Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Is The Workplace Making Your Mental Health Worse?


As someone who struggles with their mental health and has done for a number of years, the workplace can be a daunting place to be, especially if its not aiding my mental wellbeing. Going into the workplace can be scary when you struggle with your mental health. You don't know whether that employer is going to effectively make your mental health worse or better.

A supportive, open and understanding work environment is what I look for when I'm applying for jobs. I know I would rather, work somewhere, where my colleagues understand my mental illness and are willing to support me when I am struggling over somewhere, which paid well but had a really negative impact on my mental health while I was there.

You could be raking in the cash every month but ultimately if you are not happy and comfortable in your job, your mental health will pay the price. As a Millennial I think I am now part of the generation who are favoring positive and supportive workplaces over the well-paying but 'depressing' work environments of before, and I know I am not alone.



A great salary is essential to a lot of office workers, however where you spend your working day is considerably more important for millennials, than any other generation. New research has revealed 33% of millennial office workers put more focus on the office environment than their salary and benefits.

Different generations have different needs, and as this new research shows, millennials put their comfort in the office over salary, more than any other generation. For a long time salary and benefits packages have been used to attract the best talent, however, the millennial generation wants something different. Those aged between 23 and 38 have been the driving force when it comes to making the perfect working environment, from open plan, airy and natural light spaces to standing desks, fresh flowers and greenery. Millennials are also keen to have work areas that help improve mental health and employee productivity, compared to the soleless bland and beige office we saw in the ’90s and early ’00s. 


A survey of over 1,500 office staff aged between 18 and 65, by online office agency Free Office Finder, revealed that millennials want the office environment they work in to be the top priority, more than other generations. The survey asked respondents to rate the importance of what they look for looking for a new job. Most generations put importance on salary, however, shockingly the results showed that millennials will put their main focus on the office environment they will be working in. 

The Results: Millennial Rankings

● Office environment - 33%

● Salary - 24%

● Location - 23%

● Flexible working - 11%

● Benefits - 9%

The Results: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Z

● Salary - 28%

● Location - 25%

● Benefits - 19%

● Flexible working - 15%

● Office environment - 13%

Commenting on the findings Nick Riesel, Founder at Free Office Finder said: 

"Millenials are put down a lot in the press for what may seem like outlandish demands to others, but is there anything wrong with demanding that employers provide their staff with a nice office when this can be a win, win for employers and employees alike. Some of the demands, which may or may not be exaggerated such as games rooms, safe spaces, gourmet kitchens and Instagramable spaces are a bit far fetched, but with companies such as Google & Red Bull creating quirky offices which cost millions to put together anything is possible no matter what your budget, you just need the imagination.

He added:

“You can, however, create a great working environment for your employees without too much extra cost. Companies can look at offices which are close to transport links and amenities, have light and airy spaces, look at adding standing desks or flexible hot desks for their staff or add comfortable break rooms and kitchens to their existing spaces."


This suggests that it is not an unattainable goal for most workplaces to work towards introducing fresher, open and more innovative work environments. And it makes sense! The happier the employees, the more productive they are going to be.

Looking after your mental health is so important. Making positive changes in your life, big and small can have a positive impact on your mental health. If you are struggling with your mental health, maybe look at your work environment. If the job is prioritising pay over happiness or the office is drab and uninspiring, maybe it is time for a change.

Thanks for reading, as always.

* This is a collaborative post. 

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