After graduating from one of the premier colleges of our country (IIT Delhi), I joined the corporate sector in the hopes of new and challenging experiences. But it didn’t take me long to realize the reality of Indian corporate work culture. The workplaces that form a part of this culture can be a major problem for the mental health and well-being of the employees.
How was my experience in the corporate sector?
With time, I could see the mentality of the people sitting in the power positions of these corporates. It seemed as if some ‘Dukaan ka lala’ from 20 years ago is sitting on the top management seat just to follow the western corporate work ethics. It was disheartening to see the passionate young minds sitting in their chairs and killing time just to make sure their boss feels that they are working the whole day!
I could clearly see how highly efficient minds of our country enter this kind of work culture.They enter this labyrinth with hopes, dreams, and passion. Nevertheless, all of them end up inheriting the same ‘Dukaan ka lala’ mentality sooner or later. This leads to a lot of psychological problems like exasperation, depression, low self-esteem etc, which takes a toll on the overall productivity of the individual and that of the organization.
I tried to approach the top management to bring certain changes in the work environment but it all went in vain. They responded with the good old blame game. Everyone pointed fingers at someone else for the inefficiency and loopholes in the system.
Such experiences made it easier for me to quit my job in order to build the work life I desired.
What I am doing right now?
After leaving the job, I shifted to the field of Psychology and mental health. My experience in this field has made me look at the Indian corporate culture from a very different perspective. Now, it’s pretty evident how such a work culture can affect the mental health of the employees. This, in turn, affects the productivity and balance sheet of the organization. Issues like stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, poor self-esteem, lack of satisfaction etc. are on the rise in such work culture. Addressing these issues urgently is the need of the hour.
I was able to leave this vicious environment with the help of the strong support I have. But, there are many more like me who are still stuck in such suffocating workplaces. Thus it is important to bring about a change in this decaying Indian corporate setup.
What are ideal workplaces like?
I believe that the environment in ideal workplaces should inculcate the deeper concept of mutual happiness. This concept includes the happiness of customers, clients, employees, management team and all other stakeholders. The efforts of each individual member towards their own happiness as well as that of everyone around them is bound to create healthy and fulfilling workplaces. Such environments shall nurture the growth of the people as well as the firm.
I am pretty sure we can imbibe certain basic human values and understanding in the mind of every individual. Once that’s done, creating such a happy workplace will not be a big deal.
How can we build such ideal workplaces?
The need of the hour for such organizations is to incorporate certain initiatives into their routine functioning. This would help them safeguard the mental health and well-being of the employees. These steps may include the following:-
- Counseling and psychotherapy services
- Leadership training
- mindfulness training sessions
- Screening for emotional well-being should be mandatory
- Regular employee assistance programs
- Professional confidential hotlines for emotional support
- Thriving rather than struggling with stress
Simply conducting superficial ‘motivational sessions’ or ‘stress management’ programs will not give any long-term, concrete results.
We may conclude that the culture of the workplaces in India requires a pretty drastic modification. Corporate organizations need to start paying attention to the mental health and well-being of their employees. This would help them ensure the success of the company in the long run.
Lastly, if you know someone who is suffering from poor mental health due to the culture at their workplace, help them by booking a session with a counselor from Mind Solace.