Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

The Negative Impact of Workplace Conflicts on Mental Health

Work plays a major role in every employee’s overall health and welfare. However, when there are conflicts in the workplace, it creates a negative environment. This can take a massive toll on emotional health.


Employers should pay close attention as work productivity is linked to good mental health. Investing in preventing workplace conflicts to improve mental health can save money and increase productivity. When work affects an employee’s mental state, it negatively impacts their productivity. This can cause a chain reaction, affecting everyone on the team.


What Factors Cause Workplace Conflicts?

In the workplace, several factors may either directly or indirectly lead to conflicts. For example, when employees are tasked with extra duties that aren’t a part of their job, they may feel resentment. As the resentment builds, it could spiral out of control into a conflict at work.


An example of a more direct conflict would be a toxic work environment where bullying and harassment reign. Other factors that can breed conflict are lack of training for a position; lack of clear communication about tasks, goals, or expectations; and a shortage of resources that everyone competes to get.


What Impacts Do Workplace Conflicts Have on Mental Health?

When workplace conflicts arise, the employees involved may have trouble focusing. They might not feel appreciated for their efforts, making them less motivated. Keeping an eye on how every individual on the team can serve as your barometer to see if changes need to be made.


While everyone will have a bad day at work here and there, every employee should have what they need to thrive. Without proper steps in place, workplace conflicts can have negative consequences on mental health.


Decline in Performance

When there is a conflict on a team, you will notice that an employee that was once productive now barely seems to scrape by. They struggle to function in the duties that they once performed with competence. Employees that are negatively impacted by workplace conflict will seem less focused and distracted.


Changes in Mood

An employee that was once friendly and outgoing but now seems reclusive may have mental health problems. They may have mood swings or simply seem down in the dumps all the time. They may also experience trouble sleeping, and have changes in appetite as the workplace conflict negatively affects them.


Loss of Interest

Employees that are all in when it comes to work projects or even gatherings for work that suddenly lose interest may be affected by the conflict. They may be struggling for ways to handle the incident and rather than face the conflict, turn to avoidance to cope with it instead.


Unusual Behavior

An employee that is negatively impacted by a workplace conflict may seem fearful or nervous all the time in situations that never bothered them before. They seem disconnected and may even have behavior that is completely out of control.


What to Do When Workplace Conflict is Negatively Affecting Employees

If you have noticed that a conflict at the office is negatively impacting the team’s mental health, it’s time to find a solution. You should start by talking to all involved parties to get to the bottom of the situation. When talking with your team, it is important to keep the focus on the events and behaviors rather than their individual personalities.


It is imperative that you listen carefully to each person. After listening, you can identify the points of agreement and disagreement, allowing you to prioritize those areas of conflict. Together, you can all work on a plan to resolve each conflict. Make sure you follow through with what was discussed with your team.


After that, you should regularly check in with everyone on your team. This will ensure that if they’re experiencing any conflicts, you can work together to handle them. You can visit to learn more about how to improve the mental health of your employees through workplace conflict resolution services. 

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