Mark Lyttleton is a business mentor and angel investor who takes a particular interest in workplace mental health and working smarter rather than harder to protect mental wellbeing. This article will provide tips and pointers for checking on the wellbeing of colleagues, tackling a topic that many people still find difficult to broach.

When a colleague notices that a co-worker does not seem themselves, it is important to check in on them. A widespread continuance of remote working practices since the pandemic, combined with an ever-increasing risk of burnout, has made it more important than ever for co-workers to check in with each other. Take a look at the attached PDF for more information about the topic of burnout and its impact on modern workplaces.

The UK mental health charity Mind warns that mental health issues are becoming more common, with 25% of adults experiencing a mental health issue of some kind each year in England. The embedded video takes a closer look at Mind and the organisation’s groundbreaking work in the UK.

It is important for managers and colleagues to look for signs suggesting that a co-worker may need some support. With office workers, this can be achieved by observing conversations and mannerisms. With remote workers, on the other hand, colleagues could pick up telltale signs of a problem via emails or their co-worker’s social media presence.

Marcus Axelson serves as Head of Sales at Myles Wellbeing. He suggests asking a colleague to meet up for a coffee if something does not seem right, checking in on remote workers each day and listening to employee updates to get a gauge of whether something is off.

Video calls can be an effective means of gaining an insight into a colleague’s private world. With a colleague who seems to be struggling, a manager sharing their own challenges can be conducive to getting them to open up, building a connection and letting them know that they are not alone.

Rather than waiting for a co-worker to ask for help, it is important to be proactive where a colleague seems to be struggling with something. As career coach Sean Carney points out, reaching out imperfectly is far better than not reaching out at all. Just as friends check in on each other, so should co-workers. Even if a co-worker is unable to help with what is weighing their colleague down, at the very least they can provide moral support and a listening ear, helping them to access further support where necessary. The attached infographic contains some interesting statistics on mental health.