Mental Health in Real Estate: How to support wellness for your employees?

Prabhakar Azad, CPPO, Ashwin Sheth Group

Promoting employees’ mental health and well-being has evolved from being a nice-to-have to being a crucial element of success. Recent years have seen a rise in the importance of workplace mental health, and studies show that employees prioritize a stress-free atmosphere over higher income. The fast-paced and high-pressure nature of the real estate industry, where transactions, negotiations, and market volatility are the norm, makes it crucial for businesses to place a high priority on their employees’ mental health. Just under one in four (23.6%) people in the real estate industry reported having mental health issues, according to a report in the UK.

The real estate industry is increasingly realizing its employees need mental health support. Employees who are suffering from mental illness may feel less supported and are less ready to disclose their challenges to their employers. While firms strive to improve employee engagement and wellness, research indicates that they may be falling short. Employees in India reported significant rates of burnout and distress symptoms, according to a study in 2022. Approximately 38% of employees commonly experienced burnout symptoms. On the other side, 38% of employees reported moderate distress – please check if there is data about the real estate sector. Policies and programs to improve mental health and well-being in the workplace vary. Longer work hours and stress are related to mental health problems, however, spending quality time is more important for one’s well-being. The Indian real estate players are investing in programs that enhance employee welfare by creating an inclusive, friendly, and supportive work environment.

Let us look at some of the unique challenges faced by those in the real estate sector and ways to foster mental wellness in the workplace.

Unique Real Estate Challenges
Real estate professionals face a stressful environment due to the ever-changing market, long workdays, and pressure to close deals. To improve employee well-being, corporate real estate leaders are integrating workplace transformation, technological automation, and ESG goals. They are developing mental health policies and specialized training programs, with applications like Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer offering guided meditations, and health and fitness apps like Physiocell, Vartage Fit, and HealthifyMe helping to manage stress and promote mental health. Additionally, developers are also offering stress management services or access to mental health practitioners.

Changing Attitudes about Mental Health: Promoting Honest and Open Discussions
India’s real estate sector is embracing mental health initiatives, focusing on employee well-being and implementing policies. Open dialogues about mental health are crucial in a stigma-ridden industry. This can empower salespeople to seek help when needed, enhancing workplace efficiency and employee happiness. Innovative strategies include mental health training, employee assistance programs, AI-based platforms, non-judgmental work environments, and inclusive mental wellness resources.

Knowing when to stop
The prevalence of burnout in the sector should be a serious concern for businesses. Burnout is characterized by diminished motivation, a profound sense of monotony about one’s profession, and a general loss of vitality. Early recognition of these signs is essential to avoiding burnout and sustaining mental wellness. Real estate companies should provide workshops and training to their team members on mental health issues.

Making Work-Life Balance a Priority
In the real estate industry, long hours are frequently necessary, particularly on weekends and holidays. A healthy work-life balance must be preserved for the sake of preserving mental health and reducing the risk of burnout. Employees may be encouraged by their employers to schedule small meditation breaks at work. Real estate employees can benefit from even brief mindfulness meditation sessions to improve focus, lessen interruptions, and approach their work with calm and clarity. One effective strategy for stress management is to encourage real estate professionals to schedule time for their personal life and self-care.

Nurturing well-being is critical for success in the people-driven real estate sector. Real estate professionals must prioritize holistic health and well-being to succeed in the dynamic and demanding industry. Enhancing mental health benefits both the industry and individual employees, as happier, more productive workplaces increase output and improve financial outcomes. Building closer bonds with people is important, but prioritizing one’s mental health is also crucial. Success in this people-driven career begins with taking care of one’s mental health, as it’s about transformation, not transactions.

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