks that excite creativity and stimulate teamwork but not to the point of burnout. Therapy can help you identify your working style and preference and understand what kinds of tasks fit where.

Mental health care isn’t just for individuals with severe mental illnesses. Even seemingly mild mental conditions can have negative effects on your health and wellbeing. Research proves that therapy or mental health-based employee assistance programmes that specialise in cognitive-behavioural treatments can improve the negative impact on productivity and employee health.

As such, companies are working on adapting appropriate mental health policies that lessen the impact of mental conditions on productivity by identifying effective treatments and improving access to professionals through digital therapeutic providers like Naluri.

To understand what to expect in therapy and mental health better, read A Beginner’s Guide to Therapy and our other mental health resources. For more information about Naluri and remote therapy for employee wellness, reach out to hello@naluri.life.

Writen by:
Chloe Pharamond