Small Business Owners: How to Help Employees Look After Their Mental Health

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According to a study by the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job. Most employees cite their workload and juggling work-life balance as their main stressors. Luckily, you can help.

As a small business owner, your employees look to you for guidance and advice. You can set an example by focusing on your own mental health. Not only will this benefit you and your business, but more importantly, it will benefit your employees. They will learn to take your lead and prioritize their mental health, which will help prevent burnout and allow them to do their best work.

Here are our top three tips to help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance:

Limit Extended Hours

This one is incredibly important! When running a small business, it’s likely that you are tasked with several different jobs. It might feel like you constantly have to work 60+ workweeks, but it’s important to set boundaries. It’s okay if you have a big project or an important meeting coming up and you need to work a few extra hours. That’s going to happen, but if you continue to make a habit of it, your work will suffer.

Also, by doing this, you are setting the bar for your employees. If they always see you working nonstop and answering emails on your off days, they will feel that is the bar they have to maintain as well. Make sure to stick to your schedule as much as possible and encourage your employees to do the same.

Allow for a Flexible Work Environment

More and more companies are moving to a flexible work environment. Employees are not one-in-the-same and that’s true for their schedules as well. By focusing more on output, rather than specific hours, you can allow yourself and your employees to craft a schedule that works best for them. Since work schedules are a huge barrier to having a family, this can help relieve that stress from your employees’ own lives. By offering parents a flexible work environment, they can create a schedule that allows them to do their best work, while still looking after their family.

Implement Video-Free Days

Your employees are already under enough pressure at work, but constant video calls can increase that pressure exponentially. “When you’re on a video conference, you know everybody’s looking at you; you are on stage, so there comes the social pressure and feeling like you need to perform,” say Clemson University psychologist Marissa Shuffler. Video calls can also feel uncomfortable because of the amount of time we spend looking at people’s eyes. In face-to-face interactions, you don’t spend as much time looking directly at people. Consider implementing video-free days or even better, meeting-free days. This will help take the pressure off your employees and allow them to focus on their work rather than trying to impress colleagues. It will also give you a chance to do the same!

Remember: if you prioritize your own mental health, your employees will follow suit. This will allow them to do their best work, be more productive, and ultimately help set your business up for success.

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