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Tips to help support the mental health of on and offshore energy workers

On the back of a study into the mental health of on and offshore energy workers, we highlight some practical tips and suggestions relating to a few of the key results. We go on to provide a brief reminder of the business case for investing in mental wellbeing together with links to four articles which may be of interest to leaders and managers.

The results of a 2021 study into the psychological implications of remote rotational work has spurred figures within the energy sector to take action and begin work on developing a mental health charter. Their aim is to encourage energy company leaders to commit to a new joined up approach to improve the mental health support available to both onshore and offshore workers.

The study’s key findings made stark reading and included:

  • 52% of those surveyed reported a decline in mood with their mental health suffering whilst on rotation
  • 40% of onshore and offshore remote rotational shift workers experienced suicidal thoughts some or all the time while on duty
  • 38% experienced worse-quality sleep
  • 23% of remote rotational workers surveyed experienced emotional exhaustion on a weekly basis

Although it is welcome this report has raised awareness, the findings make it unsurprising that a longer-term mental health strategy is now urgently being debated within the energy sector. Hopefully it will ensure workers’ mental wellbeing is considered on a par with their physical safety.

In the meantime, as long-standing providers of workplace wellbeing training and consultancy, we have a wealth of valuable resources on our website. Below, we have compiled some practical tips and suggestions on various aspects pertinent to the mental health of on and offshore energy workers. We hope they will offer some immediate support for those looking to place their focus on psychological safety.


Mental health conversations - the fear of saying the wrong thing

Top of the list as to why both managers and employees are put off having open conversations about mental health is a fear of saying the wrong thing. Probably the most common feedback we receive from those who attend our mental health awareness courses is a relief that they have gained both confidence and knowledge to have conversations about mental health. We share a few tips and pointers in our article ‘Don’t let it be the elephant in the room – how to have good quality conversations about mental health at work’.

Hand in hand with the skill or knowing when and how to have a conversation about mental health, is the generally underrated skill of listening to the response.  Our article ‘How are your listening skills?’ includes 6 tips to help develop listening skills so you listen to understand instead of simply to reply.


Kindness and its role in mental health in the workplace

Those who carry out shift work and/or have jobs that take them away from home for a period of time, find their colleagues play an even more important role than in a more traditional 9an-5pm workplace setting. In this post we focus on kindness and consider how it can benefit mental health in the workplace together with 5 tips for developing a kindness culture at work.


Trouble sleeping?

Shift patterns and not being able to sleep at regular times, the sleeping environment, work stress and anxiety can all effect the mental health of on and offshore energy workers. Knowing that tiredness leads to lapses in concentration causing potential accidents which risk both the individual’s and others’ safety only adds to the issue. This sleep focussed article includes an infographic with 8 tips to help get better sleep. It also highlights that better sleep should be both an individual and organisational goal.


Managing Burnout – some actions to restore energy

With almost a quarter of remote rotational workers surveyed experiencing emotional exhaustion on a weekly basis, this post from our blog includes 10 practical tips to help when we feel our energy is depleted. Small reminders when combined can make a difference to our energy levels. The resource also includes an introduction or reminder of the WOOP technique.


8 tips to address toxic behaviour at work

Workplace bullying is a topic which has rarely been out of the headlines this year. Yet the reporting of it evokes fear from victims and bystanders due to possible negative repercussions from both the culprit and employer. High profile cases have highlighted how detrimental allegations of bullying, harassment and incivility at work are to everyone involved, both personally and to an organisation’s culture and reputation.  In this post we’ve included an infographic with the aim that it may create awareness, start a conversation, and instigate actions to stop toxic work cultures from developing either when working remotely or in a workplace.


For leaders and managers ...


A reminder of the business case for investing in mental wellbeing

Mental health issues in a workplace have both direct and indirect financial consequences for an organisation.  Lower profits may be attained due to costs such as time off work for individuals with the additional costs of replacement cover/overtime, lower productivity if presenteeism is rife, and damage to a company’s reputation if psychological safety isn’t well managed. On the flipside, an employer’s support for their employees’ wellbeing is now as important a factor in attracting their workforce as long-standing benefits such as salary levels and annual leave entitlement.


Articles relating to the leadership of wellbeing in the workplace

Is empathetic leadership here to stay?

Wellbeing at work – what are the signs of burnout to look out for?

Ask the Expert: A Q&A about suicide first aid training – questions people want to know but may not have had the opportunity to ask

Loneliness is not just a personal issue - we suggest some actions for organisations to consider


Courses to support the mental health of on and offshore energy workers

We run both virtual and in-person training courses which are all delivered by subject experts and can be tailored to the specific requirements of those working remote rotational shift patterns.

Equilibrium Associates Limited (In Equilibrium) will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information on this website. We are not responsible for claims brought by third parties arising from your use of in-equilibrium.co.uk

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