Piece by – (www.explorestartups.com)
It’s Mental Health Awareness week 15th – 21st May, therefore we wanted to take a look at one of the aspects of life that can really impact our mental health: the workplace.
As the boundaries of traditional workspaces continue to blur, an intriguing question presents itself: Where is the best environment for an employee’s mental health – a small business or a large corporation?
“Examining the mental health dynamics between large corporations and small businesses paints a compelling picture,” says Jeremy Reis, the founder of Explore Startups. “In large corporations, employees often have access to structured support systems and resources that are specifically designed to promote mental health. This can be a powerful safeguard.
However, the sheer size of these entities can make employees feel like a small cog in a large machine, which can lead to feelings of insignificance and isolation.
Contrastingly, the intimate environment of a small business can foster a strong sense of community and purpose, but the lack of formal resources and the potential for instability can also pose significant stressors. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but understanding these differences is a crucial step in fostering healthier work environments tailored to employees’ unique needs.”
Here’s a table that outlines some of the key positives and negatives on an employee’s mental health when working at a small business:
|Sense of belonging due to close-knit community||Pressure to perform can be intense|
|More autonomy and direct recognition||Blurred boundaries between work and personal life|
|Opportunity to witness the direct impact of work||Potential for burnout due to lack of work-life balance|
|Flexible structure accommodating personalized needs||Lack of formal mental health resources|
|More involvement and engagement in decision-making processes||Potential instability and insecurity of small business|
|Possibility of more meaningful work relationships||Smaller teams can mean fewer opportunities for socializing|
|Generally less bureaucracy, leading to less stress||Fewer opportunities for professional development or promotion|
These insights will be useful for small businesses and employees alike. Employers can make necessary improvements where possible to the way their businesses run and how they look after their employee’s mental health. It’s also beneficial for employees to be aware of the potential impacts their workplace may have on them when applying for jobs.