In 2020, as the pandemic spread around the world, we went home. Personal interactions were canceled, each replaced with a digital counterpart.
By January 2021, the average Internet user had accounts 8.4 different on social media platforms and spent money two hours and 25 minutes on social media every day (seven hours were spent on the internet on all devices) – proving that the lines between the “real” world and its virtual parallelism were now blurred than ever.
But with time spent in hyperdigital fields, so do we saw an increase depression, anxiety, loneliness and insecurity.
As we tried to adjust to a locked-in life, we saw protests shock the world as the murder of George Floyd encouraged millions to take to the streets to support black life –The largest movement in U.S. history– nurtured by social media.
We saw the lasting effects of socio-economic inequality as COVID-19-related deaths disproportionately affected the deaths of low-income residential areas and households. Under-represented groups in the United States saw worse results pandemic than white Americans – 48% of black adults and 46% of Hispanic or Latin adults more likely than white adults to report anxiety and / or depression.
And in 2021, a report Representatives from the Center for Hate and Extremism Research showed that Vancouver, BC, where Hootsuite is headquartered, saw more reported hate crimes against Asia in 2020 than any other city in North America.
While the weight of these forces has fallen on an already stressed and burned-out workforce, people have stopped the time they need to take care of themselves or deal with vacation times – in fact, they work more than ever before.
Organizations have seen productive time increases by at least 5% According to estimates by Harvard Business Review after the pandemic broke out. And people work at least two extra hours a day around the world, Bloomberg says.
Even when we are not at work, we think about work. Hootsuite found 40.4% of Internet users 16-64 year olds are on social media for work purposes and 19% of people follow companies related to their social work.
Increasingly, we live in a world where the workday is efficient does not end– and as a result, many of us have found ourselves “barking.” Term (popular New York Times) represents a “neglected middle-aged mental health” … a kind of emptiness between depression and prosperity, or simply lack of well-being.
A 2021 Mental Health Index LifeWorks (formerly Morneau Shepell) wrote it as a “massive decline in all aspects of mental health and labor productivity” – and this is no exaggeration. Overall, employees are expanding themselves far beyond their previous capabilities to withstand business changes and growing demands.
LifeWorks told me about it almost half Canadians feel the need for mental health support in 2021 over 40% of the world’s workforce is considering leaving its employer this year, according to Microsoft. The consequences of the burn are real – now they are compounded by worries about returning to the office or permission from a pre-pandemic life.
As a result, organizations are looking outside the box for new, creative ways to retain talent and ensure a healthy workforce. We know because we are on this journey ourselves.
Traditionally, the workplace has been a place where people have been asked to review their personal lives at the door, but as organizations consider deliberate new approaches to working with people (hybrid models seem to be the most desirable options today), we also recognize increased responsibility for people’s health – and that means encouraging them to work.
In addition to a lot of traditional benefits and free snacks, employee health starts with organizations recognizing that they are the most critical catalysts in building a mentally healthy society. This privilege is a new opportunity to change the future of our operations.
In Hootsuite, we have redefined what a healthy corporate culture and workforce means to us. We focus on building a diverse, inclusive and results-oriented workplace – that encourages people to become who they are.
We’ve also made it clear that “results-oriented” doesn’t mean working around the clock or being very productive every day. It means that we all work together to achieve a common goal.
We have built a holistic approach to mental health into the fiber of our work and have taken a number of new initiatives to help us get there.
Ryan Holmes, founder of Hootsuite, refers to working life as “interval training” – ethos in which the onset of hard work is compensated by periods of rest and recovery – and we can’t agree. He even claimed that sometimes we really need a longer time away from work – whether it’s a holiday or even a longer Sabbath.
No one can run backwards without burning a marathon, which is why we are presenting company-wide Wellness Week where we can all “detach” together – we reject the collective need to check notifications when we are away or “closed” when we return.
Wellness week, held from 5 to 12. July, is separate from the amount of vacation for each employee. For our individuals who work in customer-driven roles or have critical coverage needs, staggered schedules ensure appropriate coverage so that Hootsuite customers do not experience service interruptions.
