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Google will give every employee $1,000 to WFH. Its head of wellness explains why

Source | amp-cnn-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business

Most of Google’s US workforce has been working remotely since March due to the coronavirus. And last month, CEO Sundar Pichai said he expects most employees will largely be working from home for the rest of the year.

As the wellness and resilience lead at Google, it’s Lauren Whitt’s job to make sure Google employees remain healthy and have access to mental health and wellness resources during these uncertain times.

And that is no small task.

There are 10 members of the global well-being and mental health teams, who work with all of Google’s employees across the globe.

To help with the shift to working from home, the company has offered virtual training and classes. And it has shifted some of its notorious perks online. Google also recently offered all employees a $1,000 allowance to spend on equipment to help outfit their home workspaces.

CNN Business spoke with Whitt about Google’s recent wellness efforts during the pandemic. Here’s what she had to say about what Google is doing to promote mental health and well being (This interview has been edited for clarity and length):

What role do managers have when it comes to their team’s mental health? And what can they do to make sure their workers’ are doing OK?

We are asking them to check in on the well-being of their team, to ask about how their team is doing. We do not want our managers to be therapists, counselors, advisers in any way on the mental health space. We do want them to check in on: ‘How is your well being?’ ‘How are you doing?’ ‘How is life going for you right now?’ And if there are signs or indications that there may be something going on, to be able to connect the Googler with the wealth of resources and suite of services that we have available.

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