Summer of Mental Health: How Managers Support Mental Health in the Office

Warm summer weather and blue skies can make working all day in an office that much harder. But summer also brings a myriad of new work-life balance issues. For working mothers, kids are home from school and summer camps are only a few weeks. There are often more social activities in the evening. Plus, 60% of people choose to move during the summer. If you manage a team, join IAW’s #summerofwellness and learn how to support mental health in your office this summer. 

Communicate mental health benefits

Company policies constantly update and summer is a great time to verify what mental health benefits are available to your employees. Connect with your HR team for updated information and share the information with your team. Being proactive can solve problems before they occur, and research shows that companies who proactively communicated mental health resources and benefits to employees saw 61% of their employees feel cared for and assured. 

Set clear expectations

Accountability is the key to success when you want to achieve positive outcomes. Stress and anxiety are a major factor that disrupts accountability and instills a blame cycle. Set clear expectations with your team on all projects. Communicate what you expect to be delivered for each task, when it should be completed, the consequences for missing targets, and the resources available for questions. Over time, your team will know what you expect and continue to succeed together. 

Stay organized

Planning may be one of the most important skills of a leader. Without a way to plan, track execution, and monitor results, your growth will be limited. Organization can be as simple as cleaning out your desk, or as complicated as operations management. Research task tracking tools, set up message automations, and rely on technical programs to decrease your workload and increase efficiency. At the end of the day, it is worthwhile to invest in tools that support your habits of success. 

Read more on “How to Effectively Organize as Managers.” 

Model healthy work-life boundaries 

Work-life balance looks different for every individual. One person may enjoy going out for drinks after working in-office while another may prefer to head to the gym before answering the last few emails for the day. As a manager, establishing healthy communication boundaries can model that behavior for your team. Consider adding automated messages for more than the usual out of office emails. 

A few examples of this from IAW’s remote team:

  • We encourage our team to update their Slack status if they are going to be away from their desk for an extended period. 
  • One of our team members blocks their calendar every Friday afternoon to hold time for their family. 
  • Another team member schedules emails and Slack messages to send during office hours so that her 6am ideas don’t encourage others to login during their non-business hours. 

Be open about your health

Vulnerability is a powerful tool for managers. By opening up about your mental health, you invite others to share as well. This can instill a company culture of support beyond the office. While it isn’t necessary to broadcast every specific detail of your entire health and well-being journey, it does help to build trust and awareness if you’re open to sharing some information. We all need a community we feel safe in and sharing your story can go a long way in helping your employees feel that in the workplace.

Always be accessible for feedback 

Connecting with your team can take many different forms. One-on-one check-ins are very effective for project management, productivity, and personal career development. But, your employees may not be comfortable sharing feedback with you. Offer easily accessible ways for employees to offer anonymous feedback on your management style. The more you know your weaknesses, the better you can show up for your team. 


82% of employed Americans don’t feel recognized by their supervisors enough. Mental health continues to be a prevalent issue as 57 million U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Expressing gratitude can boost employee mental health, develop a positive working environment, and improve employee retention. 

For ideas on how to implement gratitude, check out “How Gratitude Transforms Workplaces for Women.


The Pandemic showed us that working in the office five days a week was not a requirement for productivity. Data suggests that companies promoting autonomous working schedules are considered to be more inclusive work environments. 

Besides benefiting caregivers, flexible working environments expand employment opportunities to people with disabilities, forego intimidating roundtable meetings, and reach experienced talent all over the world. 

Incorporate fun team-building activities

The workplace is full of learning opportunities, and one way managers can promote mental health in the office is by bringing a touch of fun. Team building activities help us learn more about each other, create memories together, and can even solve problems. Get creative and explore the possibilities you have for your next meeting.

Looking for more health tips? 

IAW hosts events weekly to create a space for like-minded women to find support that will help them accomplish anything. Check out our website to find out how you can become a part of the community today.

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