These startups are ensuring mental wellbeing of their employees with yoga, meditation, workshops
Amidst the pandemic, staying inside, working from home, and limited social interaction have affected the psyche of many individuals. The ‘new normal’ has upended the work-life balance. Further, uncertainty about the future, job losses, and debt have taken a heavy toll on the mental well being of people.
In India, talking openly about mental health issues is still considered a taboo. Moreover, seeking professional help is also expensive — and not easily accessible.
In order to make mental healthcare available to all, and helping them motivated, many startups and social initiatives have decided to provide counselling and mental wellness programmes to their employees. YourStory lists a few.
Mumbai-based used two-wheeler sales platform CredR has roped in mental health experts from Harvard University to conduct counselling sessions for its employees on topics like anxiety, stress, loneliness, and low motivation.
Further, it is providing yoga and meditation sessions as a means to destress and rejuvenate, and has also launched an internal helpline for its employees.
Speaking about the initiative, Harish Mahadevan, VP-Human Resources, CredR, said, “Ever since Lockdown 1.0, the startup has been proactively conducting various sessions on yoga, physical and mental fitness, and team bonding activities to battle the isolation that many employees might be facing during the lockdown.”
CredR is a full-stack, vertically integrated, and omnichannel ecosystem of two-wheelers, which takes a multi-pronged approach towards transforming the current pre-owned automobiles – the way its bought and sold in the country.
Bengaluru-based food delivery platform Swiggy recently launched an initiative ‘Built Around You,’ a curated wellness programme for ‘Swiggsters’ on account of World Health Day. Aimed at strengthening the overall wellness of the entire Swiggy fraternity and their dear ones, the programme is focussed around the four pillars of physical, emotional and mental, financial, and legal wellness.
The startup has launched an array of benefits ranging from offering unlimited tele and video consultation sessions with independent experts (such as doctors, dietitians, counsellors, psychologists, financial, and legal experts) to customise digital wellness programmes for weight, addiction, diabetes management, maternity care, and marital counselling, among others. It uses AI to tailor the experience to each individual.
It is also providing check-ups, wellness workshops/webinars, meditation/yoga/fitness sessions, etc., in its onsite wellness programmes.
Health supplement startup Power Gummies is conducting activities like Zumba, yoga, and Bhangra dance for its employees to keep everyone physically engaged, and fight loneliness amidst the coronavirus-led lockdown.
“Employees often start feeling demotivated as the whole lockdown situation becomes very exhausting mentally. To eliminate that, we make sure we all are physically spending energy as it helps to vent out negativity, and channels us towards positivity,” Divij Bajaj, CEO, Power Gummies, said.
Founded in 2018, the startup takes care of nutritional needs required for hair and nails. Catering to modern health, it has already established its marquee in the nutraceutical market.
Divij added, "We have also started activities such as playing online games like Call of Duty and Ludo. Along with this, we have also made a fun group on WhatsApp, wherein we keep sharing memes, and throwback pictures.”
Letstrack, a Gurugram-based GPS tracking and global security service startup which enables APP-to-APP and APP-TO-WEB mobility solutions, was founded in 2016 by Vikram Kumar.
The IoT startup is planning to start an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). The programme will offer professional counselling and consultation to its employees and their families to overcome stress, depression, and anxiety along with financial consultation.
“At Letstrack, we believe that a healthy mind can do wonders, and also realise the importance of employees’ emotional wellness, especially during these uncertain circumstances. And to achieve them, we have always encouraged our employees to exercise and meditate every day. Our team leaders and human resource team are making sure that they stay connected with all the employees and keep them informed,” Vikram said.
In the ‘new normal,’ work from home (WFH) culture has become the new norm. Following this, short videos app Bolo Indya has redrafted a new WFH policy. According to the policy, Bolo Indya will sponsor all the requirements needed to work from home at the employees’ house such as work stations, wifi, back support sitting facility, among others.
Moreover, it will be taking care of the operational expenses of AC in the work from home area of employees’ house. It is also providing mandatory six leaves in a quarter to ensure work-life balance, and prevent over exhausting while working from home.
Bolo Indya believes in employee’s welfare and thus, heavily invests in their mental and physical wellbeing. Towards that, it will conduct bi-weekly mental and physical health sessions remotely for all the employees on Zoom call.
These sessions will help create awareness around seating postures while working from home, how to reduce sedentary lifestyle at home, remote fitness sessions, team bonding exercises, remote conduction of birthday celebrations, and welcoming of new team members.
E-learning platform Oliveboard is conducting Zoom/Hangout calls in smaller and company-level groups to keep the employees motivated during such unprecedented times.
Abhishek Patil, Co-founder and CEO, Oliveboard, said “While work is going on constantly, to keep employee motivation level high, we also share fitness challenges in our company WhatsApp groups. We play games like Tambola, Quiz, etc., to keep our spirits high during these times. This initiative was started in March.”
Founded in August 2012, Oliveboard is a predominantly B2C startup that helps prepare candidates for more than 50 graduate-level India specific exams under the categories of MBA, banking, SSC, Railways, insurance, and government job exams.
Supply chain management IT solutions startup Acuver Consulting is organising regular sessions on yoga, self-motivation, upskilling, stress management, among others, to ensure uninterrupted productivity.
Speaking on the initiative, Sunny Nandwani, Managing Partner and Founder, Acuver Consulting, said, “As a business, our first priority was, and will always be our employees, and in these trying times to keep our employees motivated.”
Recently, the startup has had yoga sessions that helped employees relax and overcome anxiety/stress, followed by a session on the importance of learning and upskilling by Sanjay Gaijwal, IAS, Secretary at Government of GOA, and an inspirational speech by Amar Jain, an Equity Capital Market lawyer and the winner of Prestigious NCPEDP Mphasis Javed Abidi Public Policy Award 2018.
Launched in 2013, Acuver delivers IT products and related services covering the entire lifecycle of supply chain management. It is a bootstrapped organization and has managed to register consistent double digit growth since inception. Acuver partners with leading solution providers like IBM and SAP to provide integrated customer experience to its clients.
Esper, an Android mobility and IoT startup, has started a ‘Digital Happy Hour’ event which is a dedicated time to relax and connect with fellow colleagues. The initiative was started keeping in mind the mental wellbeing of employees during the ongoing global crisis.
Founded in the year 2018 by Yadhu Gopalan (CEO) and Shiv Sundar (COO), the startup is a cloud platform that automates application deployment and management for the entire Android device and application lifecycle.
Speaking on the initiative, Shiv Sundar said, “It is important for companies of any size, especially at firms like Esper, which continued to hire new staff and grow since March 2020, to make sure the workforce is motivated and connected as a team. Esper has scheduled several digital happy hour events in recent weeks. These happy hours are dedicated time for our talent to relax and connect.”
It also had regional work lunches to welcome new hires into the fold, where the employees congregated around the video conferencing software and had no-contact food delivery.
Going forward, once its employees transition back to physical attendance, it plans to continue digital happy hours, AMAs, and other events focussed on relationship-building.
Edited by Suman Singh