Many people experience depression in their lifetime but people often suffer in silence, particularly in the workplace. Many employees may try to push on because they don’t feel as though their mental wellbeing is as important as their physical wellbeing. This isn’t true and employers should make more of an effort to improve the wellbeing of their employees and offer any support they may need.
Not only is depression a serious and very scary illness, but it also contributes to a massive loss in workplace productivity. In the US, it’s estimated that depression accounts for up to $44 billion in lost productivity.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of depression, so that if anyone within your team is struggling, you can spot the signs and provide them with the help and support they need.
Here’s what you should look out for:
If an employee is persistently tired, this may be a sign that something isn’t right. A couple of days of bad sleep doesn’t mean someone is depressed, but if someone is coming into work looking visibly tired over the course of a few weeks, this is something to keep an eye on. Another symptom of depression is sleeping too much or too little so if they come in tired or late they may not be able to sleep properly.
Perhaps you’ve noticed they no longer join everyone for a drink after work or they aren’t talking about their weekend football games anymore. Someone suffering from depression no longer finds joy in the activities they once did.
Have you noticed anyone isn’t as happy or joyful as they used to be? This sign emphasises the importance of team bonding and getting to know your employees on a more personal level so that you are able to notice if something isn’t quite right. This also includes changes in mood such as restlessness or irritability.
You may notice if an employee is eating less at lunch or if they are constantly snacking. It may also be clear if they have lost or gained a lot of weight. Any of these signs may be something to be concerned about, particularly if they have not mentioned any dieting or exercise.
Physical illness such as headaches or chronic pain can be triggered by depression which you may notice if an employee is calling in sick a lot.
Some other things to look out for include difficulty concentrating or making decisions; talks of feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless and recurring discussions of suicide or death.
In order to prevent your employees from ever experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to cultivate a healthy office or work from home environment. You can do this by encouraging them to make the most of their lunch break and providing healthy meal catering services to improve mental well-being.
POW Food delivers healthy meals to offices across the UK to encourage healthy habits in the workplace. Learn more about what our founders have to say about this topic by reading our interview with The Business Owner.