While health and resilience are leading Google, it is the task of Lauren Whitt to ensure that Google employees remain healthy and have access to mental health and wellness resources during these uncertain times.
And this is not a small task.
It has 10 members of global well-being and mental health teams working with all Googlers around the world.
The company offered virtual training and classes to assist with the transition from home to work. And it has changed some of its famous advantages online. Google also recently offered $ 1,000 in allowance to all employees to spend on equipment to help equip their home workspace.
CNN Business talked to Whitt about Google’s recent health efforts during the epidemic. Here’s what Google said about what it does to promote mental health and well-being (This interview is organized in terms of clarity and length):
What is the role of managers when it comes to the mental health of teams? And what can they do to make sure their workers are doing well?
We ask them to check the welfare of their team and ask how their team works. We do not want our managers to be therapists, counselors, consultants in any field of mental health. We want them to check in: ‘How is your good?’ ‘Whats up?’ ‘How is life going for you now?’ Also, if there are signs or indications that something might be happening, we can connect the Google employee with our wealth of resources and service packs.
The last thing we want managers to do is to steer their role modeling with the intention of welfare behavior.
We all have managers, we all know that we’ll see what our managers do before we hear them tell us to do it. And we want managers to lead as an example and take the role of model prosperity, separation and recovery in their own lives.
The transition from working in a wide range of workplaces with many advantages can always be difficult. How do you help employees adapt to their new realities?
I was very impressed with the efforts of googlers to create a community and connect a lot with what they do at the office and what they do at home.
When we are on site, many offices have fitness centers, and these coaches took these programs and these classes online, and they do it virtually so that Google employees can still work from home with the people they work in the office. Different crazy things around the milk jug and the house.
We miss the great food we have in Google cafes, and many of our cafe teams and chefs are beginning to offer virtual classes online.
Tell me about Google’s decision to offer its employees $ 1,000 to equip their home offices. How important is the working area?
The routines and habits we have in the office are crucial for translating them and putting new routines and habits into the workspace and workplace we do at home.
This is critical for us as well as for the long term – ergonomically correct chairs, eye line for monitors and making sure we have the best opportunity for such opportunities.
Are there specific areas of health that you are currently focusing more on?
We continue to recognize this concept of endurance, how to find out right now, face the task at hand and focus on what you can do today.
We will continue our ergonomics messages so that your work area is properly aligned, you have a chair that fits and supports your back, have ergonomics and can alleviate some of these lower back pain and musculoskeletal problems.
I think we are looking at the future, what health and fitness will look like. How we will continue to support Google employees in their home and return to work environments to ensure that the movement is a priority, and sleep is the number one priority for us, and nutrition works independently of Google.
You say it’s important to build stamina at a time like this. How do you help employees improve it?
We have focused several years on making sure we have the resources and tools to help Google employees focus on their mental health and get the support they need in this area.
We started changing about two years ago and said, ‘Okay, we have these tools and resources, what’s next? How do we now focus on the ability to cope with stress, come back from boredom and understand that we can backfire to get rid of difficult challenges? ”
We launched a check-in in the fall, called T.E.A. Call. [Thoughts, Energy, Attention] login. T.E.A. control is basically: where are your thoughts, where is your energy and where is your attention? And when we look at these three … is it time to start a challenging project? DR-d [your energy] low? Need to jump up and down? Need to get away? Do you need a shortcut? Where is your attention? What is the only thing you can focus on today, impress, give you purpose, meaning and optimism for today?
What does Google do to address burnout, especially since everyone is at home and at work? Is it more difficult to achieve balance?
One of our primary messages about burnout right now is to be deliberate about the opportunity to recover and shut down the rest and something, to switch your focus to non-working activities. In doing so, Google employees realize that once they recover and leave, they can return to work or return to solving this problem with an exciting, renewed perspective.
Even if you only have to do push-ups or jump jacks or have to stop and walk between meetings and shake and shake, we approach the conversation of burnout in very intentional practical ways to get away from your computer, go out in the open air every 90 minutes. What are these ways to change your focus throughout the day and throughout the day.
Also for us, Google continues to encourage its employees to take a vacation, to get away from work, to invest in using that vacation time as a recovery time, even if you cannot travel in many cases.
Tell me about how Google looks before the Blue Dot Program pandemic and now.
The Blue Dot Program is our peer-to-peer mental health community. We started this program a few years ago because Google employees wanted to have the opportunity to talk about difficult things, but they didn’t feel like a clinic. They just wanted a peer perspective, someone who had gone through, where they were.
This group has returned impressively. They use virtual office clocks, we have different places where you can connect virtually through Google Meet video calls to talk about these issues.
Although the face-to-face component of this program has changed, they have almost taken it with Google tools and continue to innovate around new ideas so that they can connect and support each other and those who want to participate in progress.
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