I normally send weekly emails to our team on Fridays. This week, I sent a mid-week update that deserved its own email: mental health.
I know it's not Friday but I wanted to send this note out on its own since it covers something that's very important to each of us: our physical and mental health.
As you've seen by now, COVID-19 rates are increasing again, and in many places are at or above what was experienced in March and April. I'm writing today to ask you all to continue to be very careful since this pandemic is still raging.
As you go out and about (if you go out and about), please wear a mask and take other precautions to reduce your risk of contracting this disease. Masks are required when working at the warehouse and we can supply single use and cloth masks if you don't have one or forget it when you come to work. We will also be supplying gloves while you work if you choose to wear those. Efforts like these will help all of us stay as safe (and busy) as possible.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please let us know and take the right steps to get tested and/or seek treatment. We are a community and you being mindful when you're off the clock can keep all of us on the clock.
Secondly, I want to take some time to also remind you to take care of your mental health.
Look - this year sucks. And one week from today, election results will start to come in and probably increase levels of anxiety and vitriol. The weather is getting colder and we're hitting that time in middle Tennessee when gray skies dominate. The days are getting shorter. Who knows what Thanksgiving and Christmas will look like. All of this can take its toll.
This has been the hardest year for me, mental health-wise. The joy I get from my family and my work have helped me combat the mental malaise that sneaks in via headlines, social media, quarantines, and shutdowns. I've developed new routines and practices that help me deal with fits of sadness, rage, confusion, and hopelessness.
That's the thing about our mental health: we often don't know when we'll face a bout of depression, a fit of sadness, a spate of anger, or a time of apathy. These episodes can sneak up on any of us, and like a nagging cough or persistent headache if we don't take time to address them, they'll only swell up into something larger.
Please be mindful of your mental health as we continue in this election season and on into winter. If you need an afternoon away, or some time to process something (especially with a professional), we will allow you the space for that. Please let your supervisor know you need time to decompress and we'll always do our best to give you what you need.
I'm proud that Batch is one of the few small businesses I know that allows all of its employees (even part time and hourly) to accrue paid time off. Using your PTO for a mental health break is a wise use of that benefit. Your PTO is yours; it will never decrease or cap out and you can use it even if and when you've worked a full schedule. To view your balance and cash it in, just log into your account and create the request. I'll approve it; no questions asked.
When people ask about what has been behind Batch's growth this year, I certainly talk about offices and events going remote and our diligence to pivot to online sales and increased digital marketing. But I only mention those things after I talk about the resilience and hard work of our entire team.
And there is certainly hard work ahead of us (just 58 shopping days until Christmas). I look forward to working alongside all of you, which will no doubt be possible if we each continue to look after our physical and mental health.
Get your flu shot,