Embracing a Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

The past two years have included decades worth of seminal societal moments. We've navigated the health crisis of a pandemic while working and socializing in completely new ways. We've seen a racial reckoning, an insurrection, and several major international conflicts over sovereignty. Luckily, through all of this upheaval, we've also seen an unprecedented focus on mental health.

This understanding of the importance of mental health has made its way into the workplace, with many organizations implementing new and improved mental health support for employees. These efforts include more widely publicizing mental health services available via employee assistance programs, building in mental health breaks and activities, as well as updating wellness programs to focus on the specific mental and physical health needs, we have today. Continue reading

Event Organizers Must Plan for 2022 Normal, Not 2019 Normal

While COVID-19 cases continue to decline, and states and localities start dropping mask and vaccine mandates it's easy to get our hopes up for a return to "normal." But we've seen this "movie" and now know how quickly things can spike back up to levels impacting public health. In reality, we don't know what normal really is. For the near future, we should expect to see many pandemic precautions remain in place in some form for in-person events for the foreseeable future. This includes sanitization, spacing, masks, and vaccine mandates.

Experience has shown us that careful planning can lead to safe events. The first known omicron case in the U.S. was found in a person that had attended a 53,000-person anime convention in New York. The initial fear was that the event would reveal itself to be a super spreader. The reality showed that was not the case. A CDC study credited good air filtration, widespread vaccination and indoor masking. Events should look to scale these types of efforts to keep attendees healthy even in less contagious environments. Continue reading