Startups are now pitching mental wellness like a perk — quartz

“If we want to be the brand of clothing that you want to wear to work,” co-founder Aman Advani explained, “we should also be the place that you want to work—and are able to follow your passions, work in a non-toxic environment, and balance comfort and growth.”

To do that, the company has experimented with flexible scheduling, compromising with “work from home” Wednesday mornings, and giving an employee their blessing to work from Europe for a while.

A few months ago, it rolled out a parental-leave policy—a sign of the company’s maturity and its commitment to employee health and retention. Yoga blogilates Advani says that Ministry is the only seed-funded startup he’s aware of that has a parental leave policy (although, it’s worth noting that Ministry has raised $8.5 million, a figure that for most startups would typically involve a Series A). International yoga journal magazine The policy, available to both men and women, involves a staggered 6-month format (100% pay for the first few months, 50% pay as the employee begins to work from home part-time, and 75% pay as the employee works their way back full time and works approximately 3/4 time). Yoga free download mp3 Ministry co-founder Kit Hickey is its first adopter.

“This is actually an advantage for us,” Advani explains, “It attracts and retains talented people, and ensures Kit’s mental health will be at its peak when she returns. Yoga for youth Our hypothesis is that in the old-world way of doing this, people return before they are comfortable, which would affect their work, their projected tenure, and the work of those around them.

Best yoga poses for weight loss So, the inspiration was to solve this through a long-term view of retention and health.”

Social media tool Buffer, which shares an investor with Ministry (VTF Capital), has gained a lot of attention for its efforts around radical transparency (in particular, for making its salaries, work processes and financials transparent). Yoga studio calgary downtown But the company learned that transparency has its limits when it laid off 11% of its 94-person staff in June. Hot yoga edmonton downtown “Things weren’t adding up, and the solution was letting go of people, which is very different from killing a feature,” co-founder Leo Widrich wrote on Buffer’s blog. Yoga ukiah Now it’s focusing on ways to uplift morale while the company stays lean enough to get back on track financially.

One piece of promoting mental wellness is a minimum vacation policy, requiring employees to take at least three weeks of paid time off each year. Yoga practice yakima It’s not quite the average four-to-five weeks in Europe. Asanas de yoga para adelgazar But Widrich and his fellow Brit and co-founder Joel Gascoigne see it as a step in the right direction, away from the “unlimited vacation” policies that most startups tend to provide (the ambiguity around “unlimited” often leads to employees taking virtually no vacation time; at Buffer it was anywhere between 5-10 days). Bikram yoga san jose Widrich said that it’s up to him and Gascoigne to set the example, because their employees will follow suit.

Outside of Buffer, Widrich created a meditation community in New York City called Balanced—his personal quest to find more balance between work and the rest of his life. Ashtanga yoga shala halifax During a meditation the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving, he reflected on the downsides to prioritizing work above all else. Yoga tropics pb “I thought I was living this grand life,” Widrich told the group, sharing a story about a company retreat in Honolulu, “but some of my darkest days were in Hawaii.” Widrich decided on the layoffs at Buffer a few months later.

Startups aren’t sprints, but marathons that require sustained endurance from founders and their employees. Different yoga poses photos Pitching mental health as a perk is an indication of just how far the industry has to go—but it’s a start.