Just over a week ago, Spotifiers from all over the world checked their emails for the last time before settling into a week-long break of relaxation and energization. This was the third year in a row that we insisted on all employees simultaneously taking an extra week of paid leave to unwind and reset.
We encourage our band members to find ways to support their mental health every day, offering many programs and initiatives through our Heart & Soul strategy and supported and catalysed by our Heart & Soul ambassadors. We’re enormously proud of the work the Heart & Soul team and the ambassadors do, continuously making sure band members are supported with their mental health, all year round. In addition, we know the value of complimenting that with dedicated non-working time each year, that each Spotifier can spend as they wish.
The wellbeing of Spotifiers has been a huge priority for us for several years, and we introduced Wellness Week for the first time in 2020. The power of taking this week off put Mental illness prevention under the spotlight, and at the moment we see the need to keep it there. We might not be in the middle of the pandemic, but the world continues to be a place of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As I write, there are several global crises happening around the world from wars and hateful violence and killing, to economic difficulties and climate disasters. It’s an environment where I’d be surprised to find a single person who was unaffected, presenting a situation where I know we can all benefit from taking a mental health beat.
That’s why we ask all of our employees to unplug for a whole week, at the same time. We don’t want them to feel any pressure from seeing each other in work forums, or from receiving work-related information or questions. We understand the importance of everyone laying down their tools at the same time, in order to really disconnect and focus on themselves. We ask all Spotifiers to spend Wellness Week in their own restorative way – in the garden, on the sofa, travelling, listening to a book, podcast, or music, connecting with family and friends, or whatever makes them feel good. It’s their time to prioritise themselves.
We appreciate and are proud of our employees’ dedication, tenacity, and support for each other and for our company, through the good times as well as the more challenging ones. We might be in an era of overwhelming crises, where people are receiving stress from numerous different areas of their life. And we know that we can do little to influence so many of these areas. So what can we do? More than being one less source of stress – we can be supportive. We can make space for our employees wellbeing and mental health and show them that looking after themselves is encouraged at Spotify. And we can act as a guide for the huge number of people who sometimes need someone to step in and tell them to switch off for a while. Even if someone’s mental health is already “good”, Wellness Week can be the help they need to take it to “great!”