There are currently more than 264 million people suffering from depression. Some you may know well, some go under the radar coping with it well, and some might be the same as you and me convincing ourselves that is just a phase, nothing to worry about. If you look at workspace problems, depression is the number 3 problem, following the family crisis and stress-related problems. So how can such a huge problem, influencing both business and personal life continue to be shoved under the carpet?
Negative effects on the economy
It is affecting the economy in so many ways: diminishing production levels, less collaboration, more accidents, zero interest in any initiatives, poor decision-making processes, lack of communication, frequent conflicts, and the list just goes on and on. Let’s not even consider innovations because who cares about brainstorming about new ideas when they have much more on their mind. Even with the best attempts at uniting your team members and getting them to work together, depression is still hugely stigmatized. On one side the depressed person is way too ashamed to admit the issue and already feels self-pity and questions their worth, and on the other hand people willing to help out do not know how to approach them and provide the much-needed comfort. It takes more than ordinary collaboration skills, team effort and HR.
Restart the innovation engagement
Innovations are a driving force of the economy. Without fresh ideas, there isn’t much space for prosperity. And ideas come from motivated, eager, collaborative people. Not necessarily outgoing, but encouraged people. That is where a good collaboration tool steps in to provide everyone an equal chance of participating. Depressed people on the other hand feel unworthy no matter how great their idea might be, and do not even show any interest in the initiative. That is why early detection is of great importance. Surely we all have days when we are not on top of our game, but a good team where people know each other should be able to detect when someone from their team is a bit odd over a period of time. That might include that team member being physically present, but absent in mind, or frequently missing days from work with strange or no excuses. These are all red flags and, again, nothing to be ashamed of. The most important thing is to provide the necessary aid, because almost 15% suffering from depression commit suicide. Early detection, creating safe havens and even shifting the burden to another or more team members will surely help reduce stress. Creating an environment where talking about that is ok and even encouraged is another great way to go because we are all human and you never know what kind of hardship can trigger you into depression, and you would want your team there to help you go through with it. The innovation process is a complex process made up of many different individuals and that is what makes it so wonderful. Making sure that everything is working properly and that everyone is doing well is just part of the innovation process.
The aftermath of the pandemic
Given the current and ongoing pandemic situation with remote working and everything that it has brought us, some have found more time with themselves wonderful, while some find it horrific and it has made their personal lives a disaster, or at least a disaster ready to happen. It is not easy for everyone. We have also unfortunately witnessed that women have been hit severely by the pandemic and job losses because of the very nature of their jobs and, when it comes to depression, they are more likely to be affected by it. HR can do only so much, support groups amongst team members should start becoming more main-stream, because not only will that boost their well-being, but will also help people get back on track and even provide the company with some really great ideas on how to overcome these newly emerged problems. Collaboration is of great essence only if we stop stigmatizing depression and addressing it the right way because we are all different and react differently. If the symptoms are caught on time, the therapy is easier and shorter. And we can continue with our every-day lives and jobs and be happier because we know that we have it under control, and that there is nothing to be ashamed about, that it is not just another taboo.
Let’s innovate the world together
Depression is a silent threat that slowly creeps in and tends to stay there for a very, very long time, and over that time becomes a great motivator-killer, idea-repressor, collaboration “NO-NO” advocate, and a bully that wants to take over all the joy and happiness of a wonderful life filled with genius innovations and everything they have to bring. We at Innovation Cloud take our team members seriously and try to boost collaboration and engage everyone in a safe place, where even the shyest are willing to participate. If your business is having any problems, or you just want to boost employees’ well-being, then you are at the right place. Let’s make an innovative world where taboos and stigmatizing will be a thing of the past.