The connection between mental health and the workplace has long been recognized. As an employer, you probably go to great lengths to create a great workplace for your employees. Ideally, you provide them with a healthy work-life balance and will, hopefully, reap the rewards of having happier, more productive employees. However, little is mentioned about the relationship between mental health and the enormous amount of stress that business leaders and entrepreneurs face on a daily basis.
From the outside, being at the top may look effortless, but you know that being in charge is stressful and the weight of responsibility can be crippling. This can put you at higher risk of developing mental health issues.
Owning and running your own business is something of which to be proud. However, as a business leader, you know how much hard work it took to achieve your goals and are acutely aware of the hard work required to maintain your success. This knowledge alone can lead to unhealthy levels of stress. There are many reasons why business leaders and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to mental health issues, including:
Of course, stress is an obvious contributor to mental health conditions. Besides the stress that accumulates in a regular workday, managers and business leaders tend to work around the clock. Technology is a bonus in many ways, but a big downside in that you’re almost always accessible. This can result in a failure to switch off and recharge.
As the boss, your employees expect you to have it all together, right? Not so. Workers often feel more comfortable with managers and business owners who show weakness. We’re all human, after all. However, the compulsion to project a vibe that everything is under control can force you to internalize feelings, leading to greater stress and a sense of isolation. It’s where the term, “it’s lonely at the top” came from.
While becoming a business owner is a monumental achievement, there's a certain comfort in clocking in at a daily job and letting someone else take on the responsibility. As the boss, you feel an obligation to control the future. The underlying knowledge that, in reality, you’re unable to control what happens, coupled with the responsibility you feel for your employees can become debilitating. This uncertainty can lead to an increased workload, the inability to be present in the moment, and sleepless nights. These problems exacerbate stress, straining work and personal relationships.
It may surprise most people to learn that most business owners don't carry a hefty health insurance policy. Often, during the early stages of building a business, health insurance is unaffordable. However, you should make getting life insurance in place a priority as sometimes, the connection between mental health and success isn't evident until it's too late.
The same qualities that make you a driven business leader may also make you more likely to suffer from certain mental health conditions. Traits like persistence, perfectionism, determination, and even anxiety can make you a better leader. These traits are also often shared by those facing mental health challenges.
We’ve established that business leaders have many reasons to carry a high load of stress. However, it doesn’t mean you can't thrive in the job you've created and love. Better mental health at work comes from the ability to manage stress effectively. Try these tips to lower your stress and reduce your risk of becoming vulnerable to mental health issues.
As a leader, it’s tempting to shoulder the lion's share of the work, which isn't good for you or the long-term health of your business. Outsourcing key HR and accounting roles to an experienced, flexible professional can be a great first step towards spreading that load. That way, you can concentrate on growing your business and, importantly, enjoying life outside of work.
Contact Optima Office to learn more about balancing your leadership demands in a healthy, profitable way.
DISCLAIMER – Due to the daily changing environment and guidelines being provided by the government, this information could be outdated. Please contact our office for the latest updates and guidelines. Optima Office is not responsible for any actions taken due to the information provided. The information provided here is for instructional purposes and does not represent legal advice being given by Optima Office.