Insights from D Sharma, CEO at Wellness Coach
As we open the doors to the fourth installment of our Spotlight series centered on Human Capital, here’s a high-level overview of one of the sessions about a topic relevant to all businesses today—employees’ mental health in a remote work setup.
Why Discussing Mental Health in the Workplace Matters
Mental health problems affect nearly 1 in 5 American adults and continue to be one of the most pressing health issues in the United States and worldwide. The pandemic further exacerbates mental health concerns as employees work from their homes, where feelings of isolation, burnout, and anxiety result from juggling multiple responsibilities both at home and work. Consequently, their productivity suffers, and it can negatively impact staff’s disposition.
But what can organizations do to address this? We recently had a chat with D Sharma, co-founder, and CEO at Wellness Coach, about the crucial role of business leaders in tackling mental health in the workplace and helping employees get through mental struggles brought by remote work. He is also set to be a panel moderator in one of the sessions for our upcoming Spotlight on Human Capital event, entitled “Mental Health in the Pandemic: Helping Your Workforce Get through Hard Times in a Virtual World.”
Q: What is a typical morning routine look like for you?
DS: Every morning, I make sure I do some self-care, consisting of a mindfulness practice–meditation for 15 to 20 minutes, and then a 5k run on weekdays and 10k on weekends. This routine is to keep care of both my mind and body.
Q: Who’s a figure in your industry that you admire?
DS: Jen Fisher, who runs the well-being department at Deloitte. She has a blog on work-life integration, and she’s been one of the folks we admire and follow very closely. (Follow her blog here)
Q: You are on an upcoming Spotlight panel on Mental Health in the Pandemic: Strategies to Help your Workforce get Through Hard Times in a Virtual World. What can people expect from this panel?
DS: Mental health over the past year of the pandemic is a very timely subject. We need to talk about mental health openly as leaders. I’m very fortunate—we have a couple of leaders like Sam and Abby joining the conversation on the panel to discuss how we can tackle mental health within the workplace.
I look forward to discussing how exactly leaders can drive the message within the workplace. How can we ensure that our teams have the tools, coaches, therapists, and everything needed to be more productive, have less absenteeism, and still be a person, not just a function or a role? You must be willing to give people a sense of belonging since the world is very different from our concept of a traditional office environment. We’re missing the in-person connection.
If we look closer at ourselves and our families—we’ve all gone through tough times. Families dealt with the loss with COVID, or we have people in the family with substance abuse issues during the pandemic. The unspoken impacts of the pandemic have been a lot to deal with, and the human resource or chief people officers are pretty much like a therapist right now for the whole team.
The session will be a very candid and open conversation. I’m looking forward to it.
Photography by @whoislimos