How the Workplace Affects Mental Health
Last week, we explored the effects of mental illness in the workplace, but now we want to discuss the opposite. For those who already live with mental illness, a toxic work environment can make matters worse and put you in a vicious cycle, and such an environment can create issues for those who are otherwise mentally healthy. Here are a few ways a bad job can impact your mental health:
Lack of Purpose
Losing a sense of purpose at work can be caused by multiple things. Perhaps you’ve spent some time in this company and realize that its values don’t align with your own. Maybe the day-to-day life in your position didn’t match your original expectations, or maybe you just don’t enjoy it as much as you expected. Whatever the case, a lack of purpose has a huge effect on your mental health.
Feelings of Isolation
Open office plans have become quite popular, but according to this article from Men’s Health, “open office plans actually discourage face-to-face interaction” and lead to increased reliance on digital communication. The article continues, “Relying on digital forms of communication may lead to worsening mental health. A lot of research…has shown in-person, face-to-face interactions are associated with lower rates of major depression and other mental health disorders, while digital communication does not have the same effect.”
A more well-known mental health impact of work is burnout. Many stressors like strict deadlines, constant overtime, boring work, feeling unappreciated, etc., can contribute to burnout. The effects of which can lead to exhaustion, a lack of motivation, etc., and spill over into your personal life.
If you feel that your workplace is negatively impacting your mental health, it would likely be beneficial to consider receiving treatment and/or launching a job search. If it’s time to find a new job, visit atwork.com/locations to find an office near you! For more serious mental health issues, here are two hotlines:
SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, offers a free helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-8255