As well as the well-being and resilience of water at Google, Lauren Whitt’s job is to ensure that Google employees stay healthy and have access to mental health and health resources during uncertain times.
And that’s no small task.
There are 10 members of global wellness and mental health teams working with all Google employees around the world.
To help with the transition to work from home, the company offered virtual training and classes. And he transferred some of his infamous perks to the net. Google recently also offered all employees a fee of $ 1,000 on equipment to help equip their workplaces in the home.
CNN Business spoke with Whitt about Google’s recent wellness efforts during the pandemic. Here’s what she needed to say about what Google is doing to promote mental health and well-being (This interview is edited for clarity and length):
What role do managers play when it comes to the mental health of their team? And what can they do to ensure that their workers are doing well?
We ask them to check the well-being of their team and to ask how their team is working. We do not want our managers to be therapists, counselors, mental health counselors in any way. We want them to sign up: “What’s your condition?” ‘How are you?’ “How’s life going for you right now?” And if there are signs or indications that something might be happening, we’ll be able to link Googleer to the wealth of resources and package of services we have available.
The last thing we ask managers to do is intentionally lead their own model of behavior in well-being.
We all have managers, we all know we will often see what our managers are doing before we hear what they are telling us. And that is why we ask managers to lead by example and to give them a model of good health, separation and recovery in their own lives.
Moving from work to an expansive workspace with a lot of benefits to being at home all the time can be difficult. How do you help workers adjust to their new reality?
I was so impressed with Google’s extensive attempts to create a community and create so many connections between what they did in the office and what they do at home.
When we’re on site, many offices have fitness centers, and these trainers have downloaded those programs and courses online and practically do them so Google people can still work at home with the people they worked with in the office using milk jugs and various crazy things revolving around the house.
We all miss the fantastic food we had in Google’s cafes, and many of our coffee teams and chefs are starting to offer virtual classes online – so how do we cook classes so we can pick up some of those unique and fun skills.
Tell me about Google’s decision to hire $ 1,000 for employees to equip their home offices. How important is a workspace?
The routines and habits we once had in the office are so important to us that we translate them and set new routines and new habits in the workspace and work settings we have at home.
This is really crucial for us in the long run, as well as from a health perspective – to ensure that we have the best opportunity for ergonomically correct chairs, an eye line for monitors and such types of opportunities.
Are there specific areas of wellness that you are focusing on more now?
We continue to invest in this concept of resilience, the ability to recognize how to be present in the moment, face the task, and focus on what you can do today?
We will continue with messages about the ergonomics of properly adjusting your workspace, that you have a chair that fits and supports your back, that you have ergonomics, and that you can alleviate some of that pain in your lower back and musculoskeletal system.
I think we are looking to the future, what health and well-being will look like. How will we continue to support Google employees in their home environment and in their return to the work environment to ensure that exercise is their priority, that sleep is our number one priority, and that nutrition will continue to be important to Google employees, no matter where they are work.
You say that building resilience is important at a time like this. How do you help employees develop this?
We’ve spent several years really focused on making sure we have the resources and tools to keep Google employees focused on their mental health and get the support they need in that space.
About two years ago we started to change and say, ‘OK, do we have those tools and resources at our disposal, what follows? How do we now really focus on the ability to cope with stress, bounce off an accident, and realize that we can recover so that we can recover from difficult challenges? ‘
In the fall, we launched an application, we call it T.E.A. [Thoughts, Energy, Attention] check-in. Our T.E.A. The check is basically: where are your thoughts, where is your energy and where is your attention? And as we look at those three … is it time to launch a challenging project? Is [your energy] low? Do you need to jump up and down? Do you need to step down? Need some sleep? And where is your attention? What can you focus on today, what can you control, what can you influence, what will give you purpose and meaning and optimism today?
What Google is doing to address combustion, especially now that everyone is at home and at work balance is harder to achieve?
One of our main messages just about burnout is intentional recovery, and the rest and the opportunity to turn things off, shift the focus to non-work activities. As Googlers do this, they realize that as they recover and separate, they will return to work or return to solving that problem with a renewed, renewed excited perspective.
Conversation with burnout is often approached by very intentional practical ways to get away from the computer every 90 minutes, to get out, even if you just need to push or jump, or get up between meetings and move around it. , which are ways you can shift focus during and during the day.
Also for us, continues to encourage Google employees to take a vacation, to take a break from work even though you can’t travel in many cases so you can invest in using that vacation as recovery time.
Let me know about the pre-pandemic of Google’s Blue Dot program and what it looks like now.
The Blue Dot program is our mental health community. We started this program a few years ago because Googlers wanted the opportunity to talk about difficult things, but they didn’t necessarily need it to be clinical. They just wanted the perspective of a peer, someone who had been through it, who was where they were.
That group turned in a really impressive way. They work virtual hours, we have various internet sites where you can connect virtually via a Google Meet video call and be able to talk about those things.
Although the component of this program has changed face to face, they have practically used it through Google tools and continue to really innovate around new ideas so that they can connect and support each other and those who are interested in joining.