RE: Using sick days for mental health

Tags: mental healthsick daywellness day

I HATE this bad habit, but while aimlessly wasting time & scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I found a gold nugget:  this great article – the story of Madalyn Parker, a fellow web developer from Michigan who works for Olark.

For those who haven’t seen/heard of it, long story short,

she emailed her team this:

And received this response from her boss:

First of all, freakin’ awesome response, Ben Congleton. We can’t agree more.

Second, it got me thinking more about the culture, the attitudes and support we work to foster across the board for our geeks & creatives team members.

Our everyday culture & team development work includes:

  • celebrating our people & their strengths with tools like StrengthsFinder and other educational events;
  • encouraging personal & professional growth/learning – and then sharing it for the entire team’s benefit;
  • creating a healthy environment with stand-up desks, physical fitness perks & challenges, and healthy snacks & lunches in our cafe;
  • … and our list could go on …

We’ve historically even offered financial wellness perks & programming to our team and recently, I’m thrilled to have incorporated mental & emotional wellbeing into our conversations – including talk about mental health days and their benefits; and how we can foster an environment where we can feel confident being vulnerable and sharing when we’re not in the best, healthiest place, mentally.

More work and conversations are needed – and I feel confident wisnet is on the right track. However, this shared experience by/of Madalyn has encouraged me to evolve my vernacular just a little bit and I believe it can make a big difference! My personal mentality and professional drive have always been to help my team members become their best self … but the truth of the matter is that some days we wake up and our best self just isn’t feasible, for whatever reason.

Going forward, I aspire for our geeks & creatives team to feel confident in being supported as their true, whole self. If that whole self means you’re at your best, fabulous! And if not, know we’re here anytime you want to talk.