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02 Jun 2019

Adjustments in the workplace: asking for better mental health

Many of us spend about a third of our day at work, that's around eight hours of being in a place that's affecting our minds and bodies, so it's no surprise that our workplace environment has been shown to have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing

A survey by Office Genie asked 2,000 UK workers about which factors contributed to their sense of happiness in the workplace happiness and it found that the design of the space around them affected the happiness levels of 33% of respondents, with flexible working an important factor in the happiness of 12% and social interaction in the happiness of 8%. 

 

Office design affects mental health at work

Levels of light, space around desks, noise levels and the temperature of our workplaces can all affect how we feel when we're at work, with poorly designed, dark spaces having the potential to increase levels of anxiety, stress and unhappiness. 

Adjustments to help mental health at work

If people are feeling happier in their workplace, then chances are they are likely to feel better about their job, and many employers recognise that making adjustments in the workplace is an important way to maintain trust between staff and employers and deliver a workplace that is productive.

A survey by the Business Disability Forum showed that workplace adjustments are a positive thing for many, with 73 per cent of respondents saying they felt that the adjustments that had been made for them had made a positive difference in removing some of the barriers in the workplace.

However, 29 per cent of respondents had considered workplace adjustments that could help them feel better in work, but had decided not to request them because they did not want to approach their employer and were worried that their employer or colleagues might treat them differently. 

Able Futures understands that asking for adjustments to help your mental wellbeing at work can be difficult. Flexible working hours to attend healthcare appointments, or a quiet desk space to reduce the impact of anxiety or stress, or having the support of an advocate at meetings could each be something you think could help improve your mental health and positively impact on your performance at work, but it can still feel difficult to ask for change. 

Able Futures could help you to identify the right changes at work to help you manage a mental health condition and reduce the impact on your ability to work, and only if you want us to and give us permission to do so, we could support conversations with your employers about reasonable adjustments. 

Apply now for support from Able Futures. 

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