Social media is now an essential channel in many workplaces, however, it can impact communications and dynamics between managers, employees and clients. It affects how businesses promote their reputation, and can also change how employees treat one another.

This leads to ‘technostress’, which eventually impacts productivity and the overall wellbeing of employees and staff. Several studies have linked this stress caused by social media and technology in the workplace can become associated with ‘role stress’.

This a negative association where stress caused by extensive use, or availability to social connectedness even in simpler platforms, such as email – begins to add concepts of stress onto an employee’s role within a business.

But knowing how to manage how employees are using social media, recognising subsequent changes in behaviour and how this impacts mental health in the workplace can be difficult.

This is where organisations like Mental Health at Work can be of assistance. Mental health awareness workshops are a crucial step if businesses want to maintain productivity while ensuring positive mental health in the workplace.

The WHO published a list of important factors when considering the impact of social media in the workplace:

  • Depression and anxiety have a large impact on the economy – the cost is around $1 trillion each year in lost productivity
  • Bullying and harassment at work through social media are commonly reported and negatively impact employee’s mental health
  • Work enjoyment actively improves mental health – but negative working environments lead to poor mental health
  • For every $1 invested in treatment for mental health, there is $4 returned in improved health and productivity

A good working environment is very dependent on a culture that actively supports open conversations regarding negative experiences of technology and social media. This doesn’t change overnight, but a considered approach, built around a framework of Understand, Manage, Promote, we can ensure that everyone has the knowledge around mental health in the workplace, the skills to facilitate conversations around mental health, enabling steps to manage mental health and an ongoing programme of proactivity.

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