Category Archives: Health

Does the responsibility of mental health lie with the employer?

By | Employee Wellbeing, Employees, Health, Jobs and Careers, Mercury HR, Wellbeing, Work | No Comments

In the UK today we find ourselves spending a significant proportion of our time at work.

For many of us the workplace is where we will experience pressures and stresses that will affect our mental health.   In a society where we are trying to cope with the demands our employer places upon us, as well as the demands from our family and relationships, the expectations whether real or perceived can soon become overwhelming.

It strikes me that still so many of us will keep how we are feeling a secret from our manager and work colleagues believing that we will be judged for discussing it, or worse still held back professionally.

When asked we will say “I’m okay” when really we aren’t okay.  Yet if we are experiencing a physical illness such as a cold or back pain, we are far more open with telling those around us how we are feeling.

The Mental Health at Work summary report commissioned by Business in the Community (2018)  states that:

  • 61% of UK employees have experienced a mental health issue due to work or where work was a contributing factor
  • 85% of managers feel that employee wellbeing is their responsibility but only 30% have taken part in mental health training.
  • 30% report having no workplace facility that could help mental health and wellbeing
  • Only 16% of employees felt able to disclose a mental health issue to a manager.

Reflecting on these statistics it poses the question “Does the responsibility of mental health lie with the employer?”

If how someone feels at work and how they perform is a direct result of the working culture and environment they are in, then is the employer responsible to create a workplace where people can thrive and succeed?

If an employee feels supported by their line manager will this make them feel able to work when they are experiencing difficulties as opposed to feeling obligated to do so?

In HR we are seeing more employers starting to recognise that they have a responsibility to support the wellbeing of their staff and are putting mental health on their boardroom agenda.

However, more needs to be done.  It’s not a quick fix overnight.  Leaders of the organisation need to be laying the foundations and leading by example as that is the only way it can be effective and sustainable.  Attitudes filter down from leaders and must be backed with policy and procedures.

As an employer, what support have you put in place and is it widely promoted and easy for your employees to access?

What is the uptake? What feedback have your staff given you?

Blog By Debbie Clegg – Mercury HR Business Partner

Does responsibility for Social Fun at work rest with the Employer?

By | Employee Wellbeing, Employees, Health, Jobs and Careers, Mercury HR, Morale, Wellbeing, Work | No Comments

With the Industrial Revolution, we saw long days of working, regardless of wellbeing and health, employees working in fear of being dismissed. We saw dangerous working practices and work, unsafe facilities and buildings, poor lighting, dirty and full of disease and lets not forget child labor.   The focus was very much on productivity or output.  It’s fair to say the needs and requirements of people was neglected.  Social Activity was kept outside the workplace and certainly these places were not a place of ‘fun’, in fact quite the opposite.

We are along way from these old fashioned ways, however, for some in the world, lets not forget these places can exist.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum said “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

In the UK, today, we find ourselves as Employers, embracing something different.  Not all Employers embrace this movement.  This transformation in the workplace is happening at pace and around the globe. It is likely to take prisoner the Employer who does not embrace the change and foster new ways of conducting business through instilling a sense that work should be enjoyable and workplaces fun, filled with opportunity to interact and build a community driven social hive.

The likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft all embracing the ethos of creating opportunity for employees to create and foster social/fun in the workplace, suggests that the responsibility for social/fun rests with the Employer, but this comes at great influence from attracting and retaining the absolute best candidates in their field.

As an Employer, what are you doing to embrace this movement? What initiatives are you putting in your workplace to embrace and instill fun and social interaction?

Blog By Adele Theobald – Director of Mercury HR

5 Tips On Winter Wellbeing

By | Employee Wellbeing, Employees, Health, Wellbeing | No Comments
  1. One of the best ways to keep stubborn colds away from your head and chest, is to have a daily amount of vitamin C. Oranges have a high volume of the beneficial vitamin, eat lots of rich vitamin fruits and also try to hit that 5 a day. Eating fruits like bananas are an excellent way to release energy slowly throughout the day meaning you will be more productive and less sluggish. Why not make a fruit salad the night before for your 11 O’clock snack the next day?
  2. It is important that your workplace has good ventilation during the winter, but that’s not a suggestion to keep the windows wide open and freeze. Opening them for 5 minutes a few times a day can refresh the air in the room. Ventilation keeps germs from harbouring in the same place for too long. Try opening office doors when meetings aren’t taking place too!
  3. Employees should use antibacterial gel regularly to keep nasty germs at bay. The importance of personal hygiene should be emphasised at this time of the year, re- print those faded hand wash signs in the staff toilet…
  4. At Mercury, we keep a box of cold and flu sachets and tablets at the ready for employees who may begin to feel under the weather. Try and catch it quickly to avoid taking days off work.
  5. Temperatures have to be regulated at work to ensure good employee wellbeing and good health. Although this can be difficult in the winter, if your office tends to be cold invest in some mini electric heaters, but don’t forget to turn them off at the end of the day!