May Mental Health Month: Creating Supportive Workplaces to Foster Mental Well-being


May is a month of blooming flowers and vibrant growth, and it also holds great significance as Mental Health Month. It is an opportune time for businesses and organizations to cultivate open conversations and implement practices that prioritize the mental well-being of their employees.

In this blog, we will explore the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health in the workplace, as well as practical steps that businesses can take to create a supportive environment for their employees.

We’ll also showcase some of the initiatives we’re taking to open the conversation in our own organization and provide our team with access to resources and support.


Managed Solutions Mental Health Week Initiatives

At Managed Solution we work to promote a fun, healthy culture that enables our employees to succeed because they feel safe, happy, and supported.

That is why this month we dedicated an entire week of activities to promote team bonding, highlight the importance of mental health, share available resources, promote self-care, and open a conversation we hope to keep a special focus on beyond the month of May. Check out some of the activities we initiated below!


Mindful Monday

We kicked off Mental Health Week with a deep breath and a mindful pause. Encouraging our team to explore the following options to boost their mindfulness and mitigate stress.


Treat Yo Self Tuesday

We took a note from Parks and Rec royalty, Donna and Tom, for Treat Yo Self Tuesday! Where our team entered a spa-day gift card raffle by listing the things they do for self-care, or to simply “treat” themselves.


Feed Your Soul Wednesday

On Wednesday we fostered team bonding and connection through a virtual luncheon hosted on Microsoft Teams. Our team had a blast gathering to share stories, meet new members, and catch up on each other’s daily lives.


Mental Health Day of Action

Thursday was our ‘Mental Health Day of Action’, where we focused on spreading the idea that mental health IS health. We took more time to address the conversation on the importance of mental health and the tangible steps that we can all take to care for ourselves both mentally and physically. We further backed this by sharing more mental health resources offered to our employees and guiding them to places or personnel they could reach to access them.


Friday Afternoon Move & Groove

We finished big with a virtual dance party on Friday. It may sound silly but sometimes letting your team know that they’re safe to let loose and be themselves can be a great way to promote mental health.

Professionalism is of course important, but people are people at the end of the day, and knowing you’re free to bust out the sprinkler amongst your team can serve as a fun mood booster. At least, it sure did for us!


Acknowledging the Importance of Mental Health

Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being, and businesses have a vital role to play in acknowledging and addressing this reality. By recognizing that mental health impacts employees' productivity, job satisfaction, and overall quality of life, organizations can foster an environment where individuals feel valued and supported.

Creating Open Conversations

Encouraging open conversations about mental health is a cornerstone of creating a supportive workplace. Businesses can take proactive steps to destigmatize mental health by:


Promoting awareness

Use internal communications, newsletters, or workshops to educate employees about mental health issues, symptoms, and available resources. Share personal stories and testimonials to foster empathy and understanding.


Implementing mental health training

Provide managers and employees with training on mental health awareness, recognizing signs of distress, and supporting colleagues in need. This knowledge empowers individuals to offer appropriate support and creates a culture of empathy and compassion.


Establishing support networks

Encourage the formation of employee resource groups or support networks focused on mental health. These safe spaces allow individuals to share experiences, seek guidance, and build a community of understanding.


Implementing Supportive Practices

In addition to creating open conversations, organizations can implement practical measures that prioritize the mental well-being of their employees. Check out some of the examples we have listed below:


Flexible work arrangements

Offer flexible working hours, remote work options, or compressed work weeks to promote work-life balance and reduce stress. Flexibility empowers employees to manage their mental health effectively while fulfilling their professional responsibilities.


Employee assistance programs (EAPs)

Collaborate with mental health professionals to establish EAPs that provide confidential counseling, therapy, and resources for employees seeking support. These programs ensure that employees have access to professional help when needed.


Wellness initiatives

Introduce wellness initiatives such as yoga or meditation classes, mindfulness workshops, or access to wellness apps. Encouraging physical activity and stress reduction techniques can significantly contribute to employees' mental well-being.


Encouraging time off

Emphasize the importance of taking regular vacations, mental health days, and sick leave without guilt or stigma. Encourage employees to prioritize self-care and model this behavior from leadership positions.


There’s no perfect way to talk about mental health. The important thing is to talk about it in a way that’s authentic to your organization. Mental Health Month presents an invaluable opportunity for businesses and organizations to foster an environment that prioritizes the mental well-being of their employees.

By creating open conversations, implementing supportive practices, and recognizing the importance of mental health, businesses can nurture a workplace where individuals feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive both professionally and personally. Together, let us embrace the journey toward a mentally healthy and resilient workforce.


In this video, Jessica talks about the cloud and how it might be the answer to support your remote workforce.

While the cloud seems like it's intangible, there's actually warehouses around the world that are full of servers that are dedicated to certain companies, applications and business needs. The existing infrastructure lives in a physical warehouse but the service itself is what makes it intangible.

