For World Health Day, we’re focusing on RingCentral’s ongoing efforts to support the mental health of our employees around the world.
According to a recent WHO survey, COVID-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide—while increasing the demand for mental health services. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety. Today’s remote workforce is no exception. A recent Forbes article says 75% of U.S. workers have struggled at work due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – and 80% “would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health.” That’s rough stuff. And it’s why this World Health Day, we’re taking a look at the ways RingCentral is prioritizing mental health for employees around the globe.
Putting a platform to the test.
In London, Senior Employee Experience Business Partner Jason Allen-Lane sees RingCentral’s platform as a key element for maintaining the critical connections people need now.
“We want to ensure that people feel engaged, even though we’re remote, so we’ve used the platform for a number of engagement initiatives here in the UK and across EMEA. Every Tuesday at lunch, we hosted an initiative called “Together@12” where different groups come up with innovations, whether it’s a quiz or a movie game, a scavenger hunt, whatever it may be, but every employee is invited to connect and just re-energize, have a better bond, keeping active. We’re using our platform to give French lessons online…we’ve started what we call a BMI group for people who want to lose weight. We’ve got access to Headspace, and the feedback from this that has been absolutely amazing. We also have (more traditional) options, (like) our counseling line and of course all of our offerings from our weekly Wellness newsletter including parenting from home. We also host a meeting every Friday at 14.00 GMT where we invite different employees around our region to represent their teams, with business updates including shout outs to those who have really gone above and beyond to support each function and to show those results and the impact to the wider business overall. These meetings are often themed providing an opportunity to include some sort of social corporate responsibility using our RCause platform to raise funds for those less fortunate. This also provides an opportunity to promote the incredible work of the EMEA Team in our RFP’s which helps us win business and our talent branding. We’ve had a number of guests from within the business in the U.S attend our sessions to ensure that we were working together as one global team.
There have been a number of cases of coronavirus amongst our team in the UK, and we’ve supported those employees and their families however we can. We offered them all a free yearly subscription to the Disney Channel, as well as two weeks’ supply of groceries delivered to their doorstep so they’re able to just concentrate on getting better. As a business I feel like we go above and beyond to really support our people, in and out of the workplace. And the feedback we get is that they actually see this, the value and the impact that it brings to them.”
Pause for the cause.
U.S. Global Wellness Coordinator Ellen Shmunis thinks the platform can be helpful for remote workers.
“We just used the platform to host a webinar on how to be productive working remotely. But just as important is the Do Not Disturb-button on Glip. You can’t be your best if you’re burned out, and having that feature gives people the option to really step away.”
Also, paws for the cause.
RingCentral’s larger, more holistic wellness effort – takes every aspect of employees’ wellness into consideration. Including pets.
“We categorize our Wellness offerings around five pillars: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and financial (wellness). And I’m really proud of what we’re putting forward. One thing we’re offering is pet insurance, which is something people find to be emotionally supportive, because pets are so important to our emotional health. We’ve launched (meditation app) Headspace, and we’ve already got 500+ people participating — we’ve received so many comments saying it’s changing people’s lives. And of course we have Workplace Options – our Employee Assistance Program. Any employee is eligible for up to five free sessions of counseling for any subject: divorce, bereavement, all the things that are hitting people now. And I don’t want to forget our Employee Resource Groups; I think that’s a huge one for helping people find connections outside of work. ”
Strengthen the whole person, strengthen the whole company.
Shmunis believes the company’s holistic approach to wellness is essential to maintaining productivity.
“Happy employees are more productive ones, which is why we have the Wellness portal open for everyone to use, but we hope to take things further. Right now 400 of our employees are participating in a Harvard Business School study called “Flerish” – it’s asking people how they’re doing in every part of their lives, and everyone who participates gets free coaching afterwards. When (Flerish) is finished, we’ll have an in-depth look at how employees are flourishing within their personal and professional lives. I think that will really help us fine tune our Wellness offerings in the future.”
The pandemic has made the last 12 months incredibly difficult for mental health, but both the RingCentral platform and the people who support it are finding innovative ways to rise above, and come out stronger, together.