As many people put it, feeling down and sad is usually a normal part of life. Sometimes one will have to get the blues from time to time and that is ordinary in life. Many times when one feels down it may not be as a result of depression rather it can be instances of stress. Mild to moderate levels of stress works as an effective means of helping one focus in the job he/she is doing since it increases the worker’s concentration. However, when stress persists and grows to levels of depression it leads to low productivity of the workers and unexplained disorderly behavior of employees.
Without treatment, symptoms can last for a long period and this can affect the productivity of the worker and how he or she relates to other workmates. Sometimes, depression may begin at once or grow gradually depending on the conditions one is exposed to. Although people do not experience depression in the same way, there exist common symptoms that people exhibit when suffering from stress and depression. When in a working place, these symptoms include either personal changes or work place changes. The personal changes include hostility, signs of withdrawal, chronic fatigue, and drug abuse while the work place changes may include among others; difficulty in making decisions, lack of enthusiasm for work, and unusual increase in errors at work (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2004).
The effects of depression range from the relationship between the co-workers to the productivity of the worker. Existing evidence shows that depression affects the productivity of an employee in the working place and some puts the estimates on the costs at $51.5 billion a year in lost productivity and further additional $26.1 billions spent on medical treatment (Cross, 2006). Additional evidence indicates that “1.8 to 3.6 percent of workers in the United States of America labor force suffers from major depression” (Goldberg & Steury, 2001).
With such higher percentage of people suffering from depression, strategies need to be employed to ensure the working conditions remain conducive for everyone. Other writers like Pazur (2007) also indicate that “225 million workdays are lost annually and productivity decline to depression” (1). Robert (2003) indicates that more than “19 million American adults (9.5% of the population) suffered from the disorder in 2001” (1). This shows that the extent of losses made may vary and affect the different companies conducting business in the United States of America.
Managing depression in a work place thus becomes a basic etiquette for any company that wants to succeed. This study will aim at understanding the effects of depression in the work place and how it can be managed and then develop a matrix that will help in predicting when one is suffering from instances of depression and what needs to be done, for example, the moral support that the worker may need in case one is suffering from depression. The workers from whom we intend to conduct the survey are employed in Microsoft Company.
The company has a long history of hiring the best people in the industry, and most of the times these people are likely to suffer from depression, if what they are working on does not succeed. With Microsoft Company dealing with software development, such instances are likely to arise. With the just concluded economic crisis, we would like to understand the cases of depression reported in the company, costs, and how the company deals with such cases, since the urge for employees to perform beyond their limits is expected during this recovery period.
Some few weeks before conducting the survey, we shall contact the Microsoft Company representatives and explain to the management what our goals for the research will be. Random methods of selecting those who will be interviewed will be employed, but some instances of bias may be experienced in that the survey should ensure that all departments are adequately covered. On the agreed dates, we shall proceed to the company headquarters and conduct the interviews, which shall be both structured and non-structured. In the structured questionnaire, we shall structure questions with help of experts in psychology management, which the employees are supposed to answer either in support or against the view given in the questionnaire. In the non-structured interview, the employee will be required to give his or her general views on what the effects of depression at the working place are and what their suggestions are on what need to be done to reduce cases of depression in the work place. It is after recording the details that we shall set the scores depending on the answers given; in order to make reliable predictions on what need to be done to control depression in the work place.
From the help of experts in psychology, we shall set the scores according to the levels of depression. The levels of depression shall be put in three categories: the pre-depression, depression, and post-depression conditions. To measure the extents we shall then scale the grading score from one to ten, depending on the effects of depression and the strategies that need to be employed with the least effects of depression at one, and adverse effects of depression rated at ten. In setting the scores, we shall also consider how fellow employees deal with instances of depression, and how fellow employees deal with depression at the work place.
We shall then design a matrix showing the proposed effects of the depression and the preventive measures that need to be taken.
Among the major strategies of solving problems related to depression and their effect at a working place, is the use of the matrix analysis. Before we can conduct the matrix analysis, a unit of measurement will be established and then create an X and Y matrix. The X axis will represent the effects of depression among working participants while the Y axis will have the preventive measures of depression among the working participants. We have seen that stress leads to uncountable losses to most companies in the United States of America. The use of this matrix implies defining depression under several levels starting with pre-depression condition, depression condition, and post-depression conditions. When the matrix concept is combined with causation factors, it is predicted to result in a method which can offer possible intervention mechanisms depending on the symptoms the employee might be suffering from, and also the recommendations on the control measures which need to be enacted to minimize the effects of depression in the working place.
The intervention possibility will thus depend on the scores one had in the matrix combination.
Canadian Mental Health Association (2004). Depression in Work Place. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cmha-yr.on.
ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/depression-in-the-workplace.pdf Cross, M. (2006). Depression in the Workplace. Retrieved fromhttp://www.managedcaremag.
com/DepressionInWorkplace_Spr2006.pdf Goldberg, R., & Steury, S.
(2001). Depression in the Workplace: Costs and Barriers to Treatment. Available fromhttp://psychservices.
psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/52/12/1639 Pazur, D. (2007). Advancing Suicide Preventor. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pdvfoundation.org/pdf/2007_jan_24.
pdf Robert, P. (2003). Managing Employee Depression in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/workplace-health-safety/464613-1.html