Key factors in the workplace that can contribute to mental health issues

Key factors in the workplace that can contribute to mental health issues

Here are seven key factors in the workplace that contribute to people suffering from mental health problems and where to seek help. 

Businessman burying his head under a laptop at work
Businessman burying his head under a laptop at work/ iStock

Stress in the workplace is a big issue. 

In most cases, people spend one-third of their lives at work, so an unhealthy work environment can negatively affect a person's overall quality of life.

Below are seven things that can happen in the workplace that can negatively affect one's mental health.  

- Workload (both excessive and insufficient work)

Having an excessive workload contributes to stress. It also heightens anxiety and can result in burn out due to time pressures and lack of breaks. Burn out can lower one's productivity, resulting in more stress. 

The other danger with excessive workload is that you might find yourself having to put in extra hours at work and missing out on doing other things such as spending time with your loved ones. 

Having insufficient work or lack of participation in the work place can reduce one's sense of value. It can also cause a person to feel that they are not needed at work, thus posing a threat to his or her employment. 

- Monotonous or unpleasant tasks

Passion is important when it comes to performing tasks. The minute work feels uninteresting and dull, that could lead to stress. 

In addition, performing unpleasant tasks can put a person under stress, especially if one's employment is at risk. 

READ: Shawn Mendes postpones world tour due to mental health issues 

- Role ambiguity or conflict

According to M & E Studies, role conflict and role ambiguity are among the most widely studied role stress variables and generally are negatively related to job outcomes.

When management and staff have different expectations and perceive roles differently, stress can result. 

- Lack of recognition at work

When one does not receive credit on projects they have done or feel overlooked or unappreciated by their supervisor, that can be frustrating and result in stress. 

- Inequity

Favouritism and inequality in the workplace can steal one's joy and result in mental health problems. 

- Poor working conditions

Poor working conditions can have a negative impact on one's productive and overall well-being. 

- Poor leadership and communication

According to Forbes, people with bad bosses are more susceptible to chronic depression, stress, and anxiety. 

The publication adds that people working for toxic bosses were 60% more likely to suffer a stroke, heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac condition.

- Conflicting home and work demands

Many people have to combine work and home responsibilities. It is not easy to juggle both and sometimes stress can arise when the demands of either one negatively affects the demands of the other. 

Juggling both can be difficult, and sometimes stress can arise when one of the demands impacts the other negatively. 

READ: More than 6m in SA need mental health intervention – Health Dept

Seeking help 

It is important to seek help before suffering from other health conditions brought on by stress. 

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has a 24-hour helpline which you can contact on 0800 456 789. 

The South African government encourages that if you suspect a mental illness, visit your nearest clinic or doctor.

Remember, mental illness can be treated and prevented! 

READ: How you can boost your mental health

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @BrianAJackson

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