Here are the 5 use cases Jessica discusses for utilizing the cloud in your business:

  1. Data backup and storage: if you're still using manual hard drives backing up data or add extra files on an external hard drive, then the cloud can offer a much more efficient and secure way to store this data. On top of that, when you store your files in the cloud, it may come with a backup solution. For example, if your data is stored on the east coast, and your backup is on the west coast. If something happens to the east coast, you still have everything you need
  2. If you have on-site servers and you don't need to for compliance or legal reasons, then a cloud-based system would be a great option. Whatever you own or manage yourself on-premise, your IT team has to continue to patch that server and make those updates so it's as secure as it can be. If you're in the cloud, this is automatically done for you, so your team gets back that time and doesn't need to spend time on this
  3. Does your company have VPN access? A VPN allows you to connect to your company and connect remotely to all the files and applications you need. There can be a lot of lag time with login issues or latency. The cloud eliminates many of these issues and presents a more pleasant user experience and provides the most bandwidth.
  4. Scalability. Scaling usually happens quickly and this can add a lot of weight to your infrastructure if it's not cloud-based, not to mention it's costly (capital expenditures). When you're cloud-based and add new employees, the equipment you need is pretty minimal and everything else is an operating expense. Additionally, you can give the new employee a few logins and they have access to everything they need. Again, this is a huge time saver.
  5.  Cost. When using anything physically on-premise, they will be capital expenditures, versus the cloud which is an operational expense. With operating expenses, you have a more predictable spend.

In this video interview, you'll hear from Managed Solution CEO Sean Ferrel as he discusses how and why he got started with IT, his passion for people and how he's created a great culture, and what technology and other facets of business leaders should be focused on, especially with the current remote workforce.

How have you managed to get through and grow from tough times like the one we're experiencing now with COVID?

believe in the concept of taking the opportunity during these times. There's a restaurateur that is talking about taking his business to the next level right now, and during a pandemic when restaurants are barely open that might seem really hard to do, but he makes an analogy of comparing it to a forest and all the trees burn down and there are a few seedlings left and if you just give them water they can grow. So there becomes these sprouting companies. My advice is to ignore the negativity and the doubters and just seize the moment and opportunity. It's important to adapt to the environment and that's what we've done well during these times is just reacting to what our customers need.

What must leaders be paying attention to right now to ensure they're keeping the culture and the company alive?

I do think tech is and should be front and center now. Leaders are trying to figure out how to drive culture from afar and what does that mean - happy hour, activities. A lot of us are finding new ways to connect through the tools we have and be more transparent with employees through video. There are challenges though- there's nothing better than sitting face to face with some in a room and understanding each other and feeling their warmth, their trust, and I don’t think tech will solve that because we need that. It's a challenge but to combat that, I think it's important to stay curious, understand what's going on, not overreacting and doing things with humility. Don’t just worry about what you're feeling but what everyone in your organization is feeling. In regards to tech, I think leaders need to look at all the data they're collecting, and how they can automate processes within their business with the data that they have.

How can they take the great data and get business intelligence out of it so you can make data-driven decisions?

If you don't have the data, you need to figure out how to aggregate that data somehow. It's important to make sure your systems are integrating and putting the data together. It allows you to make decisions around investments and hiring. Collaborative tools are obviously huge now and we're getting hung up on conferencing tool - but how can businesses take it further and integrate communication tools with their data such as documents and files. Microsoft does a great job with this and Google is continuing to do more with this. Lastly, security is more prevalent than ever. A lot of companies are becoming more regulated and being forced to comply with security measures, but we're seeing more hackers out there coming in and grabbing information and credentials. It's not a topic talked about enough because it doesn’t contribute to productivity but if you're breached, your company goes into a standstill and productivity doesn’t exist so it's important to think of these things ahead of time. We've seen businesses lose $250,000 because of one click.

How can people ensure their data input is true and accurate?

We operate a services company. When it was the beginning of COVID, we started looking at our call logs, we saw an uptick in off-hour calls, but the type of calls that come in is what's important. Our help desk puts a ticket in to categorize it and add details. This data's accuracy is really important because it helps us determine what kind of issues our customers are having, do we need to hire, and what kind of technical skillset we need to hire for. Another example, on the revenue side, we tried to figure out what our sales pipeline looked like as businesses were evolving to COVID. It helped us look at the opportunities coming in, and the data needs to be accurate as far as what project or service we're going to provide, then we need to make sure we're staffing correctly for that, whether it's existing or new resources.

With so many options available, how do people choose the right tech for them?

People have gotten hung up on products that they're fans of, but I think we need to look at integrations and how we do things holistically. Each piece of tech can have a role, just as humans do, and the best businesses are operationally excellent with spot-on processes. Fast forward to now, it's become a challenge to sometimes get the information and data connected. We need to be more agnostic with our technology. Think beyond the hardware and tools, and think about the solution and process. I think if we can change our thinking that way, then they'll be successful. And the cloud is really what enables us to integrate things so well.

