Mental Health Week: how positive mental health practices can improve productivity
By Karl Simons OBE, Executive Director & Chief Customer Officer at FYLD
Although we all know that having proactive management of mental health in the workplace is a year-round strategic issue for business, I love the fact that Mental Health Week is here. This week acts as a catalyst for everyone to vocalise what they are doing in support of smashing an age old stigma that still exists in areas of our society today.
This week of awareness raising activities is an opportunity for individuals, communities, companies and organisations to pause and reflect on their workplace culture, systems and processes, and assess their progress towards achieving good mental health practices for all.
We should never forget mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, as reported by The Mental Health Foundation. Research states that 70 million workdays are lost each year due to poor mental health in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.
I also appreciate that the new digital era we live in has the ability to aid in our plight to support those working for us through adoption of smart systems. A great example of this is how FYLD, the artificial intelligence (AI) company that supports front line fieldforce workers, has introduced a mobile work solution that psychologically impacts operatives through making their life so much easier without them thinking about it.
The AI technology at the core of the FYLD solution reduces the frustration many other digital solutions have added for frontline workers. I’ve seen how the increase in real-time communication across remote teams, unsurprisingly, increases engagement and interventions, thus making workers happier, more connected, more productive and less fatigued.
Synergy between productivity and wellbeing
I have seen many examples of supportive engagement between line management and employees. One that springs to mind is a remote supervisor was recently watching a point of work risk assessment video he received in real time through FYLD’s push notification, and upon hearing his team leader in the video speaking, he noticed he sounded very down. So, he gave him a call, which subsequently led to a conversation about how he was feeling extremely depressed at that point. This simple interaction, created through a mobile works solution, increased the mental health support needed for an individual at their time of need – without the individual even asking for it!
Communication is key
With the increasing need to operate remote management systems and keep managers’ eyes and ears on their teams, it is more important than ever to have strong communication and smart digital systems, through easy-to-use platforms. I’ve loved watching how FYLD’s solution massively increases the level of on-the-job communication, which significantly reduces instances of uncertainty, stress, isolation and doubt for remote workers.
Have a look at the video below:
The importance of workplace culture
I am incredibly proud of how, as a business, those I work alongside have created a culture of care at FYLD, which you can read more about in our blog here. We practice a health before wealth approach to prioritise the health of our team over company profits, keeping our teams informed, as well as offering a flexible structure which always looks to the future. And I love the way we encourage collaboration and open communication that smashes any silo thinking that can creep into companies so easily if leaders don’t walk the talk.
I also know how in this modern age feelings of loneliness can build in some within their work, which can have a direct impact on morale. Also, it can often be hard to separate our personal and professional mindsets, so this is why great leaders create an environment where their team can share feeling of vulnerability and not feel judged or have fear of reprisal. We are all human, and at times listening through a supportive ear from a colleague or manager is such a simple but important part of business in this modern age.
To read more about mental health in fieldforce operations, and how FYLD’s AI technology supports a healthy and open forum, you can read our blog from World Mental Health Day 2021 here.