Exploring the mental health work perk myth: Part 2

Quick recap: this mini-series examines common workplace wellness initiatives and mental health employee benefits from the POV of a disabled worker.

Last time, I re-imagined meditation app subscriptions and mental health days as successful, long-term employee support systems.

Mental health work perk #3: The Gym Membership

This very “tech startup” perk may be considered more of a culture move than a health one, but I for one appreciate the holistic approach.

My concern: Gyms are often geared towards able-bodied people, which may prevent workers with disabilities from participating.

Looking long-term: Screen your gym partners carefully to ensure they have accessible facilities and locations, or consider offering a health stipend so workers can make their own health choices.

Mental health work perk #4: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

From financial wellness to legal assistance and employee education, these programs have the ability to do a lot of good.

My concern: EAPs can become a dumping ground for “trendy” options.

Looking long-term: Create a strategy with dedicated resources that allows for permanency as well as flexibility. Work with experienced EAP partners on a variety of programming for all levels of literacy, ability, and health.

Mental health work perk #5: The Flexible Schedule

The holy grail of work perks, this alluring option had caused many freelancers to rethink their independent status.

My concern: 1) An easy way to hide a multitude of sins, like below-market salaries and 2) “flexible” usually still means a 9hr work day.

Looking long-term: The world is moving away from hourly work weeks, regardless of when workers clock in and out. Consider a permanent shift to results-based work for a healthier, more productive staff.

Next time: what mental health work perks should actually look like.

Originally published on Twitter @leannalost

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Future of work and wellbeing writer-journalist and advocate. Co-host of business podcast, Bettermental. Lead writer at digital nation, Plumia.

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Leanna Lee

Leanna Lee

Future of work and wellbeing writer-journalist and advocate. Co-host of business podcast, Bettermental. Lead writer at digital nation, Plumia.

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