New guidelines urge bosses to offer free yoga classes to protect mental health of staff
FILE PHOTO: People take part in a socially distanced yoga class at Kensington Leisure Centre in west London on July 25, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
NEW guidelines on the mental health of workers have urged bosses to engage staff in small talk and offer them free yoga or meditation classes, reported The Daily Mail.
According to a draft document from the Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, action is needed to reduce the stigma of mental health at work.
It makes a number of recommendations that are intended to help firms ‘create the right conditions’ to support mental wellbeing in the workplace, the newspaper report added.
Health chiefs want companies of all sizes and in all industries to train managers so they are able to spot signs of stress and help affected workers, The Mail report further said.
The guideline committee included mental health experts, employers, professionals from across the NHS and local authorities, and lay members.
“The committee recognised the importance of good relationships between managers and employees, and of employees being able to approach managers to discuss any concerns,” the report said.
Last year, a study by Deloitte estimated that poor mental health among staff costs UK firms up to £45bn a year.
Dr Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’s centre for guidelines, has said that training managers with skills to discuss mental wellbeing improves the relationship between manager and employee, which will reduce stress.
Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at the charity Mind, said some people’s mental health worsened during the pandemic, with redundancy, furlough, and juggling work and childcare all factors.
“Lots of employers – particularly smaller ones – feel they do not have resources to invest in staff wellbeing, but interventions need not be large or expensive,” she told The Mail.
“Above all, we want to see all employers proactively creating a culture where staff of all levels can talk about their mental health and know that if they do, they’ll be met with support and understanding, rather than experiencing stigma and discrimination.”
According to the Confederation of British Industry, providing managers with the knowledge and skillset required to support their teams can only be beneficial in the long run.