Striking the Right Balance: SecondMuse's Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellness - SecondMuse

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    On this World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2023, we want to acknowledge that our professional demands often encroach upon personal spaces, making work-life balance more crucial than ever. At SecondMuse, we see this balance as more than a corporate responsibility.

    On this World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2023, we want to acknowledge that our professional demands often encroach upon personal spaces, making work-life balance more crucial than ever. At SecondMuse, we see this balance as more than a corporate responsibility. 

    As our Global Head of People Operations, Jade Ashley Nikolaou, eloquently put it: “We’re keenly aware that our mission’s success hinges on the wellbeing of every individual on our team. Prioritizing mental health isn’t just a box-ticking exercise at SecondMuse; it’s a genuine commitment to ensuring our people can thrive in every aspect of their lives. 

    By supporting mental health, we’re investing in the resilience and creativity of our team. We want every team member to feel valued and empowered – only then can we fully support the communities we serve as they produce the empathetic innovators and entrepreneurial leaders who are poised to address our world’s most pressing challenges.

    But as we all know, words are only as powerful as the actions they inspire.  Recognizing the unique challenges of coordinating a team spread across eight different time zones, we’re proud to share our efforts in supporting work-life balance for our global team members. 

    SecondMuse’s Commitment to Work-Life Balance

    Our commitment starts with flexible work hours. Recognizing that work-life balance varies among our diverse team members’ needs, priorities, and responsibilities, SecondMuse empowers our employees to manage their own 40-hour work weeks. This flexibility allows us to optimize productivity during  peak hours and nurture their personal lives without compromise or competition.

    The company’s trust in the team’s dedication is reflected in our unlimited paid time-off policy. This flexibility ensures everyone can manage personal responsibilities. It also sets our employees up to return to the office rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to contribute their best. This is more than part of a benefit package. It’s our acknowledgment of the human need for balance, compassion, and restoration.

    Beyond the Workplace and Out Into the World

    At SecondMuse, we’ve instituted Clean-Up Weeks as a testament to our belief in the power of recalibration. During these periods, we encourage team members to minimize meetings (or have none at all), giving each member the room to catch up, declutter, and engage in mindful reflection. It’s not just about getting a handle on our work; it’s also about recentering our minds.

    The activities during these weeks vary. They can take the form of nature hikes, helping team members reconnect with the environment. Or they may be individual moments of introspection.

    One thing lies in common across the different activities that take place during this time. They emphasize the importance of mental clarity and its profound impact on our collective drive and creativity

    In line with our commitment to supporting the holistic well-being of our team members during Clean-Up Weeks, we have witnessed its transformative impact firsthand. 

    Here’s what Indra Sarju, Future Economy Lab Manager had to say:

     “Our company’s biannual Clean-Up Week always presents me with a unique opportunity for rejuvenation. During this past clean-up week, I decided to enrich my time by dedicating a portion of the week to a multi-day backpacking expedition into nature. For me, nature is not only therapeutic but also a profound teacher, informing and inspiring my work. Consequently, our biannual clean-up week acts as a significant catalyst, fueling not only my productivity but also enhancing my holistic wellness, inspiring me to contribute even more passionately to the work we’re undertaking.” 

    This testament further emphasizes the profound impact these deliberate breaks have on our team members’ productivity and overall well-being.

    Beyond these intentional periods of recalibration and reflection, we’ve taken steps to integrate physical well-being into our approach. To energize our bodies and minds and promote physical well-being, we’ve also organized  Wellness Challenges. These spirited competitions in running, walking, and cycling create a shared sense of purpose, bolster team camaraderie, and, importantly, serve as a refreshing mental break, recharging our spirits. While the victorious team has an opportunity to make a charitable donation, the real win is the collective upliftment in our mental and emotional states, benefiting everyone involved.

    Studies have shown that these kinds of physical activities help alleviate stress, boost mood, and enhance overall mental wellbeing. They do the same for teens and college students’ subjective wellbeing, too – precisely the groups we encourage to build tomorrow’s successful companies amidst our worldwide tech overload.

    Team Gatherings: Not Just Another Meeting

    At SecondMuse, our team gatherings aren’t just scheduled formalities. They’re the moments where our united purpose shines through. We come together to renew our drive for impactful change, collaboratively addressing the world’s complex challenges and championing the innovators destined to meet them. While technology allows us to connect from afar, there’s an undeniable power in our face-to-face interactions. They root us in our foundational goal: building economies centered on people and our planet. These gatherings amplify the essence of who we are — advocates for positive change, bound by shared vision and values.

    These gatherings are also where we open up, sharing anecdotes that may not directly pertain to our tasks, but resonate with our shared journey and purpose. Sometimes, it’s about aligning our strategies or diving deep into a project. Other times, it’s simply about listening, being there, and reminding each other that we’re it’s about providing support and reinforcing our collective commitment to our mission and each other. 

    We’re Here to Support Our Greatest Asset: Our People

    No matter how hard we try to maintain a work-life balance and care for our wellbeing, everyone faces challenges at different points, be it stress, personal conflicts, or deeper mental health concerns. Addressing these issues head-on is critical for us as individuals and as members of a professional community.

    Having resources and support readily available when navigating personal or professional hurdles is vital. With this understanding, SecondMuse proudly offers Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to every team member via access to Telus, previously known as LifeWorks.

    Telus is a platform that provides specialized mental health resources, from immediate counseling sessions to in-depth resources tailored to diverse needs. It ensures that every member of our team feels heard, understood, and supported.

    This program underscores our dedication to nurturing both the professional and personal dimensions of our team’s lives, ensuring a balanced, supportive environment for all.

    Every day at SecondMuse, we’re reminded of the incredible power of human connection and collaboration. Just as we are passionate about uplifting communities, we are equally dedicated to ensuring every team member feels seen, supported, and valued. Mental health is an essential piece of that puzzle. 

    As we mark Mental Health Day, let’s remember that it’s not just about achieving balance but about nurturing the very essence of who we are to a future where every day is an opportunity to support and uplift one another.