This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in many parts of the world. In recent years, there have been great strides in attitudes towards mental health across workplaces and society as a whole. There’s a recognition that employers also have a responsibility to their employees – at least, that’s how Mews feels. Although we’re not perfect and there’s still more help we’re planning to introduce, we’ve put in place a number of tools and schemes to help with the mental health of our Mewsers.
How Mews cares about mental health
One quick thing worth noting is that although mental health awareness week provides us with a good opportunity to talk about what we do, these aren’t knee-jerk company policies that we’ve just introduced so we can write a blog about it. Over the last two years, our People Team have put in place a number of great benefits that are lasting and – hopefully – impactful.
Free therapy sessions
There’s a lot going on in the world right now. In particular, we have a number of Mewsers who are affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine, while the climate crisis is also causing unprecedented amount of anxiety, especially in young people.
In March, we partnered with a group of therapists who speak Ukrainian, Russian, Czech and English. Anyone at Mews feeling stressed, anxious or depressed are able to book sessions online or in person in Prague. We cover up to five sessions for everyone, and it’s totally anonymous. We receive the bill directly with no personal information
If you follow Mews on Instagram, you’ll know all about our Wellness Wednesdays already. One Wednesday every month, everyone is encouraged to take the day off work and take some time for themselves, no strings attached.
Some people take it easy and have a lie in, read a book and get some chores done. Others go for a cycle or climb a mountain. It doesn’t matter what it is: the important thing is that we give our brains a little bit of a break and a reset.
Most times when we tell someone that we get unlimited holidays they ask: what’s the catch? Well, there is no catch. We’re all adults and we trust everyone on our team to be able to get their work done. Stressing about not having enough annual leave to be able to go and visit your family or take a last-minute holiday isn’t something anyone should have to deal with.
Flexible working and home working
Covid changed the way the Mews works. Before, we were office-focused, although we did have plenty of people working remotely. Now, we’ve adapted to a fully flexible remote working culture.
For some people, commuting to the office every day was stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. So Mewsers now have the option of working entirely from home. For some people, however, it’s better for their mental health to be in a more sociable environment. That’s why we kept our offices in each of our main locations, and also provide a shared-office option for anyone who doesn’t work in one of our hubs.
MindGym is a little like online training, but with a focus on analysing and honing the way our brains work. In their own words, the app “translates behavioural science principles into a unique set of experiences, products and tools that slip into your people's days, hands and minds - creating company-wide behaviour change.”
It’s entirely voluntary and there are loads of courses available, from how to unleash creativity to developing networking skills.
An open community
It’s a little intangible, but we strive to create a safe and welcoming environment where each of our Mewsers feel like they belong. After all, our work makes up a huge portion of our lives, so it’s on us to ensure everyone feels comfortable, whether they’re in an office or at home.
A big part of this is the special community that we’ve managed to develop, which no doubt played a big part of us winning Best Place to Work in Hotel Tech two years running. How does that manifest itself? We have community Slack channels for pets, jokes, travel tips, sports chat and more. We have running groups and football teams. And we openly discuss wellbeing and work life balance during all-hands meetings to ensure there’s no stigma around the conversation.
As we said at the beginning, there’s always more that we can do. As we continue to grow over the coming years, we’ll keep searching for more ways to help the mental health of all of our Mewsers.
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