Promoting Physical and Mental Health in 24Slides: Our Practical Approach to SGD #3

Following our #Storytellers initiative, Gabi, our Head of People Success, shares with us how it looks for a company like 24Slides to focus on SDG #3 — Good health and well-being —  and why we consider mental health such an essential part of our mission. 

As part of our commitment to empowering people, 24Slides heads found out that focusing on the environment – not only the physical offices but the health and well-being of their coworkers, was essential to enabling people to grow and become a better version of themselves, both professionally and on a personal level. 

Physical well-being has been a part of businesses for a while now, with health insurance and facilities being part of many jobs. However, mental health has often not been treated with the same emphasis. 

Gabi, our Head of People Success, shared with us some of her insight into why 24Slides decided to focus on promoting good health and what this means from a practical standpoint. 

Focusing on Physical and Mental Health 

24Slides decided to make an active effort to focus on both the physical and mental health of its employees. As Gabi shared,

Mental health is, in my opinion, the only way to have a successful business. When people are thriving mentally, you get a business that is creative, positive, and agile. Contrast this with a scenario where mental health is neglected; you’re left with colleagues who merely react to situations, follow orders by rote, and lack a genuine commitment to the organization’s purpose. It’s crystal clear to me that a business can only reach its highest potential with a high focus on the mental well-being of its people.

Most importantly, beyond the business side of things, our purpose is Empowering People in Emerging Markets, and our focus on mental health is a crucial part of that purpose. Mental health is a huge part of creating the foundation for people to become the best version of themselves and be able to make better decisions for themselves and their families.

As Gabi highlights, physical and mental health are deeply connected — it’s challenging to have one without the other. 

Good mental health is fundamental to our overall well-being. Even if you’re in excellent physical shape, poor mental health can eventually impact your body. Conversely, physical health issues can affect your mental well-being. It’s a clear and interconnected relationship between body and mind, which is why we must prioritize both.

How to Tackle Mental Health in a Remote and Multicultural Team

One of the biggest challenges when tackling the topic of mental health is the fact that 24Slides has offices in different countries. When trying to create a space where people find a sense of community and where mental health can flourish, tackling the issue of a multinational company is a must. 

We want to focus on also having fun and creating a sense of belonging with our colleagues. In Indonesia, we have 24Club, which promotes different activities to be more active together. In Peru, we have just invested in a new office — they‘ve been working from home for the past three years because of the pandemic— and while remote work was still efficient, we believe that there is an immense value in people meeting up and chatting over coffee. In Ukraine, we work entirely remotely due to the war, but we try to be creative and still do stuff online together as a team: challenging each other in games, having team workshops discussing mental health, etc.

Beyond just office life, the culture and characteristics of different offices must also be taken into consideration when working on mental health initiatives. As Gabi says, it’s critical to understand that different offices have different circumstances, and that condition their needs concerning mental health. 

In all countries, we provide health benefits for our employees so that they are insured should something happen, but we also aim to focus on the different mental health issues our colleagues might encounter. We need to constantly figure out what each office needs based on their culture and the specific people that conform to each team. 

For example, Peru was hit pretty hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we offered free psychological sessions for the team during those times. Now that Ukraine is being affected by the war, we have enabled a similar initiative for them. 

When talking about mental health in different, separated offices, investing and prioritizing leadership skills is crucial to developing a healthy environment. By creating empathetic, responsible team leaders, we also promote teams that are more in tune with their mental health. 

In 24Slides, we focus on leadership, recognizing its massive role in the well-being and mental health of our team members. Our goal is to empower our leaders to embrace their responsibilities with confidence, enabling them to become the best versions of themselves. By doing so, they can create a ripple effect of positivity within their teams and beyond.

We also place great importance on fostering a culture of open communication and feedback. Our approach is to strive for a balance where 80% of feedback is positive, highlighting what’s going well and expressing appreciation for our colleagues, team members, and managers. This emphasis on positivity is to create a positive cycle where we build people up and enable them to be the best versions of themselves.

Promoting Health and Well-being in an Every-day Basis

Prioritizing health and well-being, both physical and mental, is an everyday work. And while it’s up to the individual to make the change, our responsibility and role as a company that aims to empower people is to promote and facilitate opportunities for this to happen

We make sure to create campaigns and activities that focus on mental and physical health through our CSR department. Initiatives like the Global Challenge or The 24Walk are meant to take people off their seats and get moving, as well as build a sense of community and shared goals. 

Recently, we have announced our third Global Challenge — an annual initiative born as a way to go beyond just the members of the 24Slides team. Employees can choose to run, walk, cycle, or overall just exercise as a way to collect funds for two of our selected charities: Ruang Belajar Aqil, an NGO focused on improving education and empowering the community through learning programs in Malang, Indonesia, and Nuevo Futuro, an orphanage in Lima, Peru, that supports babies and children who don’t have a family environment.

For each registered participant, 24Slides donates $20 to these charities. Through this initiative, we not only promote a more active and healthy lifestyle but also bring the 24Slides team together through a good cause and team effort. 

In 24Slides’ experience, it’s not enough to give people space to complete their tasks. It’s about people feeling welcomed and where they can achieve their goals and grow as people and as professionals. 

By aligning with the UN’s sustainable development goals, and especially SDG #3, we can implement efficient guidelines for how to create the most significant possible impact, addressing inequalities and improving the quality of living of not only the employees but their surrounding communities, too. 

Focusing on physical and mental health and creating initiatives that align with this goal allows us to empower our team to reach new heights and make a positive impact in the world. 

From the 18th to the 24th of September, join us in the #2023GlobalChallenge through our social media platforms.