The mental health of laborers has a direct impact on their job performance. When workers are stressed, anxious, or otherwise not in a reasonable frame of mind, their work suffers. This blog post looks at the importance of good mental health in laborers and the changes that promote the good mental health of laborers and migrant workers.
The importance of the mental health of laborers
It’s no secret that mental health is essential. But many people must realize that mental health is just as important in the workplace as anywhere else. There are several reasons why the mental health of laborers is essential, and here are the top five:
1. Mental health of laborers is a vital part of overall health and wellbeing
Like physical health, mental health is critical to overall health and well-being. And just like physical health, when mental health is not cared for, it can lead to severe problems with well-being.
2. Mental health problems can impact work performance
Mental health problems can affect the work performance of laborers in several ways. For example, someone struggling with anxiety may have difficulty concentrating or meeting deadlines. Someone who is dealing with depression may have trouble mustering up the energy to get to work or to do their job once they’re there.
3. Mental health problems can lead to absenteeism
If not adequately managed, mental health problems of laborers can lead to absenteeism. It is a severe problem that can impact a company’s bottom line. In addition, it can affect the quality of work that gets done.
4. Mental health problems can lead to presenteeism
Presenteeism is when we are present at work but cannot focus entirely or be productive because of our mental health problems. It can be just as costly to a company as absenteeism, if not more so.
5. Mental health problems can lead to social isolation
Mental health problems can lead to social isolation as workers may be less likely to interact with others. It can impact morale and lead to a more hostile work environment.
How does poor mental health affect laborers?
The mental health of laborers has a direct impact on their job performance. Poor mental health can lead to absenteeism, lower productivity, and increased accidents and errors. Several factors can contribute to poor mental health in laborers, including job insecurity, long hours, low pay, and difficult working conditions.  In addition, workers struggling with personal problems such as debt, illness, or death can find it challenging to cope with the demands of their job. However, the corporation also loses a lot due to labor unrest. For example, in 2014, Toyota’s twin plant in Banglore faced a workers’ strike, resulting in a 40% decrease in production capacity . Thus, it is essential for employers to be aware of the signs of poor mental health and to provide support for struggling laborers. It can include providing access to counseling and support services and training managers to identify and address stressors at the workplace.
The signs and symptoms of poor mental health in laborers
Some of the common signs and symptoms of poor mental health in laborers are as follows:
- Reduced productivity
- Sudden change in working patterns
- Low levels of engagement with coworkers
- Feeling distracted
- Erratic behavior
- Anxiety at the workplace
- Loss of interest in routine activities
- Social withdrawal.
Mental health and safety for laborers
It is well-known that laborers often work in harsh and demanding conditions. They may endure long hours, tight deadlines, and challenging tasks. The Covid-19 pandemic further aggravated the mental health issues in migrant workers due to a lack of financial means. Poor mental health in laborers can make it difficult for them to focus on their work and be productive, hurting the quality of their work and the company’s bottom line.In addition, mental health problems can increase the risk of accidents at work as workers may be more distracted and less able to focus on safety.  It can jeopardize the safety of the laborers and lead to fatal accidents. Such accidents not only affect the laborers but also cost a lot for the company both in terms of money and lost work time.
How to guarantee good mental health for laborers in the workplace
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ensuring good mental health in laborers, but some key things can be done to create a more supportive environment. Here are some ways to improve mental health at work:
✅Promote open communication
Employees should feel comfortable communicating with their managers about mental health issues. Managers should also be open to having frank conversations about mental health with their teams.
Employees should be encouraged to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. It could include exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
The workplace should be a place where employees feel supported. It could include having flexible policies, access to mental health resources, and a culture of openness and respect.
It’s essential to identify and address sources of stress at work. It could involve reducing workloads, providing support during difficult times, and offering training on how to deal with stress.
✅Encourage healthy coping mechanisms
Employers should encourage employees to find healthy ways to cope with stress, including yoga, meditation, and journaling. Furthermore, employees should be encouraged to seek professionals if these coping mechanisms are not working for them.
Good mental health in laborers is essential to their productivity and overall success at work. Unfortunately, many laborers have poor mental health due to their stressful and demanding jobs, leading to several problems, including absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased accidents at work.As employers, we must be aware of the psychological effects that our laborers may be experiencing at work. By providing support and creating a positive work environment, we can help improve laborers’ mental health and ultimately increase their productivity.
- “Medical and Research Publications,” Medicalandresearch.com. [Online]. Available: https://www.medicalandresearch.com/journals/view_article/1281. [Accessed: 02-Mar-2023].
- P. Chatterjee and E. T. Auto, “10 worst labor agitations in Indian auto industry,” ETAuto, 23-Feb-2016. [Online]. Available: https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/10-worst-labour-agitations-in-indian-auto-industry/51099922. [Accessed: 02-Mar-2023].
- R. Choudhari, “COVID-19 pandemic: Mental health challenges of internal migrant workers of India,” Asian J. Psychiatr., vol. 54, no. 102254, p. 102254, 2020.
- S. I. Hasan, A. Yee, A. Rinaldi, A. A. Azham, F. Mohd Hairi, and A. S. Amer Nordin, “Prevalence of common mental health issues among migrant workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” PLoS One, vol. 16, no. 12, p. e0260221, 2021.