Odete Daniel, Freelance Researcher:
"Relationships at work play a major part in how one might experience working life. Employers often focus on making profit; but poor mental health is a prominent factor in costly sickness and absence. I myself have had experiences in the workplace which have affected my mental health; some in a positive manner, others which made me depressed and anxious. I have experienced bullying when working under a manager who used to go through people’s personal belongings and take them home. I was twenty years old at the time and felt sad that there was no-one monitoring that kind of behaviour, and sometimes I still fear that a new job might mean another negative experience.
Most workplaces have budgets for staff parties and so on, but how much do they spend on monitoring bullying and harassment? It is easy to blame employers, but it is important to recognise that we as employees are also responsible for making our work environment more supportive. We all have darker aspects to our nature, and are capable of making the workplace less supportive, whether we realise it or not. Are we not socially responsible for the type of environment we create?
All I ask of you is to think about how you can make your workplace a more supportive place, or maybe share something that you have done which has helped make your workplace more supportive. I am open to all of you who want to share from the heart and raise some social consciousness. I hope we can make a difference by relating to each other more positively. Each of you can contribute something meaningful.
I look forward to receiving honest, brave sharing from all taking part in reading some of the truths expressed here."
To find out more about Odete, read her blog
13 April 2012