We also offer Owly quality time where we check out at noon on Fridays during the summer months – Q1 in the southern hemisphere and Q3 in the north.
But our dedication to the mental health of our people goes beyond one week off.
In Hootsuite, we have thought a lot about the integration of work and private life, which is the most realistic and healthiest way to encourage a productive relationship at work.
By UC Haas School of Economics, Berkeley, the integration of working life isan approach that creates more synergies between all the areas that define “life”: work, home / family, community, personal well-being and health “, while work-life balance focuses on artificial separation between work and life.
As a decentralized workforce, we encourage people to find a harmony between work and life rather than keeping these two units separate – which seems increasingly realistic in 2021. We have also found that a blended approach to work brings more diversity in the workplace and enables us to take advantage of wider global talent.
These built-in breaks for our employees give our people a chance to rest. We believe that slowing down from time to time is the only way you can accelerate back.
When we use those much needed moments to rest and recover, we can do more with less. When we take a moment to figure out how we’ve gotten to our current location, we create room for innovation and experimentation.
We also support mental health by staying in touch with underrepresented groups in our community, where we have implemented a number of foundational programs designed to build a more diverse and inclusive organization.
We leverage our growing team of partners (currently working with black professionals at Tech Network and Pride at Work in Canada) to help our leaders attract, acquire, retainand promote diverse talent. We will continue to grow this ecosystem of partnerships as we expand our organization and become more and more diverse.
Partnerships are incredibly important in creating an environment where employees feel part of themselves, have the opportunity to succeed, and can bring their true selves to work.
With the support of our partners, we have made improvements in the way employees are recruited and recruited. We have also standardized our internal promotional processes to alleviate prejudice and provide unconscious prejudice training to all companies in the company.
This year, we added to our regular benefit packages to ensure that all of our employees have the mental health support they need.
Tara Ataya, Hootsuite’s Chief of Staff and Diversity, is a mental health defender.
“Our organization’s resilience is rooted in people’s psychological security. When employees are given the tools, resources, and time to take care of their mental health, organizations are more agile, flexible, and successful. “
These are some of the new benefits we have realized to support the productive and healthy lives of our people – by constantly committing to prioritizing mental health:
- We expanded the coverage of mental health benefits six times. We now offer 100% coverage of mental health treatments in North America to ensure that people can visit the doctors that best meet their needs without adverse financial implications.
- To compensate for the tremendous stress caused by some major life events, we have implemented coverage of fertility treatments and sex reinforcement surgeries In the new benefits package for Canadian and U.S. workers – these are flexible benefits designed to adapt and support a wide range of needs.
- We have responded to the needs of our diverse working population expanding our paid sick leave policy outside the worker, so that it also covers immediate parental leave. Paid sick leave at Hootsuite has also doubled for all employees and can be used for mental health and personal days.
- We provide for our employees culturally appropriate trauma counseling services to help them in difficult times.
- We believe that financial and mental health go hand in hand, so we have set bold goals around retirement savings, and in 2021 Hootsuite introduced 401K matching, RRSP matching, and several other regional programs in the countries in which we operate.
In early 2021, as we transitioned to a decentralized workforce and conducted several surveys to find out how people wanted to work in the future, we decided to turn some of our larger offices (we’re always called nests) into perch in certain areas – our versionhot desk template– giving our people full sovereignty and flexibility in where and how they chose to work.
Through these approaches and initiatives, we have realized that we can support people’s mental health by giving them the autonomy they need to customize their work environment to choose the one that works best for you – helping them find the best version for themselves.
We can provide our people with the freedom they need to bring themselves all to work, the flexibility to actually use their interests in a useful way (word-cutting), and the time to recover and renew whenever they need it.
Our efforts do not end when we turn the page in COVID-19. We are committed to an agile, lifelong approach by putting our people first. We realize that sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we can lose the mark – but we still try to get through.
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