Mental Health

Tips and tricks every employer should know to curb depression at work

November 5, 2018

Depression at work is a harsh reality with multiple dimensions to it. A closer look could reveal ways in which employer could curb depression at work.

curb depression at work

Tips and tricks every employer should know to curb depression at work

Depression at work is not a new phenomenon. People worldwide, and almost in all fields have reported feeling depressed with varying degrees. The stress at work is one of the primary causes, this is a form of mental illness whose presence is acutely being felt by employers as well. Here, we take the actual accounts of employees into consideration, from the Hush discussion, and find out where and how things could be changed.

HR and the managers spend more time deliberating over job assignments

One contributor revealed: “I didn’t want to join a support project but I was forced by the manager. And after working for a month now, I feel this is not suitable for my skills and I also feel very depressed. I want to go for sick leave and want to live in some Peaceful atmosphere to come out of this. Please suggest what should I do?”

Another contributor added: “same here….tried every possible way to get out of the project but nothing worked……bulk leave and quitting TCS are only options I guess….”

As you can observe, the job-person profile mismatch can cause deep problems. People tend to perform better if their skills match the jobs they are assigned. Otherwise, the person tends to struggle, lose efficiency, perform poorly, feel low and then struggle again. This creates a vicious cycle. And since the person is not in charge of their assignment, they tend to suffer in silence for the fear of losing their job.

As a company, therefore, it is imperative that the HR and the managers spend more time deliberating over job assignments. Also, the employee own opinions should be taken into consideration while assigning tasks. This would not only improve their productivity, considering their opinion would make them feel like a part of the process.

Understanding in the humane aspect of their workforce

 Another contributor revealed:

*****

“I have depression and I am undergoing a therapy. Does this serve as a reason to shift city?”

This question got the following responses:

 A user from Ola says,

“Depends on what is there in that City. If you move back with parents or someone else (unemployed friend?) who can spend a lot of time with you, it will help your mental state improve.”

And user from  Accenture

“This can’t just be a reason. Probably you facing issues with something else too but you haven’t just figured it out.”

***** 

As you can see here, a change of city for a job could lead to loneliness, alienation, and eventually some degree of depression. And changing cities because you feel depressed is a genuine question. Also, you can also notice from the responses that people (the company include) could see the same thing in two different ways. 

The company, on their part, needs to understand the human aspect of their workforce. People who have already pointed out that they feel depressed need to be cared for. Not only should a company be willing to provide for their psychiatric care, but they should also be empowering their employees to come out and share these alienating feelings with their colleagues or in small groups. A monthly group event, preferably on a work day, could reflect that though work is a priority, it is not everything. It builds a sense of inclusion.

A contributor from TCS shared their personal experience where they found their own way of coping with it.

 “After getting married I had to shift to Bangalore from Chandigarh in new jobs, I had no friends in the city, all the face where new to meet, I did know whom to trust. And I went into depression for more than a year. What helped me was exercising and going for therapy weekly. Don’t miss your therapy.”

This is an example where the employee did not seek the company’s help but as a company, it is preferable that they ask these employees to share their experiences as well so that the silent sufferers could find their voice.

Unethical means to curb depression at work

 Take a look at the following thread:

*****

I did not want to join a support project but I was forced by the manager. And after working for a month now, I feel this is not suitable for my skills and I also feel very depressed. I want to go for sick leave and want to live in some Peaceful atmosphere to come out of this. Please suggest what should I do

A user in TCS suggests, “Yes.. sick leave is the best weapon to take leave at any time. So go ahead and spend some time with your family or friends, You will definitely feel better. Meanwhile, you can make a future plan for yourself.

Another user says, “taking leaves is a good option but my manager is telling take as much as leaves you need to get your treatments done come back. I can’t give release.

 Another contributor revealed from TCS

try to be less productive and keep on asking for release regularly via mail and verbally also. If you are lucky your manager might bring a replacement for you. If these are not working, produce medical documents and go for a long leave. Your lead and manager might give you the threat to take to HR so maintain the 9 hours in the office. Most importantly besides all these start learning some new stuff so that you can get a better project next.

*****

As you can see from the thread, both the concern and the suggestions indicate towards using unethical means in order to find mental relief. This should not have happened in the first place. Things like leaves, project transfer, etc. form a small part of the company’s day-to-day routine but it is those small things which matter the most.

The managers should be, without exception, trained at handling transitions and leaves for those working in their charge. It is the company’s responsibility to hold sensitivity training and to teach the managers effective ways of handling people. It may appear to be a lot of effort but in the long run, this practice would become the company’s culture and add value to their human resource.

The cases pointed above, are mere symptoms of the sickness. These are just the ways in which employees suffer and how the companies can help. What is even more important is that they have a comprehensive company-wide policy which 2 depression and an open culture where sharing and learning is the accepted norm.

Author of ‘God for Sale’. Foodie. Policy enthusiast. A movie buff.
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