Workplaces have an important part to play on R U OK? Day! This article looks at some of the tips and tricks for workplaces who want to do something for R U OK? Day.
What is R U OK? Day?
This year, R U OK? Day is 8 September 2022.
R U OK? is a reminder that the simple act of asking “R U OK?” is something everyone can do to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
Checking in with someone by asking “R U OK?” when you notice that they’re not quite themselves, they’re going through a stressful situation, or just because you thought of them can protect them from feeling isolated or disconnected. Showing that you’re there to support them can be really powerful.
Why is Mental Health Important in the Workplace?
In Australia, 45% of people aged between 16-85 will experience a mental health condition at some point in their life.
Poor mental health can lead to increased rates of presenteeism (the practice of coming into work when mentally or physically unwell) and absenteeism (the practice of frequent absence from work), costing Australian workplaces $6.1 billion and $4.7 billion respectively .
Additionally, it’s estimated that 3.2 days per worker are lost each year due to workplace stress. Stress in the workplace can cause poor mental health or make existing conditions worse.
Businesses lose $6.5 billion each year by not providing early intervention for staff with mental health conditions .
The Move to Mentally Friendly Workplaces
Mentally friendly workplaces are a win-win. They help employees achieve their potential, and they help businesses become productive and profitable. Find out more in this overview of the Mentally Friendly Workplace.
The Importance of Asking R U OK?
Asking R U OK? is a powerful starting point between colleagues and team members. It opens the door to talk about what’s going on.
Ideas for R U OK? Day in the Workplace
There are many options for a workplace on R U OK? Day!
Share the Message
There are some great resources available to promote R U OK? Day in the workplace. Check out the animated video for workplaces from their 2018 campaign. This is just one example of an easy share.
Get a Guest Speaker
Guest speakers are a fantastic way to open the discussion about mental health! R U OK has a slide deck and a presenters guide to help someone in your organisation do their own R U OK? presentation.
Tweak Your Office Space
The lack of a space that’s private and informal can be a barrier to an R U OK? conversation. In the new era of working from home and less people in an office space, take this opportunity to revise your office layout or make your dedicated space a little friendlier.
Be an Example: Take Care of Yourself
Self care is a huge part of staying mentally healthy. An easy activity for a workplace is shining a spotlight on great self care routines, or granting time for team members to work on their own self care priorities.
Consider a Workplace Check In
It can be powerful to get data from your team about how they’re tracking at work and in their life more generally.
R U OK? Day is a great time for a workplace check in. This can be really general, looking at areas like ‘work’, ‘life outside work’, ‘health’ and ‘fitness’.
Alternatively, you might also consider a focused iyarn check in on mental health if your team has been talking about mental health for some time.
Take The Next Step on Your Team’s Wellbeing Journey
There are many ways to make wellbeing an integral part of your organisation’s culture.
Use this R U OK? Day to take the next step… whether that is promoting the cause for a first time, getting a guest presenter, taking time out as a team, or some other meaningful activity.
Using iyarn to Check In
iyarn has been built to strengthen the quality of connections and improve the performance of teams in the workplace. iyarn makes it easy to set up fast, simple check ins. Monitor the results for the team and individual team members.
We offer both anonymous check-ins which are used as quick pulse check-ins and also offer identified check-ins allowing you to track progress over time.