Mental health is a universal human right – the theme of World Mental Health Day 2023. The World Health Organization are inviting people and communities to unite to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health.
But how can we make sure that we are always striving to do this?
We all know that good mental health is vital to our overall health and wellbeing – it impacts how we behave, how we connect with others, and even our livelihoods. So basically everything!
As an employer, I think it’s important to acknowledge just how much we can support our employees to have good mental health with work-based initiatives.
“Work is often cited as the biggest contributor to mental illness. In fact, last year statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that stress, depression, and anxiety made up around half of all work-related illnesses. Partnered alongside 2023’s introduction of recession fears, it has never been more imperative for businesses to turn their attention to supporting employee mental health and wellbeing.
I could talk about all the things we offer at Tax Systems to encourage good mental health – we offer additional days off for wellbeing and birthdays; employee assistance programme support; we’re investing in mental health first aiders; and we’ve set up a diversity, equality, and inclusion group to further enable full participation for all our people. But whilst these are all great, and symptomatic of our will to do better, these are also now fairly standard workplace offerings now, as they should be.
What really sets us apart is our flexible working – it’s entirely ingrained here at Tax Systems. It’s not that we offer it – it’s how we work now. Our people work in a way that suits them – so they can make their afternoon gym class, or late lunch with friends; walk their dog mid-afternoon or do the school run – whatever it is, regardless of justification. We all have lives, and we all experience moments of stress, so having time for what may seem like small things, often makes a big difference. We just ask our people to keep the communication lines open – let their teams and colleagues know when they are and aren’t available. And by trusting our team, and showing understanding and empathy, we have employees who are happy, motivated, and committed.
We call it “Vibrant Ways of Working” – which reflects how we want to support all our people to thrive and flourish individually, so we as an organisation can do so too. Our company culture is a living and breathing organism, evolving as we learn and try to do better every day, for our people and our customers. It articulates our multi-faceted approach to the work and life balance – we know what works for some won’t work for everyone, but it’s about doing our best to help our employees feel their best.