DEPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACES

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Companies are reporting a rise in cases of employees experiencing cognitive symptoms, which have a negative impact on business.  The are witnessing a decline in levels of productivity, and a rise in number of days employees take off duty.

WHAT’RE THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACES?

The causes of cognitive symptoms vary from unrealistic deadlines, incompetency, performance appraisals, non-user friendly software, poor management, and corruption.

INCOMPETENCE

The terrible mistake we always do is choosing a career in areas we are worst at.  Trying to succeed in an area you are worst can be detrimental to your health, cause anxiety and depression.  Spending time in University to obtain a degree in the field you worst at is not only a waste of money, but a a waste of your time too.  Stop beating yourself up over your deficiencies, or dreaming of a career that will never work for you.  Everyone has an area where he or she is above average.

Find out what you good at, where your talent lies, and what skills you have mastered, and organize your professional life around it.  This will not only result in monetary rewards, but will include a variety of emotional benefits.  You are now a master in what you’re doing, more efficient, you have no doubt if can or can’t perform any task within this circle.  You know everything there is to know.  You’re confident, sleep well at night, and always looking forward to the next day.  You may try something new if you already successful within your circle.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

As we all know money is the driver of most things that we do.  What we can or cannot do depends largely on whether we have money or not.  It’s easy to say that not everything is about money, but without money your life may be doomed.  Employees promotions and career advancement depends on performance appraisals.  Poor performance may lead to demotion which affect your wallet.

Few employees look forward to their performance appraisals.  In fact most of the time employees try to avoid or delay their performance appraisals as they cause discomfort.  Sometimes performance appraisals lack fairness, and rigged with prejudice.  Although you are given a chance to respond, the decision or scores are predetermined.  They isolate some of the factors that contribute to the overallridicormance of an employee, like the poor management support, the ridiculously high volumes of work versus time spent in high number of fruitless meetings.  Some employees experience difficulty in speaking up and highlight the management shortfalls, and end up experiencing cognitive symptoms.

UNREALISTIC DEADLINES

Trying to meet an unrealistic deadline may cause a lot of stress.  Balancing professional and personal life have its own challenges.  Practising concentration techniques may help, like  organizing your work and plan it.  Most important is to improve your estimation so you don’t underestimate the effort and take a commitment for unrealistic deadlines.

NON-USER FRIENDLY SOFTWARE

This describes a software interface that is difficult to learn or understand.  A software is supposed to be straightforward, provide quick access to common features or commands.  It must be easy to locate different tools and options, make sense to the average user, and require minimal explanation for you to use it.

If a software is overly complex, unreliable, malfunctions or frequently crash, it can cause frustration to the user.  Loosing valuable information can lead to stress and anxiety, especially when there’s a possibility of failing to meet a deadline.

CORRUPTION

Corruption is a bug that exist in both public and private sectors.  Often as an employee you are instructed to do something that is against your moral and ethical values.  Standing by your values is risking loosing your job, and we all know how difficult it is to find a job nowadays.  Most employees find themselves doing things against their beliefs, just to save their jobs.  They end up with anxiety and depression, because of guilt and fear what might happen if they are exposed.  They cannot decide whether to report the crime and risk loosing their jobs, thinking of what will happen to their families if they loose their jobs, worried about their reputation, or the image of the organization that might be tarnished.  All of these thoughts occupy their minds, keeping them awake at night.

IMPACT ON BUSINESS

POOR PERFORMANCE

People experiencing symptoms of depression have trouble concentrating.  They are indecisive, easily distracted, and are forgetful.  They take time to complete jobs, and make more mistakes than usual.  They have problem solving difficulty, slower thinking speed, negative or distorted thinking patterns, and struggle to find the right words to express their thoughts.

All of the above mentioned symptoms negatively impacts productivity.  A person with these cognitive symptoms experience low energy levels, and performance drops.

ABSENTISM

People with depression may take more than 30 days off work due to their depression.  They spend time in doctors rooms, attending sessions with psychiatrists, and in some cases hospitalized.

HOW MANAGERS HANDLE CASES OF DEPRESSION

It has been proven that there’s poor awareness of the cognitive symptoms within the workplace.  Often managers continue to put their subordinates under pressure even when they are already on edge.  You find managers who don’t just delegate tasks, but shift their own responsibilities to the already overloaded subordinates.  They don’t support those who experience cognitive symptoms, nor encourage them to seek treatment.

WHAT COMPANIES CAN DO TO HELP

  • They must educate employees on depression, explain how cognitive symptoms can affect the business.
  • They must raise awareness of any existing employee assistance programmes, and emphasize that they can help with mental health problems.  Companies without these programmes must set aside some revenue to ensure that inhouse staff wellness programmes exist.
  • They must promote a culture of acceptance around depression and other psychiatric disorders.
  • They must refer employees who disclose their struggle with depression to a mental healthcare professional, and reassure them the illness can be treated.
  • Lastly, they must explore creative ways to support employees recovery, like introducing flexible or adjusted working hours.

6 Comments

  1. The terrible mistake we always do is choosing a career in areas we are worst at.  Trying to succeed in an area you are worst can be detrimental to your health, cause anxiety and depression.  Spending time in University to obtain a degree in the field you worst at is not only a waste of money, but a a waste of your time too.  Stop beating yourself up over your deficiencies, or dreaming of a career that will never work for you.  Everyone has an area where he or she is above average.

    Find out what you good at, where your talent lies, and what skills you have mastered, and organize your professional life around it.  This will not only result in monetary rewards, but will include a variety of emotional benefits.  You are now a master in what you’re doing, more efficient, you have no doubt if can or can’t perform any task within this circle.  You know everything there is to know.  You’re confident, sleep well at night, and always looking forward to the next day.  You may try something new if you already successful within your circle. What  do  think  about  this  viewers?

    1. Thank you for reading all my articles.  I see from your comment that you read most of them.

  2. Depression is not something to be taken with levity. Going to work with all the stress is already a problem then adding all or some of these problems to it is usually what leads to depression. There might be different ways to deal with depression but there are not so many ways to deal with the ones faced at work. I like the way you have given the tips on how the company can help the employees deal with the problem. Thanks

  3. Interesting post – and, after working in toxic government culture for 15 years,  I can certainly vouch for some of those causes.  I have family members with depression and it is as incidious disease and one that scares me for their mental wellbeing and ultimate safety.

    In regards to work related depression, one of the major problems I see with it (apart from the causes you have listed) is the handling of it once it does surface.  Where I worked, anybody who left for mental illness reasons was categorised as being on ‘stress leave’ which opens up a whole new stigma.  Many struggle to understand why someone might need a day off simply because they are stressed – we are all stressed and it is considered weak – (the general response – not my personal opinion).

    In most cases, the person on leave is suffering from work related anxiety or depression due to the culture in which they are expected to function.  I think if this can be managed and properly treated then the length of time people suffer from this will decrease and they can then start to discuss the causes that got them to that point in the first place.

    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thank you for stopping by.  I highly appreciate your time and comments.  

      All the best.

      Sandikazi

  4. I totally agree with you on this one here. Many people face depression and they do not even know that they are depressed. I think there are many ways out there that they can be helped in such situations, most of which you have discussed here. Some companies do not know about this though which in my opinion is not a good thing. If they know the problems in the company, then they will know how to help their employees. Nice article here

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