How to cope with depression at work

New data shows workers with depression miss significantly more workdays compared to those without it. Experts say depression doesn't only prevent someone from showing up to work, but it can also affect their performance.

Workers diagnosed with depression miss an additional 68 million workdays a year compared to workers without depression, costing US employers an estimated $23 billion in lost productivity. That’s because depression doesn’t only prevent someone from showing up to work, but it can also affect their performance at work.

“People have this reduced sense of personal accomplishment, which then negatively translates into, how they do,” said Mindy Shoss, a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida.

Not only can depression impact their mental well-being, but it also interferes with their ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time.

So, what can someone do to cope with their depression at work?

“Our lab has done some research on venting with coworkers and basically what we found there is that the venting to other people can be quite helpful. Communicating with other people and giving people an opportunity to help you and support you is very powerful,” Shoss said.

Also, try dividing the day into small tasks, so that you feel you are achieving things as you go.

Take a break to grab a coffee or go on a walk. According to The Mayo Clinic, doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day, three to five days a week may significantly improve depression symptoms.

Part-time workers suffer from depression more and miss almost five more days of work per year than their colleagues who do not have depression.