Mental well-being

Mental Health in the Modern Workplace

  • May 3, 2023
  • Author: WorkMotion
mental health in the modern workplace

How to Make Work More Mental Health-Friendly

Preventing mental unwell-being and all of its unfortunate consequences requires more than just instituting support systems. Offering mental health days/weeks, remote working policies, and counselling benefits is a good start, but employers also need to be proactive in developing a mental health-friendly workplace ethos.


How to cultivate a work environment that prioritises mental health:


  • Institute cultural change: Organisations must train leaders, managers, and employees on how to navigate mental health at work. Employees should have access to resources and support groups.
  • Be more sustainable: By promoting autonomy, establishing boundaries, and creating norms around communication.
  • Make deeper connections: Check in with each other, connect, and express empathy and authenticity.


When done correctly, remote work can be beneficial to employee productivity, work-life balance, and emotional well-being. In establishing a remote-first policy, WorkMotion joins the ranks of companies like Shopify, Pinterest, and Dropbox.

Research shows workers are 30 percent more productive and engaged working from home. More importantly, remote workers are also happier. This comes as no surprise considering they have fewer workplace distractions, more time to spend with friends and family, more opportunities to exercise, and better overall work-life balance.

The key to happiness and good mental health in a remote setup is flexibility—giving people the ability to personalise how they work and when they work.


What does it mean to be truly flexible?


  • Making flexibility available at some level to all employees – It shouldn’t be a privilege reserved for a certain class of workers. Everyone should be able to benefit.
  • Creating clear policies and expectations – Developing a written policy, communicating it clearly, and using clear metrics of quality of work are all essential for smooth functioning.
  • Empowering employees to manage their own flexibility – People can personalise their work experience as long as they remain accountable.
  • Encouraging leaders to set the tone – As always, leaders must lead by example. They can reward managers for effectively implementing flexibility policies with their teams.

In a flexible, remote-first work environment, people are less likely to automatically develop trusting relationships with their team members and leaders. By fostering a sense of community and maintaining open channels of communication, people will be able to build the trust required to speak openly about issues that may be sensitive, including mental health.


Because our mental health affects the quality of our personal and professional lives, we must be proactive in nurturing it, especially when working remotely. At the most basic level, that means prioritising our own mental well-being and creating a supportive environment for each other. 

Mental health issues are steadily rising, especially among Millennials and Gen Zers—the demographics that make up the majority of our organisation. The ramifications of such issues not only impact the personal lives of affected individuals, but also echo throughout the workplace.

How does inadequate mental health support affect companies?

  • Increased attrition: Overwhelming and unsustainable work has led to a rise in employees leaving their roles.
  • High prevalence: One study showed that 76% of employees experience at least one symptom of a mental health problem. This statistic is true across all levels of seniority.

Diversity implications: Underrepresented groups, like LGBTQ+ and people of colour, remain the most likely to struggle with mental health problems in the workplace and thus, are more likely to leave a job for mental health reasons.