October 22, 2020
Company Culture 20 November 2017
7 Common Causes of Workplace Depression & How to Avoid It
Gloria Kopp

A workplace is a stressful place at the best of times, for employees, managers, and everybody under the same roof. However, as an HR manager or employee specialist, it’s your job to minimize the risk of your employees developing workplace depression because of certain factors.

Happy workers are known to be efficient workers! Increasing workplace happiness and preventing depression will have many benefits to not only employees, but to your company as well.

To get you started, here are seven of the main reasons employees can fall victim to one of the most increasingly commonly diagnosed illnesses:

1. Not Being the Right Person for the Job

A member of staff may tick off all the boxes when it comes to their job role, and it might help them to pay all their bills with money to spare, but if an individual is not personally suitable for a job role, the chances are that they will end up hating their job. If they are unsuited to the position, then the longer they stick with it, the more likely depression will become.

2. No Personal Life

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of working all the time. You’ll already be fully aware of the individuals who sign up for all the available overtime as soon as it comes out. However, with no breaks and overworking comes the increasingly likely chance that they’ll get workplace depression.3. Not Spending Enough Time with Family

It can be difficult for employees with large families, especially those with children, who want to give their families the best life possible. This results in them working all the time but it can become quite counterproductive as the parents will end up not spending any time with their children leading to them feeling guilty and depressed.

4. Feeling Lost or Trapped

It’s far too easy to get caught up in the mindset that the job an employee has is going to be the job they spend the rest of their life in. Mable Elmore, a Recruiting Manager and career expert at Huffingtonpost explains:

“Whether their job is tying someone over financially or they fill like they can’t escape, feeling trapped is almost guaranteed to lead to depression”

5. Working for an Immoral Company

Sometimes, your company will be carrying out practices that an employee doesn’t personally believe in, forcing them to fall into a pit of depression as they’re doing the things they don’t want to do. For example, imagine a vegan working in a meat processing factory. Hopefully, you are able to run your company in a way that employees' morals will align to your company's vision.

6. Hating their Boss

An important part of having a positive employee experience is to be able to enjoy following the leadership of the company. Of course, not everyone is going to like their boss. However, if an employee really doesn’t like a boss, or they’ve fallen out over something and simply don’t get along, this constant interaction is going to grind their positivity into the ground. 

7. Hating their Colleagues

Likewise, with the considerations above, if someone doesn’t get on with people around them that they have to spend the majority of their day with, they’re going to end up wishing they were somewhere else every hour of the day. It will be difficult to work in harmony for the good of the company if employees despise their coworkers, and there is a high risk for workplace contention and conflict.

How to Prevent Workplace Depression

The first step in helping your employees overcome workplace depression is recognizing that they have it and then taking the necessary steps to stop it becoming more of a problem. There are many things you as a manager can do to help employees prevent everyday stress.

By helping someone adapt their lifestyle, adapting their job or seeking treatment, you’ll be able to ensure they get back to their normal positive self. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that depression doesn’t take hold in the first place.

Look After Yourself

If employees don’t eat properly at the right times, don’t exercise and just generally do not look after themselves, you’re going to find that their depression gets so much worse. 

Make sure you suggest living a healthy lifestyle, such as eating fruit and vegetables, drinking enough water every day and sleeping for the recommended number of hours to ensure the employee is treating their body like they should. Studies show that natural supplements like curcumin have antidepressant-like effects and can improve mental health. Encourage employees to get the proper nutrition through proper diet.

Show your employees you care by establishing a well-being program at your company. When you offer your employees an effective wellness program, you are showing them how much you respect and care for them. You can improve the morale of your employees by allowing them to be creative, feel safe, and solve problems. 

Taking Breaks

It’s important to know when to allow employees to take what is known as mental health breaks. This is where you can either stay at home, or you can take a holiday where you simply won’t go to work. The terms of these breaks can be organized in confidential meetings.If possible, some employees could also try working from home! Having a flexible schedule that allows employees to take care of family responsibilities is a great way to prevent depression. You can use tools like Slack to stay in close contact with everyone at work easily and manage your remote workflow.

Go to a Doctor

As mentioned above, if someone feels unhappy all the time and it’s making them physically ill and depressed, it’s time to go and see a professional who can help. 

This way, employees will be able to get access to the treatment they need before the problem becomes any worse. You may be approached by an employee in which you can suggest this step or you may just need to ask if an employee is okay.

If you’re looking for a way to write a letter to your boss about an employee taking time off, you can use communication services like Resumention or Elite Assignment Help to make sure you approach this in the best way.

Take It Day by Day

If someone is at risk or starting to feel depressed, but they are unable or unwilling to take time off, it can become a problem. Sometimes it’s easy to start living thinking only of the future, causing anxiety about upcoming problems in their life. However, it’s worth reminding these employees to take things one step at a time, day by day.

Just try to stay calm and suggest communicating with people they trust about how they feel, whether they’re at work or in their own personal circles. 


It’s important that you take workplace depression seriously and listen and take note of how an employee feels about the place that they work in. Every job is different and will come with its own stresses and frustrations. However, you need just suggest to help when it’s needed and listen to what an employee is actually saying to you.

Check out this article for more tips on how to improve your company culture and workplace environment.

Gloria Kopp is a recruiting manager and a career adviser at Paper Fellows. She also works as a resume editor and proofreader at Ox Essays. Gloria is an author of Studydemic blog where she writes her guides and reviews with students and educators.