Mental health in tech – trends and tips

A study conducted in the United Kingdom by the British Interactive Media Association found that people working in the technology industry were five times more depressed than the general population. It also found that 52% of people within this industry have suffered from anxiety or depression at some point. 

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of mental health in the tech industry. Many companies are implementing mental health programs, providing resources, and fostering supportive work environments to address stress, burnout, and other mental health challenges. 

Here are some of the health trends that have emerged in the tech sector:

  • Remote Work and Well-being: With the widespread adoption of remote work, there’s a focus on promoting well-being for remote employees. Companies are exploring ways to help employees maintain work-life balance, combat isolation, and manage remote work-related stressors through initiatives like virtual wellness programs, flexible schedules, and mental health support.
  • Digital Health and Wellness Apps: The rise of digital health and wellness apps continues, offering solutions for fitness tracking, mindfulness, meditation, sleep monitoring, and stress management. Employers may provide access to these tools or incentivize employees to use them as part of their wellness programs.
  • Health Tracking Wearables: Wearable devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches are increasingly integrated into workplace wellness programs. These devices can help employees monitor their activity levels, sleep patterns, and overall health, empowering them to make healthier choices.
  • Ergonomics and Workplace Design: Tech companies are paying more attention to ergonomics and workplace design to support employee health and productivity. This includes ergonomic furniture, adjustable workstations, and office layouts that promote movement and collaboration.
  • Emphasis on Physical Health: Beyond mental health, there’s a growing emphasis on physical health in the tech sector. Companies may offer gym memberships, fitness classes, or on-site wellness facilities to encourage employees to stay active and prioritize their physical well-being.
  • Workplace Wellness Programs: Workplace wellness programs remain popular in the tech sector, encompassing initiatives such as health screenings, fitness challenges, nutrition education, stress management workshops, and incentives for healthy behaviors. These programs are designed to promote employee health, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance productivity.

In the last year, Bica has introduced an additional service for its partners – BBalanced, which aims to improve mental health and the overall working environment of companies. Led by Mladen Vladimirov, HR business partner at Bica and a psychologist with many years of experience, the program’s approach is flexible and tailored specifically to the client’s needs, so after an initial assessment of the situation, we offer the services that will give the best result.  

“To be able to achieve its goals, a company must provide its employees with the necessary work conditions, but it must also take care of the invisible threads in the work process – internal microclimate, the benefits on a personal level for people. As biopsychological beings, humans need not only to care for their bio environment but for their mental health. Therefore, in addition to providing a warm and welcoming place to work, companies should pay attention to these invisible threads”, adds Mladen.

Productivity and Innovation stem from psychological safety. Here are 5 tips from Bica on how to encourage psychological safety:

1. Lead by Example:

At the top, leaders shape how things work. To make everyone feel safe, it all starts with leaders. When they show they’re okay with being vulnerable and honest and ask for advice from their team, this gives silent permission to everyone else to be human, make mistakes, and ask for help.

2. Create Open Dialogue:

Make it easy for people to share their thoughts and ideas without being afraid of getting in trouble. Set up times for everyone to talk, like one-on-one chats or team meetings. And don’t forget to create channels for people to give feedback without having to say who they are. This shows that everyone’s voice is important and helps the organization do better. But, make sure these ways to share don’t make things harder for the team.

3. Promote Inclusivity:

Alongside feeling safe, it’s super important to make sure everyone feels included. That means making sure everyone’s voice is heard and respected, no matter who they are. Bring together different people and ideas from all over the place to work together. When we celebrate our differences, everyone can do their best work.

4. Provide Ongoing Training:

Think about giving people classes on understanding emotions, solving problems, and talking with others. These skills are really important for making everyone feel safe, but not everyone has had a chance to learn them. When people know how to handle their feelings and talk things out, they work together better.

5. Recognize and Reward:

Give a shoutout to people for the things they do well, no matter how small. Saying thanks for even the little things makes people feel good and shows they matter. When people feel appreciated, they want to keep doing great stuff for the team.

Ultimately, it’s the little things we do that add up and make employees feel safe, acknowledged, and capable. 

If you are a company interested in applying these practices to your teams, get in touch with us through our contact form

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