Mental health can look very different to each individual person. Everyone faces their own unique challenges day in and day out, and let’s face it: we’re all humans trying to cope with a myriad of life experiences and healthy habits can sometimes be hard to come by. There are likely people out in the world who can easily get through their days without pause and have a firm grasp on their emotions. While that’s highly commendable, the reality is that there are also many of us that cannot get through our days as easily as others. This is where the unlimited spectrum of mental health and mental wellness comes into play.
Since so much of the average person’s time is spent working, a big portion of our mental health is directly impacted by our jobs. The work environment, culture, and type of people that we interact with all play a part in our mental health and success. With that being said, it’s important that workplaces focus on making their employees’ mental health a priority. To have employees performing efficiently and doing the best work they can, a healthy work environment must be cultivated and implemented. A few examples of this can include coordinating wellness activities at work, establishing open lines of communication with colleagues and upper-level management, prioritizing DE&I efforts, and much more.
At Hotwire, we pride ourselves in offering a multitude of wellness benefits that not only support the mental health needs of all our employees, but help to establish a healthy work environment for all. For starters, we have an internal Wellness Committee specifically created to share wellness tips and tricks with the full agency to help, whether it be simply getting through the day or creating long-term, healthy habits. They share anything from interesting articles about mental health and how to get through certain situations, to personal tips from members of the committee on what’s worked best for them personally. In addition, they’ve created fun and engaging opportunities to get more colleagues involved in working on their mental health. The “Hot Mess to No Stress” challenge was one friendly competition in which teams were created and colleagues would record random wellness activities that they did throughout the day. These activities were all worth points and at the end of the competition, the team with the most tallied points won! Points were gathered by doing anything from going on a walk during the day, going to the gym, journaling, meditating, catching up with an old friend, and more. The list went on and on. It was great to see everyone immersed in the competition, sharing some of their mental health tips on staying grounded along the way, and interacting with one another in a healthy and positive way.
While the Wellness Committee and HotMess to No Stress challenge are great initiatives that help with prioritizing mental health at Hotwire, there are many other benefits that we’ve implemented that aim to help the mental health cause. For example, we’ve created wellness benefits that can be used toward activities like gym memberships, spa days, meditation classes, and more to keep our full team’s mental health in check.
Additionally, a huge component of mental health awareness here at Hotwire is our Thoughtful Working policy. This allows our employees to build their own work schedules around their lives and “thoughtfully work” throughout the day. Have to run an errand in the middle of the day? Just let your manager know and work around that. This was created to allow flexibility with your daily life activities that may have otherwise thrown your day off course. I, myself have taken advantage of this many times, especially when having to take my mom to the doctor or simply when I’ve wanted to run to the gym in the middle of the day. Thoughtful working means you can make time for these things without the worry of needing to clock out or use a specified “break time.” It’s centered on the concept of work-life balance. You’d be surprised by the wonders a policy like this can can have on your mental health. For me, its helpful to know that I don’t have to stress about stepping away from my desk in the middle of the day. It’s a privilege that not many can say they have.
It’s policies like Thoughtful Working and the organic creation our Wellness Committee that have helped to make the environment at Hotwire a pleasant one, where employees are set up for success from the start. In the event that work itself becomes overwhelming, common in an agency setting, there are also other avenues of support to turn to. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a useful tool that Hotwire offers to give employees the option to anonymously speak with a counselor in regard to personal or work issues they may be experiencing. With devastating events such as the horrific war in the Ukraine or the recent shooting events happening closer to home in the US, it’s easy for anyone to become stressed and overwhelmed with life outside of work.
Having a resource like EAP is extraordinarily beneficial for times like this. Speaking with a professional resource can sometimes make a world of difference. And not only that, but EAP can be used for a number of other helpful services like finding a contractor, legal services, parent education, or financial assistance.
Prioritizing your teams’ well-being is so crucial to do as a company as we all navigate not only our work lives, but also our personal lives and attempt to find a healthy balance between the two. At the end of the day, work will always be work and there is ultimately stress that comes with that, but when you work for a company that actually cares about your mental health and does what it can to help, that makes things all the better.
Mental health, as mentioned, looks completely different for everyone. It’s all about working toward your own goals and doing what you need to do for you at the end of the day. Maybe this means going out for a walk, seeing a movie with friends, going to the gym, or staying in watching tv or reading a book. The options are endless, but it’s all about recognizing what it is that we can do for ourselves to keep going. Remember to take care of the person that matters most… you.