Any parting thoughts?

There's a consumption gap in technology right now. We have end users that can’t keep up with all the features and functionalities of their applications.  There's just so much that can be done. What I think is happening with the tech industry, is it should become about driving the end-user experience. Even if there's a great product in the market, unless your users are willing to adopt the technology, it's an uphill battle. If employees don't utilize the expensive new platform you bought, then what good is it? We have to make sure the technology we're implementing has a positive end-user experience and high adoption.

This week has been historical. Bars and gyms shutting down. Restaurants only offering takeout. Social distancing. Our regular routines have come to a halt.

How do we adapt to these never-before-seen circumstances?

People are starting 'virtual happy hours' and hanging out on FaceTime or Zoom with their friends. Musicians have taken up Facebook live to 'perform shows.' Gyms are offering virtual workouts on social media and other outlets.

And businesses across the country are trying to figure out how to put their best foot forward to enable a remote workforce that is both productive and secure. This article is going to lessen the fear and equip you with questions and ideas for what to do next as well as give you the knowledge of the tools that can address your needs. Ultimately, we're here to empower you to enable a productive remote workforce.

What your business will need to remain productive

In order for your employees to work remotely and out of their homes, there are a few things to consider that your business will need to do so successfully:

  1. Portable devices with access to the internet
  2. Productivity tools
  3. Mobile Management of devices
  4. Identity Management & Security
  5. Network and service monitoring

Portable Devices - Laptops, Tablets, Smart Phones

Currently, many hardware companies are on backorder and are having 2-3 week turnaround times. Fortunately, as a partner of these hardware companies, we tend to get it a bit faster. If we can help provide the devices for you, please contact us.

Most remote access is achieved through a remote tool such as a VPN, Remote Desktop, Windows Virtual Device or Direct Access. Any of these are viable options, it just depends on your infrastructure and what you're looking for. We're happy to chat about this in more detail with you.

Lastly, when remote, we likely won't have a desk phone. In fact, many offices don't have them anymore either. They have what you call a softphone (or desk-less phone). A softphone allows you to make and receive calls right from your device such as your laptop.

Productivity Tools, Meetings & Collaboration

Make sure once you have the devices, that they're equipped with tools that allow for video conferencing, word processing, emailing, file sharing, and other various applications.

It's critical that you have some sort of hub (such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc) for file sharing and team communication. This type of hub allows for realtime communication via video conferencing and instant messaging, allowing your team to always be connected.

With this sort of foundation in place, especially for larger organizations, you are enabling your users to access resources and share files across the web, mobile and desktop storing everything in the cloud. This means you can access your email, files, and more from anywhere. Additionally, users can create and share new files with who they need to.

Lastly, it's critical that your organization continues to communicate. With everyone siloed in their homes, video meetings and instant messaging are more crucial now in staying connected.

Mobile Management

This simply means having the ability to push and pull data and information to different devices so your users can be productive. This includes pushing to applications on-premise or in the cloud. Additionally, it also includes security policies and remote access and support. Your users are going to need all sorts of different data while remote, so it needs to be accessible to them.

With many new portable devices, this is a seamless and secure way to allow users to access company resources. Once their appropriate policies are set, they can then access things like their VPN. Additionally, it allows for ensuring devices are adhering to the policy by checking in on the device's health status.

Identity Management & Security

Identity Management is what we call the 'source of truth' which tells us which employees have access to which files, what applications they can access and which groups, departments, etc that they can communicate with. By setting up each employee's identity, they are able to get what they need when they need it without delay.

This is also an added layer of security. You're able to control who can access what and allow your employees to collaborate securely.

Network & Service Monitoring

There's an increased workload and usage with so many people working remotely, that it's important that you're monitoring the health of your systems. Make sure you have someone on staff (or outsource) that is able to remotely monitor application and network performance. This is critical in preventing breaches, which many companies are extra vulnerable to at this time. 

Questions to Consider When Implementing

Any change in an environment can cause unforeseen challenges or issues. Here are a few questions you should be asking as you prepare for or get started with a remote workforce:

  1. What happens if your IT person can't access your device remotely to help troubleshoot your issues?
  2. How limited in skillset is one IT person versus a whole team?
  3. How are you logging information to capture historical data of issues throughout your organization?
  4. Do you have support 24/7?

Need Help? We're Here.

As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, we can provide all the above, and quickly. Here's how we can help:

  • We have access to hardware from various sources to get you the laptops & other portable devices you need
  • We have a Help Desk that can remotely support your business anywhere in the country
  • We can provide Microsoft software tools (Office 365 or Microsoft 365) that allow you to stay constantly connected with your teams
  • We can provide consulting services lending your our expertise as you navigate these unchartered waters
  • We offer setup/migration services for those needing to migrate to a new system or infrastructure to support their remote work

If you need assistance, or just want to consult, we want to help. You don't have to do this alone, we're in it together. Contact us today.

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