Mental Health and the New Work Relationships
Anxiety and depression disorders are usually caused by many factors, one of them is work
WHO estimates that anxiety and depression disorders cause a loss of 1 trillion dollars per year to the world’s economy. According to the 2017 report of the organization, 5,8% of Brazilians suffer from depression, what make us the leaders in Latin America on the disease. When speaking about anxiety disorders, 9,8% of Brazilians are affected, the world’s average is 3,6%.
One of the conditions that can lead to mental health problems is our relationship with work. This relationship is changing very fast with technology advances. For example, the possibility of working from home is very good, but it can turn into a problem. When you are always connected, new demands can appear at any given moment, including at leisure and resting times. As written in the book “Rewired”, by the Psychology Ph.D. Camille Preston, being connected all the time can cause cognitive exhaustion, physical weakness, compromising of interpersonal relationships and loss of productivity. Nowadays, the worker is expected to be online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, confusing the times of work and rest and making us more stressed and anxious. The world is in a crisis of mental health at work.
The economy also aggravates the crisis. Today, there are 12,6 million of unemployed people in Brazil and at the same time companies are closing their doors and firing bunches of people. Accepting more work for less money and with less work rights turned into a necessity for Brazilian people. To fill it all out, the work legislation has turned to be more precarious in many aspects, from salaries to sizes of accommodations and refectories.
The situation is really difficult and no one seems to know the solution to this problem, but there are still ways to maintain a good relationship with work, preserving one’s mental health. To know yourself, know your limits, organize yourself, make pauses and maintain a good communication with colleagues are some attitudes that can help. Sick for professional help is also recommended.
Having a bad leadership is one of the main factors that can make the work environment unbearable. Excessive control, stealing ideas, blaming the employees for one’s own mistakes, demanding too much and arrogance are some of the characteristics that can be shown in a toxic, or even worse, an harassing boss.
One type of harassment that can happen at work is moral harassment. It happens when the worker is exposed to humiliating situations, in a repetitive and continuous way. It can manifest itself in public criticizing, not giving tasks or giving too many tasks, malicious jokes and isolating, for example. Moral harassment can cause serious damage to the mental health of employees and force them to leave the job, the same happens in cases of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is the act of putting someone in unpleasant situations in order to get sexual benefits. Invites for going to places not related to work, comments about physical characteristics, unwanted touch and sending pornographic pictures are examples of this type of harassment.
A research from Talense revealed that 34% of women and 12% of men in Brazil have suffered from sexual harassment in their jobs. Harassment situations can cause a sensation weakness and hopelessness, it’s even worse when the harasser is one of the leaders.
Dealing with harassment cases can be very difficult. According to an Estadão’s article, first it’s recommended to speak with the harassers. If it doesn’t work, you should speak with your direct leader. If this also doesn’t help, it’s recommended to speak with the organization’s Human Resources department. If even at that point the company doesn’t take action, it’s recommended to look for the category’s syndicate and, if possible, a lawyer. The last resource is to go to the police station and register a occurrence report.