Maintaining mental well-being in the warehouse

March 28, 2022

Working in a warehouse can be a labor-intensive job, but it can be mentally demanding too. The body and mind are intrinsically linked, so helping your workforce take care of both is vital to keep them safe, happy and productive. As the mind fatigues so too does the body, increasing the risk of trips and falls, as well as potential damage to stock and resources.

We've pulled together a handy list of easy-to-achieve tips that can help you to keep your staff more engaged and motivated through the day.

Keep listening to your staff

It seems like an obvious one, but the more you speak to your employees, the more you will glean about where they need help and support. At first these insights may not be very forthcoming; it takes time for the rapport and trust to build, but once it's there you'll start to see real honest feedback. Your staff will feel encouraged to come to you with ideas for improving the working environment to boost morale and productivity.

Supportive automation

As a study conducted by Harvard Business Review shows, warehouse automation can leave staff feeling uncertain about their futures, but largely when they aren't consulted or feel insufficiently trained. Endeavor to invest in technologies that support your teams to achieve their targets with greater ease, reducing the mental and physical stresses of a busy warehouse. To determine what tools are going to be best for your teams, involve them in the process — this is where making your staff feel confident in giving honest insight can be so useful.

Stay limber

The demands of warehouse work mean that staff could really benefit from light stretching and flexibility exercises. Not only do practices like yoga help keep things supple and limber, but they're great for the mind too. Encourage basic mindfulness techniques that require slow movements during breaks to help alleviate the strains of the job, both physical and mental.

Cap your quotas

In the wake of Amazon making headlines regarding quotas, per The New York Times, it is likely that we can expect greater scrutiny of warehouse performance targets in the coming months. This will most assuredly be something warehouses across the country are going to be discussing, both on and off the warehouse floor. As one of the most commonly cited causes for injury and stress, getting ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping your quotas realistic — and safe — will stand as a solid gesture of care toward your workforce.

Leave work at work

When we're in the throes of getting the job done it's sometimes easy to forget that we all have lives outside of work. Take the time to talk to your teams about their weekend or vacation plans, especially as the end of their shift nears. This will begin to set that boundary in their minds of shifting mindset and switching off from work when they leave. The human mind is great at compartmentalizing, so the "work brain" can take a break and come back more refreshed each time it gets to turn off for a while.