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Fergus encourages the trades to prioritise mental wellbeing

Fergus is encouraging the trades to prioritise mental health, following recent statistics from the Lighthouse Charity that showed a 30% increase in demand for its help and support from the construction sector over the last year. These figures follow in the wake of a 2020 report from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) that highlighted the silent mental health crisis within the construction industry, with males three times more likely to commit suicide than those in other sectors.

“It might not be the most discussed topic out on the tools, but mental health is a major part of a tradesperson’s overall well-being. It influences how we think, how we feel and how we act,” says James Chillman, UK Country Manager for Fergus. “In the construction industry, where physical labour is demanding and the work environment can be high-pressure, it’s no surprise that mental health often takes a backseat. And there is little doubt that running a business can add to that pressure too.

“It is essential that business owners and workers take action to prioritise work/life balance. We’ve seen a worrying trend in rising suicide rates and depression related to work issues in our industry, and we can’t afford to ignore this any longer. It’s time for construction companies to take a proactive approach to improving the mental wellbeing of their workers.”

Mental health is a subject close to the Fergus team. The founder of Fergus, Dan Pollard, a heating and plumbing engineer from New Zealand, also found things mentally tough when he was on the tools, eventually leading to the creation of software that would help him keep on top of not only his business, but his work/life balance too. Dan went through some tough times and has made sure ever since that Fergus gives hints and tips to the trades to stay on top of their mental wellbeing.

Here are some methods you can adopt as a business owner to help promote positive mental health for tradespeople, starting with being able to talk about it.

Open communication
Encourage open dialogue about mental health. This can be achieved through regular team meetings and anonymous feedback channels. When workers feel they can speak freely about struggles or issues, they are more likely to seek help.

Access to resources
Provide access to mental health resources, such as counselling services or stress management workshops and offer training to managers and supervisors on how to recognise signs of mental distress. Investing in the mental well-being of employees is an investment in the company’s future.

Work/life balance
Promote a healthy work/life balance. This includes reasonable working hours, breaks during the workday, and time off. When employees have time to recharge, they are more productive and engaged during work hours.

Leading by example
Business owners and managers should lead by example. By taking care of their own mental health and being open about it, they set a precedent for their employees. This can create a culture of understanding and support within the organisation.

The role of technology
Technology can play a significant role in supporting mental health in the trades. Tools like Fergus can streamline workflows, reduce day-to-day stress and help tradespeople focus on what they do best. By reducing administrative burdens, technology can play a part in reducing some of the mental load carried by trades workers.

For a free trial of Fergus software, visit www.fergus.com. Find out more on stand 5D50 at InstallerSHOW.

Register for your free ticket here.

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