Plumm's Asim Amin shares why a healthier and happier employee is a huge asset to every workplace
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Plumm’s Asim Amin shares why a healthier and happier employee is a huge asset to every workplace

Plumm’s Asim Amin shares why a healthier and happier employee is a huge asset to every workplace

The founder and CEO of the mental wellbeing platform says organisations must provide a holistic support system to ensure employee wellbeing

What led to the creation of Plumm?
My mother suffered from severe stress and depression, which deeply impacted me. Witnessing her suffering was heartbreaking. However, all this changed after she sought therapy. She gradually became better and happier, and over time, even trained to become a therapist herself. From a young age, I’ve seen both the negative and positive impact of a person’s mental health on their lives. I’ve also witnessed what happens when people give their mental wellbeing the attention it deserves.

I’ve always been excited about technology and structured my career around it. So, it was only natural that I wanted to start a company that combined both my love for technology and my strong advocacy of therapy and mental wellbeing. In 2017, the mental health sector was not as robust as it is today, and back then I wanted to create my own model, which would change and reshape the industry. This led me to develop Plumm, which was founded in 2018 in the UK –  the company is now four years old. Dubai and the UAE have always been leaders and pioneers when it comes to change, progress and growth in the Middle East and the world. With a big technology shift, the UAE is not only focused on creating an ecosystem to nurture home-grown businesses, it has also become a very welcoming environment for international businesses.

Moreover, a big push on the government level to drive change and support people’s mental wellbeing has been evident through championing initiatives such as the four-day work week. Based on these developments, we felt it was the right time to launch our services in the UAE market. I’ve also lived in Dubai for most of my life, which is why it was easy to make a decision to set up here.

How does the platform work?
As a workplace mental wellbeing platform, we partner with progressive organisations to help build a more compassionate and productive workforce. Our goal is to put the mental wellbeing of employees at the centre of organisations. To do this, we provide employees with evidence-based care, tailored to their requirements, while helping businesses save money on employee engagement and healthcare costs. Gulf International Bank, DHL, Ubisoft and XE are just some of the forward-thinking organisations we work with.

Our platform helps people at every stage of their mental wellbeing path. We offer preventative, reactive and personal growth journeys, depending on what is needed for the individual. As well as one-to-one mental health support from over 150 accredited therapists and specialised coaches, who are fluent in 17 languages, to support them through chat and video calls, we also offer wellbeing workshops, courses and guided meditations. Plumm is easily accessible via the website, iOS and Android mobile apps, Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Why has mental health support become integral to employee wellbeing especially after the pandemic?
Mental health support has always been an integral part of employee wellbeing; however, the importance thereof has become increasingly prominent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. As we try to return to the way that things once were, we cannot help but notice that this is definitely easier said than done. Dealing with work-related stressors has always been a tricky space to navigate (i.e., meeting multiple/tight deadlines, having to achieve work-life balance, having to work towards a promotion, dealing with unexpected events or difficult customers – the list goes on).

However, since the pandemic these stressors have only been intensified by disruptions to our routines, worry over our health and the health of loved ones, and a looming uncertainty about the future. In the wake of all these compounding factors, a lot of employees can become overwhelmed or experience distress to such a degree that it begins to influence their productivity and work satisfaction. This can be detrimental both to the individual and to their employer, and that is why mental health support is so important. By ensuring that your employees receive access to the mental health support services they need, they can improve their coping strategies, organise their thoughts, evaluate (or even re-evaluate) their priorities, establish healthy routines, find a better work-life balance, and overcome self-limiting beliefs that have been holding them back.

A healthier and happier employee is a huge asset to every workplace and every business, and the contribution that they are able to make to the long-term success of the company is likely to be far greater than it would have been if they weren’t receiving the mental health support they need.

Do you think enough is being done by companies globally to support their employees?
I believe that companies have started to realise the importance of their employees’ mental wellbeing, but there is still a long way to go. Companies first need to acknowledge that investing in their human capital is no longer a ‘good to have’ but the most important aspect of the business. Since Covid particularly, people are reevaluating their priorities and need more than just a salary from their workplace. They need support, sense of purpose and belonging, work-life balance, flexibility and so on.

Employees mental wellbeing support is a key element to this support framework. Organisations must be able to provide a holistic support system for their people, not only when things go wrong (intervention) but also prevention and growth.

What are the signs that an employee needs help?
Some common signs that might indicate an employee is in need of help include being late for work often, frequently rescheduling meetings, calling in sick often, seeming distracted in meetings or while they should be working, switching their camera off regularly during virtual meetings, sending emails or being online outside of business hours, displaying antisocial behaviour at work or avoiding social events organised by the company, and frequent complaints about body pains, tiredness or sleeping difficulties.

Any easy tips to maintain a good work-life balance?
Regular daily breaks during work hours (five-minute mindfulness or stretch breaks between meetings, using your lunch hour, etc.) and regularly taking time off (plan holidays throughout the year and take them) are important. Communication is also key; ask for help and vocalise your concerns and requirements. Logging off completely from your emails, MS Teams and Slack etc., after work is very important. It’s easy these days to stay connected all the time, but it’s critical to have that pause.

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