Employees across Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, and Yangon will benefit from personalised mental health support, wellness days per quarter, and two nutritious snacks or meals per week.
Vero, an ASEAN-wide communications agency with offices in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, and Yangon, has recently reached 100 members in its largest year of regional growth since the agency began in 2009.
To show its appreciation for those employees, it has invested in the Vero Wellness Programme, designed to confront the mental and physical health challenges of the agency lifestyle. This provides financial support to employees for counselling and therapy, guarantees “wellness days” off, and provides free healthy meals and snacks at least twice a week.
"As an agency, everything we do depends on the efforts of our people, so we want to be there to support their whole selves," said Vero Chief Communications Officer, Pattanee Jeeriphab.
"That is why we have prioritised mental health support as a key component of our wellness program. Because mental health, including mental fatigue and stress, is often overlooked, this may be the area in which Vero can make the greatest impact on the lives of our people who need support."
The programme will connect employees to counselors, coaches, and other resources that can provide personalised support in the local language or in English, whether in-person or online. The agency will reserve funds from its regional annual budget to support these sessions, which will be allocated on an as-needed basis. The use of these resources will be kept confidential, known only to the individual employee and Vero’s HR department.
Vero will also strongly encourage employees to take 'wellness days' – paid holidays separate from annual leave – every quarter in order to relax and de-stress. They may be taken on short notice and with no explanation required, and team leaders within the company will be held responsible for the goal of ensuring that their team members are able to use them.
Finally, with the idea that a healthy body is essential to a healthy mind, each Vero office will begin providing at least two nutritious snacks or meals per week. For those working from home, the offices will arrange for these meals to be delivered.
The idea behind this is to discourage employees from eating junk food and empty calories by offering something wholesome in their place. At the Ho Chi Minh City location, for instance, these meals will include salads and dishes from a local organic vegetarian restaurant.
"As Vero reaches 100 team members in Southeast Asia, we feel that the best thing we can do to mark this milestone is to find ways to support our people to the best of our ability," said Vero Chief Operating Officer, Raphael Lachkar.
"While things are changing, there is still stigma regarding mental health challenges in many cultures, which results in low availability of mental health resources and hesitation about taking advantage of the resources that exist. At Vero, we are trying to break down that stigma by letting our team know that we see self-care as something to be proud of rather than ashamed."
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