Friday, 27 May, 2022


Workplace burnout: A growing mental health crisis

18 |
Update: 2019-10-10 20:10:23
Workplace burnout: A growing mental health crisis

DHAKA: 27-year-old Shruti Singhla (name changed) hates her job. She spends the whole week waiting for the weekend and Sundays become the most stressful because she dreads going to work. “The unrealistic deadlines, work politics, a micromanaging boss are all pulling me down and I feel anxious all the time.”

A majority of the working population in the corporate world is not working for a standard 5-day week and don’t have their weekends off to relax and unwind, reports TOI.

Whether they are being asked to attend an event over the weekend, work on a presentation for Monday or just a sense of being on the edge even when they are not at work. What is this feeling trying to tell you?

45-year-old Kartik Garg (name changed) is the only breadwinner of his family. He earns a handsome package but with that comes overburdening responsibilities. He spends close to 12 hours at work and even after coming back home, he has to attend office calls with his colleagues in the US. “Sometimes these calls go on till 12 to 1 midnight. I cannot afford to slow down, else someone will fill in my shoes and I can’t afford to be devalued.”

The unrelenting workload is pulling us down and we don’t know how to slow down or back out. We feel guilty for clocking out at the exact end of a formal shift because that shows us in a bad light. But if your job is killing you, it is time to look back. It will give you a sense of certain control over the situation.

Those working at the extreme ends of the pay scale are most affected. The burnout is badly affecting those working at the lower end because they have to constantly be on the go to earn their living and also to the high end salaried employees who have to hustle it out everyday to compete with their competition and achieve targets.

Most working population is scrambling all the time. They experience an overwhelming feeling that their work life is beyond their control and they just have to keep running after it.

It is interesting to note that more women feel this burnout than men because when it comes to work, they somewhere feel less authority over it than men. And without us realising, a lot of these people feel so helpless that they develop suicidal thoughts and in extreme cases, even commit suicide - which brings us to the theme of World Mental Health Day this year.

Suicide prevention
Apart from changes that can be brought it at a bigger level, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia shares, “Each of us can do our part. If you suspect someone is struggling, you can let them know they’re not alone. If you know someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide, you can talk to them and ask how they’re doing. And if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can kickstart a conversation with someone on how you’re feeling. We can all make a difference.”

Mental health leave

Gozoop, which is a leading integrated marketing company introduced Mental Wellness Leaves for its employees. According to this policy, employees undergoing therapy, are entitled to Mental Wellness Leaves of 5 working days in a year with the recommendation of a professional psychiatrist or psychologist.
Talking about the move, Bansi Raja, Chief Happiness Officer, Gozoop (Director, HR) shared, "We know that every one of our team members is fighting a silent battle that nobody else knows about. Of course, work and output are most important but treating each other as human beings are also important to the culture we want to build. Our relationships with our team are deep and not restricted to just their employment at Gozoop. Last year, one of our team members experienced a tough time with his mental wellness. With the help of our in-house psychologist, the issues were identified and worked upon effectively. To ensure the individual recovers fully, we facilitated some paid time off. Post this event, we started conversing internally about the mental well-being of our team, and what we, as an organization, can do to help and support. This is when we decided to introduce 'Mental Wellness Leaves' wherein those undergoing therapy/treatment can take paid time off with the recommendation of their therapist/psychologist. We have always focused on our team’s physical & mental well-being with proactively conducting workshops and health programs. This year we also introduced the Meditation Circle; every Friday, at sharp 3:45 PM, people can walk into a cabin and sit down in a circle to follow a guided meditation and pause all the hustle while they reflect upon themselves. The 15-minute meditation is followed by a gratitude circle where each individual shares what they’re grateful for, on that day."

It is important to know that mental health can be managed. Please reach out for help if you feel things are getting beyond comprehension.

BDST: 2003 HRS, OCT 10, 2019


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