Exeter based Digital Marketing agency Optix Solutions has joined other businesses in the south-west in signing up to become a Mindful Employer. The agency, which is based in Marsh Barton, signed the Mindful Employer charter this summer as part of efforts to improve the support for members of staff who may be experiencing issues with mental health.
The Mindful Employer charter is an NHS initiative run by Workways, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. It aims to help employers to offer more support to employees suffering from mental health issues as well as implementing best practices for reducing stress in the workplace.
Director Alastair Banks explains how Optix came to become a Mindful Employer:
“One of our team has a serious mental health condition. They informed us of their condition before accepting our job offer, detailing what it was, how it affects them and what they required of us as a business to work effectively with them. We were surprised to hear about their previous negative experience with employers. It could get so bad that they would either hide the illness or disability at a detriment to themselves.
Optix has always strived to be an employer that is warm, welcoming, inclusive and providing of an environment that people feel immediately at home in. Supporting an employee with a serious mental health condition wasn’t something we’d had to deal with before so we needed to do our research.”
As well as supporting their employees, employers can benefit from becoming a Mindful Employer and taking mental health seriously. Sickness absence and the costs associated with it costs UK businesses £77 billion annually. By reducing the likelihood of staff becoming absent businesses can protect themselves against a loss of productivity.
With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing mental health issues each year very few businesses will not have any employees affected whether they know it or not. By demonstrating their commitment to supporting employees Optix Solutions hopes to encourage other businesses in the area to follow suit.