Just like Google’s head of health and resilience, Lauren Whitt’s job is to ensure that Google employees stay healthy during these uncertain times and have access to mental health and health care resources.
This is not a small task.
The Global Wellbeing and Mental Health team has 10 members, and they work with all of Google’s employees worldwide.
To help transition from working from home to company, the company provides virtual training and courses. And it has transferred some notorious benefits to the Internet. Google also recently provided a $1,000 allowance to all employees to purchase equipment to help them set up home work spaces.
CNN Business and Whitt talked about Google’s health efforts during the pandemic. Regarding what Google has done to promote mental health and well-being, she has to say (In order to make the content clearer and more detailed, this interview has been edited):
What role do managers play in team mental health? What can they do to ensure that the workers are in good condition?
We asked them to check the team’s health and ask about the team’s performance. We do not want our manager to become a therapist, counselor, or consultant in any way in the field of mental health. We want them to check the following: “How is your health?”‘How are you? ‘”How is life now?” And, if there are signs or signs that something may be happening, we can connect Googler to the rich resources and service suites we have.
The last thing we ask managers to do is to consciously lead their own example of happy behavior.
We all have managers, and we all know that before we hear what they tell us to do, we often see what our managers are doing. Therefore, we require managers to lead by example and set an example, and set an example of well-being, separation and rehabilitation in their own lives.
The transition from working in a vast work space with a lot of privileges to always staying at home can be difficult. How do you help employees adapt to the new reality?
I was deeply impressed by the basic work done by Google employees to build a community and establish such a close connection between the office and the family.
When we were on site, many offices had fitness centers, and those coaches already had these programs and courses online, and were actually doing these things, so Google employees could still be at home with people who used to work together in the office. jobs. Milk jug and various crazy items around the house.
All of us missed the delicacies provided by Google Cafe, and many of our cafe teams and chefs started offering virtual courses online-so how to cook courses allows us to master some unique and interesting skills.
Tell me about Google’s decision to provide employees with $1,000 to equip their home office. How important is the workspace?
For us, daily work and habits are very important to us, because we need to translate these habits and set new habits and new habits into the work space and working environment we have at home.
From our point of view and from a health point of view, this is crucial for us-to ensure that we have the best opportunities for ergonomic seats, the sight of the monitor, and various opportunities.
Are you currently focusing on specific areas of health?
We will continue to invest in this concept of resilience, this ability to recognize the current state, face the current task and focus on what you can do today?
We will continue to communicate ergonomic information about the correct alignment of your work space, have a chair that fits and supports your back, is ergonomic and can relieve some lower back pain and musculoskeletal problems.
I think we are looking into the future, what health and wellness will be like. How will we continue to support Google employees in their home environment and return to work environment to ensure that action is the top priority, sleep is our top priority, and nutrition will continue to be vital to Google employees regardless of their presence Where are they working.
You said that it is important to build resilience at such times. How do you help employees develop this?
We spent a few years really committed to ensuring that we have sufficient resources and tools so that Google employees can focus on their mental health and get the support they need in this area.
About two years ago, we started to transform: “Okay, we have the tools and resources available, what is the next step? How do we now really focus on coping with pressure, rebound from adversity and understand that we can rebound to be able to challenge from difficulties The ability to recover from this?”
We introduced check-in procedures in the fall, which we call T.E.A. [Thoughts, Energy, Attention] check in. Our T.E.A. check is basically: where is your idea, where is your energy, where is your attention? When we look at these three… Is it time for a challenging project? Yes [your energy] low? Do you need to jump up and down? Do you need to leave? Do you need to take a nap? Where is your attention? What you can control, can influence, one thing you can focus on today will bring you today’s goals, meaning and optimism?
The measures taken by Google to solve burnout, especially when everyone is at home and working and living today Is balance more difficult to achieve?
At present, one of our main messages in burnout is to deliberately recover and rest, and have the opportunity to close work and shift the focus to non-work activities. When Google employees do this, they realize that when they recover and separate, they can return to work or return to the solution to the problem with a new and exciting point of view.
We usually deal with burnout conversations in a very deliberate and practical way, leaving your computer every 90 minutes and going outdoors, even if you only need to push up or jump thick or stand between meetings and move around and shake, These methods allow you to divert your attention throughout the day and throughout the day.
For us Google employees have been encouraged to take vacations. Even if you cannot travel on many occasions, you should give up your work so that you can use vacation time as a recovery time to invest.
Tell me about the situation before Google’s Blue Dot program and the current situation.
The Blue Dot Project is our peer-to-peer mental health community. A few years ago, we started the program because Google employees wanted to have the opportunity to talk about hard things, but they don’t necessarily think it’s clinical. They only want the point of view of their peers, the person who has experienced this point of view, the person who has been with them.
The group carried out its work in an impressive way. They work during virtual office hours, and we have multiple places online, where you can make virtual connections via Google Meet video calls to discuss these issues.
Although the face-to-face part of the plan has changed, they have actually adopted the plan through Google tools and continue to innovate around new ideas so that they can connect and support each other, and are interested in joining us.