COVID-19 has been challenging for almost everyone across the globe. With people being stuck inside the four walls of their houses and remote work becoming a way of life, employees’ mental health has taken a toll, especially for those whose only escape from problematic homes was work. Alternatively, many complained about burnout and long hours at work.
Unfortunately, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted and even halted critical mental health services in up to 93 per cent of countries across the globe at a time when its need was the maximum.
However, mental health goes a long way when it comes to maintaining consistency and productivity at work. In line with this, tech companies have introduced initiatives and implemented programmes to ensure that employees’ mental health is taken care of.
Sign up for your weekly dose of what's up in emerging technology.
We, at Analytics India Magazine, have curated a list of tech firms in India that have taken initiatives on employee mental wellness.
For the last couple of years, Accenture has deployed an Employee Assistance programme that focuses on offering professional counselling support to employees and their families. It has a mental wellness portal to provide advice on developing mental resilience. With the onset of the pandemic, Accenture has arranged grief counselling sessions to provide employees with coping with loss.
Additionally, earlier this year, Accenture upgraded its medical insurance policy to include mental health consultancy reimbursements for dependent family members as well. The company has more than 1,600 mental health advocates who regularly reach out to their peers. This ensures that every employee has someone to go to for discussing mental health issues.
Thoughtworks’ ‘Do with compassion’ project involves office initiatives designed for employees to promote openness at the workplace and discuss issues around mental health. It includes the following:
- Sessions have been exclusively designed for team leads to promote empathy and compassion.
- Basic peer-to-peer counselling sessions for Office Managers, HR and functional leaders.
- Care programme to support professional and personal development and well-being. The key tenets of the programme are self-care, content sharing, support and assistance.
- A series on fighting COVID-19
- One-on-one personalised counselling sessions by trained mental health professionals.
- Focused sessions on wellness.
- De-stress bytes: stretch, relax and refresh in short virtual yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and stretching sessions.
Tina Vinod, Global Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Thoughtworks, said that it offers employees augmented support. The initiative has made them realise that support has to be customised according to personal contexts and their role in the organisation and in their personal capacity. This further needs to be strengthened by having an empathetic leadership, inclusive work environment and the right support.”
InMobi has introduced 21 additional days of well-being related leaves that employees can avail at any time during the year. According to Sahil Mathur- CHRO of InMobi Group, these leaves can be used for self-care and recouping days, and even as pit-stops.
InMobi organises sessions by psychotherapists and psychologists related to centring, body-mind integration, breath-work, and promoting mindfulness. It has implemented a ‘No meeting Fridays’ policy to help employees strike through their to-do lists for both professional and personal enhancements. InMobi organises instructor-led yoga and exercise sessions, helping employees break the monotony of work. Additionally, it provides access to individual therapy sessions to address their challenges.
Intuit’s ‘Well-Mind’ programme benefits its employees to have access to a digital mindfulness platform. It comprises over 1000 self-paced tools and sessions to cater to individual needs. Its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers one-on-one counselling with qualified experts.
Jharna Thammaiah K, Director and India Site People & Places Leaders at Intuit, revealed that Intuit has partnered with qualified experts to provide counselling services to employees for professional guidance and support. Additionally, its programme’ Mindfulness During Covid-19 and Beyond’ webinar sessions aims at addressing various impacts of distraction on productivity, performance, and employee morale and helps identify ways to deal with the pandemic.
Intuit’s ‘Well-being for Life’ Program has been enhanced to support its employees’ emotional, financial or physical well-being needs, offering them an annual reimbursement to cover expenses.
CSS Corp has a slew of initiatives to leverage technology towards the advancement of mental well-being. It has round-the-clock employee assistance that provides counselling and aid to its employees. Additionally, the HR chatbots automate responses to questions, accelerating resolutions. The tech company has also been conducting virtual mindfulness sessions and digital detox to enable work-life balance.
Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head HR (Global) and Head of Corporate Quality at CSS Corp, said that while the organisation could march ahead with lots of accomplishments and milestones, the health and well-being of employees is absolutely vital.