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Modern professional culture has a tendency to drive people towards the constant pursuit of the so-called American dream. As we each work towards our career goals, it’s normal for some to pride themselves on the amount of sleep that they don’t get. A common misconception of peak productivity is that it requires you to lose sleep, neglect your loved ones, and never have fun. These are all factors that can lead to depression and intense stress.
It’s fine to chase your ambitions as long as you are taking care of your mind. The overall lack of mental health awareness in the contemporary workforce can lead to destructive consequences both personally and professionally; neglecting your mental health can seriously affect your productivity.
Depression and Productivity
On top of the personal risks it poses, depression can cause a plethora of problems in the workplace. It can make it hard for you to concentrate or remember important information. You may begin to see a decrease in the amount of work you get done due to lack of energy and inability to sleep. Your employer may even start to see a decline in your productivity and make a decision regarding your job that does not favor you. Dealing with low energy and a negative attitude every day can affect your work environment and discourage you from pursuing higher ambitions. It may be time to schedule a vacation or take some time off to get help if you feel that depression is starting to become too much.
Depression can leave you disconnected from the rest of the world, which can lead to poor cognitive functions. This can cause impaired judgment and clumsiness, which could be a particular problem if you have a job that requires intent focus. In professional situations, you need your cognitive functioning to be at its sharpest. The last thing you want is to make a major mistake, with your only excuse being that you were tired.
Signs of Depression in Your Coworkers
If you think someone at your work may be suffering from depression or anxiety, one of the first signs you will notice is isolation and withdrawal. Someone struggling with their mental health might begin to separate themselves from other people at work, like by sitting alone at lunch. Even if they were someone you used to eat lunch with every day, don’t take it personally if they start to act distant.
Someone suffering from depression at work may begin to consistently procrastinate to the point that they miss deadlines. That early bird coworker might start showing up to work late showing changes in their appearance. Their outfits may have been clean and sharp when you first met, and now they don’t even bother to comb their hair. These signs do not require judgment, but rather, concern from you.
Most of these subtle signs of depression can attract funny looks and resentment in the workplace. Missing deadlines or subpar performances can affect multiple people in a professional environment, so naturally, this can cause major problems. Many jobs also have some sort of dress code, and consistently breaking that dress code can result in social or internal consequences. All jobs follow rules and guidelines, and if those guidelines are constantly being broken by the same person, it could mean that something beyond simple laziness is going wrong beneath the surface.
How Your Employer Can Help
Discussing the mental health of their employees isn’t always at the top of an employer’s list of priorities in the workplace, which means that proper training on the subject can go a long way. As an employer, if you notice that someone at the workplace is showing signs of depression, it may be useful to educate everyone. Sharing training videos that teach your employees about mental health can be highly beneficial to the strength of your overall operation, and help everyone understand each other.
Introducing mental health awareness and support into the workplace can create a more uplifting environment for your employees on an individual level who may be suffering from depression and can also work as a team-building effort. This type of effort can show the coworkers who may be overworked, depressed, and exhausted that someone cares. Even something as simple as a wellness room with a couch, blankets, books, or candles can give people a relaxing midday break. Although employers aren’t obligated to take responsibility for it, a professional environment can be improved if more effort is put towards making the people who work there more mentally comfortable.
Taking care of your mental health is a foundational part of being productive. You do not have to sacrifice sleep, loved ones, or enjoying your life to get the job done at work; in fact, neglecting necessities for the sake of work can take a major toll on your mental health. Professionalism shouldn’t come at the cost of your humanity. If you notice that you or a coworker are showing concerning changes in behavior, appearance, or work ethic, it may be time to reach out to offer support. At Kimberly Center in Fort Myers, Florida, we specialize in aiding those who are struggling with depression, mental illness, and substance abuse with a wide variety of effective treatment methods. You aren’t alone in your battle against destructive emotions or behaviors. You can reach us at (855) 452-3683 to learn more about how we can help you overcome depression or addiction and go on to a healthier, happier life.