Let’s start with a check-in: how are you doing? How are you really doing?
In this unusual year, I think most of us are…managing. Each day, we aim to keep healthy and safe, contribute to our jobs, support our children at school, take care of elderly family members, and stay connected to our communities. While some days are better than others, the prolonged nature of the pandemic adds to the uncertainty and fatigue. And consider that there are many others who struggle tenfold, including socially and economically disadvantaged communities, and especially vulnerable youth, people of color, women, and LGBT+ in those communities.
Of particular concern is our mental well-being. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is one of the least understood and funded areas of public health, with approximately 1 out of every 10 people worldwide suffering from a mental disorder this past year. In October, the World Federation for Mental Health recognizes World Mental Health Day, to raise public awareness about mental health challenges worldwide. Under the banner of Mental Health for All, the aim is to de-stigmatize mental health challenges and to raise awareness of the growing crisis in mental health especially during this pandemic year.
At Schneider Electric, our commitment to Well-Being and Inclusion is ingrained in our culture. Our ambition is to create an environment where employees feel empowered to manage their unique life and work by making the most of their energy. We start by acknowledging that each of us is impacted differently. Our goal as a company is to support all employees to be their unique selves, even during harder moments when we are distressed, anxious, or unable to cope. Another focus is to trust and empower our employees with new ways of working and greater flexibility in managing how and where they work.
In my last blog, I shared how this year’s crisis has heightened and accelerated our attention to well-being. I’m pleased to share a couple of highlights of our progress. To support more flexible and agile ways of working, we recently announced our new global Flexibility at Work policy, shifting to a hybrid model to support employees to work from office and work from home. Starting in January 2021, eligible employees will have the option to flex between working from office or home, with two work-from-home days as the global standard. We believe the hybrid model will create a more agile, inclusive, and empowered way of working, and will also drive stronger work performance, employer attractiveness, well-being, and a greener footprint. Also, within our “Mental Health for All” global campaign in 2021, we will continue to build awareness and train people on how to take care of their mental health, how to spot the signs of mental health challenges, and how to bring support.
Mental well-being touches every aspect of life. By raising the understanding and discourse amongst colleagues, friends, and families, and designing programs and policies to support our employees’ unique way of working and living. At Schneider Electric we believe we can make strides towards a healthier workforce and society. So, ask yourself again, how am I really doing? And what can I do to make things better for me and others?
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