Get the Man To a Monet!

Who's majorly affected by your mental state? The boss. Depressed workers can cost employers big bucks due to lost productivity. In 2002, for example, workers suffering from depression cost Lockheed Martin $786,000 in lost work hours, according to calculations by Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston.

Now researchers have new ideas about managing employee moods, and they begin with touches like fresh air, full-spectrum lighting, quiet offices, guided meditations, yoga breaks and cognitive counseling. "This is an incredibly important part of keeping, recruiting, retaining and developing top people," says Paul Hannam, a former Oxford University lecturer and consultant, who coauthored "Take Charge of Your Mind" with cognitive psychologist John Selby.

Clinically depressed colleagues need to seek help outside of the workplace, of course, but the authors say many workers would perform better if they discouraged family fights over breakfast, looked at impressionist art, ate healthy afternoon snacks and took brief walks. Companies looking to explain the benefits of these activities should hire outside pros to help guide employees, says Hannam. After all, how honestly are you going to answer a boss asking, "Are you happy now ?"

Get the Man To a Monet! | News