Facing the mental health issues of the Peruvian lockdown

When people talk about employee well-being, it’s easy to focus on the more material, tangible aspects of it all. Things like physical health and good nutrition are what usually come to the front when talking about healthfulness. And while this is all great, it’s vital to remember that there’s much more to it than just the physical aspect. 

As a Certified B Company, 24Slides is committed to creating a safe, healthy space for our colleagues to develop. One of our key Sustainable Development Goals is to promote good health and overall well-being for all 24Slides workers. As a result, the employees become happier and healthier individuals whilst also benefiting the company’s productivity. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru went through a long-lasting lockdown in hopes to manage the spread of the virus. This meant that for over a year, people were encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. Even now, with less strict regulations, many workers in Peru still have to make their life around the health restrictions. 

For the 24Slides team in Peru, this meant working from home for the long months of the pandemic. These conditions made it hard for our coworkers, as they had to learn to manage this new situation, handle stress and anxiety, and create a new balance for work and personal life. 

Estefanía, one of our project managers, shares that she “ was having issues with sleeping and anxiety during the day caused by the pandemic.” Carla, who works in the 24Slides Marketing department, recognized that the lockdown situation was hard: “It makes it harder to feel focused and motivated.”

That’s why at 24Slides, we opened the opportunity for our employees to attend psychology sessions, as a means to fight loneliness and the feeling of being excluded whilst working from home during lock-down. Employees were encouraged to take free psychological sessions with a mental health professional, and talk about the challenges and issues they were facing in their day-to-day life. 

Amasilis, from customer support, was one of those who decided to take this opportunity: “The main thing I’ve been struggling with is balancing work and taking care of my children. The sessions helped me identify some unhealthy habits that I have so I can slowly change them, and this helped me improve my concentration and motivation. I also received some tips to manage my time more efficiently.” 

Now, 6 months after the initiative began, we can say with absolute certainty that it was a success. Our coworkers that made use of the psychological sessions offered by 24Slides have talked about how beneficial they have been for their well-being, and how it has helped them face both personal and professional challenges. As Estefanía says, “Problems always show up or there are personal previous issues that were not correctly solved which distract us. If we have peace of mind and a nice work/life balance, we can be more productive and happy.

Damilka, one of 24Slides’ amazing design managers, confirms the positive impact she saw in herself and her work thanks to the sessions. “It had a big influence! I had my first appointment and we discussed how I can help my coworkers when they need me. She helped me discover new things about myself and understand why I was feeling so sad. She definitely helped me both personally and professionally because now I understand so many things about me that were being reflected on my work.” Damilka says that the mental health initiative has helped her be more patient, improve her teamwork, and overall, become a better manager for her coworkers. 

Mental health is an aspect that is commonly swept under the rug. However, it’s a key aspect for people to have satisfying, rewarding lives. Modern life can take a toll on a person’s psychological well-being, and affect their productivity, interpersonal relationships, and overall morale. Mental health can have both physical and psychological effects on a person, making it a critical aspect to take into consideration when talking about employee health.  

At 24Slides, we are committed to both the physical and mental health of all our coworkers, and that’s what makes stories like this so important. Business success means very little if it’s gained at the expense of the employees’ well-being. We genuinely believe that companies can do both: focus on productivity and take care of their employees’ development.