You are now leaving
Rethink Depression
Rethink icon

Desks, diaries and depression

Down arrow Scroll for articles

Depression often includes symptoms which can affect your brain’s ability to function, leading to difficulties with focus, planning, organisation, decision-making and remembering things.1,2

7-9_employer_desks_diaries_visual 7-9_employer_desks_diaries_visual

Here are a few things that you could do to promote this process with your employees.

A flexible, phased return4

Consider scheduling shorter working days, with frequent breaks to begin with and then gradually lengthen these as and when the employee feels comfortable and able.

Managing the workload4

Your employee may benefit from a structured, supervised work schedule. Perhaps partner them with another employee to manage their workload, enabling them to focus solely on their work.

Decreasing decision-making4

If the returning employee is in a managerial role, consider increasing supervision to reduce their decision-making responsibilities. This may help to take the pressure off them until they feel more familiar with their role again.

Regular reminders5

Provide a memory book, or offer your employee some assistance in setting digital aids, such as a smartphone reminder. This will help them to organise their workload, and prevent them from missing meetings and deadlines.

7-9_employer_desks_diaries_visual_2 7-9_employer_desks_diaries_visual_2
  1. Conradi HJ et al. Psychol Med 2011; 41: 1165–1174.

  2. Fehnel SE et al. CNS Spectr 2013; 25: 1–10

  3. Depression in the workplace in Europe. A report featuring new insights from business leaders. HR Leadership Forum to target depression in the workplace. Available at: uploads/2014/04/TARGET_Report_Final.pdf. Accessed June 2017.

  4. Reasonable adjustments for employees experiencing mental illness. Fit for work. Available at: Accessed June 2017.

  5. Returning to work with cognitive impairments. The American Occupational Therapy Association. Available at: Accessed June 2017.

  6. IDEA: impact of depression at work in Europe Audit. Final Report. Ipsos Healthcare. October 2012

You may also like...

Bridging the gap

As a family member or friend of someone with depression, you may have noticed some changes. They may have lost interest in things they...

Life stories: Lorelie

Lorelie is 50, but has been living with depression since she was a teenager. She works as a sales broker and, together with her husband...

Combating depression in the workplace

A mentally healthy workplace is one that recognises and supports staff with mental health issues, and promotes a positive working...