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Chubbies Prioritizes Mental Health

Chubbies team photo

The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the workplace, particularly on employee mental health. Lockdowns and social isolation, coupled with the blurring of work and personal life boundaries, led to a surge in anxiety, depression, and overall stress for many workers.

Recognizing this growing concern, my 2024 Distributed Work Report found that nearly half (49%) of companies are expanding mental health services this year. This reflects a growing understanding that employee well-being directly impacts business performance and productivity.

The rise of virtual/telehealth services, offered by 42% of companies, is particularly noteworthy. It increases the accessibility of quality healthcare support, regardless of location - a crucial factor in today’s world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly common.

Prioritizing Employee Well-Being: A Case Study

Chubbies, a thriving virtual-first company, serves as an inspiring example of prioritizing employee mental health and well-being. As an advisor to Tessa Hartwick, Chubbies’ Director of People, I have been actively involved in helping the team define and promote a culture of well-being and inclusivity.

Chubbies understands that its passionate, dedicated team members are its greatest asset. The company takes a multi-faceted approach to well-being, providing support in the following ways: 

  1. Partnership with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC): the DEIC champions mental health support, ensuring every voice is heard and advocating for inclusive policies and practices.

  2. "How We Work Together" virtual-first norms and expectations: Clear is kind in a virtual world. Chubbies has worked hard to document and iterate on their working norms over the past few years, focused on mindful productivity to prevent burnout and inclusive meeting practices. A couple of great programs worth highlighting include:

    1. Midspace Wednesdays: a dedicated day each week for focused work, creativity, and uninterrupted workflow. They encourage employees to protect this time and avoid scheduling recurring calls.

    2. Quiet Weeks: similarly, Chubbies carves out time for "quiet weeks" throughout the year and allow employees to use that time as they see fit.

  3. Comprehensive Benefits and Perks: Healthcare benefits, easy access to virtual doctor visits and therapy appointments, parental leave insurance, and a monthly meal stipend.

  4. Career Development Budgets: Partners with Hone and Learnerbly to support employee and manager development.

    1. Individual development budgets for employees to invest in the way they learn best. Given Learnerbly's wide variety of offerings, employees can allocate their budgets toward well-being tools and resources.

    2. A wide variety of well-being training offerings are available through the Hone platform on topics such as mindfulness, psychological safety, inclusion, and belonging.

Chubbies team photo silly faces

Through these initiatives, Chubbies has successfully created a supportive work environment that prioritizes employees' mental well-being. They are committed to not only delivering exceptional results but also fostering a workplace where team members thrive mentally and emotionally.

Looking Ahead: Cultivating a Positive Work Culture

In my almost two decades as an HR leader, I’ve learned that prioritizing employee well-being is not just a trend but a necessity in today’s workplace. The pandemic has forced companies to prioritize employee mental health by offering a wide range of accessible services, paving the way for a more sustainable work environment. 

If you’re interested in cultivating a similar culture at your organization, I’m here to help:

  • Schedule an "Ask Me Anything" micro consulting session to get personalized advice

  • Purchase a Remote Work Playbook to accelerate your progress

  • Engage me as an Advisor to your leadership and people team to build a strong people operations foundation and best-in-class employee experiences

Together, we can create thriving distributed teams and foster a positive work culture that supports employee well-being.


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