Being married to a clinical psychologist, I try never to lose sight of the impact that work and stress can have on people. I recently came across an article discussing employee wellness. This article – Mental health days. Meeting-free times. Companies are adding new benefits to help workers cope. It was nice to see that some companies are recognizing the stress of the pandemic and working from home, and also are taking action to try to help alleviate it. The article gives some excellent examples of businesses helping employees to cope with COVID-related stress.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself working more when I am at home. Plus, it is really hard to stop working and separating the work from the play. One company in the article realized that their employees were working more hours than usual while having difficulty disconnecting from work. To address the issue, they now close the business on the first Friday of every month. This is a company-wide mental health and wellness day. It does not count towards the employees’ vacation.
One misconception is that remote workers have more “free” time. In reality, many employees are booked solid with constant Zoom meetings. One such company, as an example, has recognized this issue. Therefore, it has incorporated meeting-free Friday afternoons. Another company will not allow any internal meetings on Thursday mornings. Again, these examples are refreshing as management understands the stress of working from home.
Employee Wellness & COVID
For employees that are suffering more serious mental health issues, some businesses are increasing access to professional help. The article highlights one company that has increased the number of counseling sessions for employees from three to six per issue. For those with less serious issues, one company provides self-help resources. This company gives employees, at no cost, access to an app to get access to therapists and online programs. Other companies offer meditation and other stress-relieving programs.
I like reading about this. It keeps me optimistic and thinking positively. As an attorney who represents employees, I have seen far too many examples of employees being mistreated by their employers. Its great to see companies valuing mental health, and I hope more companies follow. Please feel free to contact me if you are in need of help related to your job.