- Noelle Becker Moreno
- May 25, 2023
Nurturing Minds in web3: Edge & Node’s Unique Mental Health Initiative
Four recharge weeks, monthly therapy stipends, meditation apps and more innovative approaches to empower the mental health of the visionaries building web3.
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In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we at Edge & Node wanted to share our commitment to the wellbeing of our team members. As a fast-paced startup company, we understand the importance of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving in our daily work. But we also recognize that to achieve these goals, our team members need to take care of their mental health. That’s why Edge & Node has developed a comprehensive wellbeing program to empower the team with several tools, benefits, and support for mental health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. According to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, 77% of respondents experienced burnout at their current job, and 84% reported feeling overwhelmed. Moreover, a study by the American Institute of Stress revealed that job stress costs U.S. employers over $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, turnover, and decreased productivity.
Burnout can be a significant challenge in the modern workplace. Work-life balance is important to us, as is creating a work environment to foster personal growth. We are committed to proactively addressing burnout and fatigue by actively seeking innovative ways to support our team members, whom we consider friends and family at Edge & Node. That's why we've created a first-of-its-kind suite of solutions to support our team's mental health and well-being.
However, burnout isn’t the only thing to optimize for when creating a healthy work environment that prioritizes mental health. Organizational anthropologist Dr. Timothy Clark advocates for developing a psychologically safe workplace. In his guide Hyper Island, Clark details four stages of psychological safety – principles that we at Edge & Node have incorporated into our digital office culture: .
- Stage 1: Inclusion Safety - It’s important for your teammates to feel connected to one another and the team as a whole. At Edge & Node, we celebrate people for who they are, the traits that make them unique, along with their goals. We encourage folks to bring their real selves to work, to express themselves freely, rather than assume a one-size-fits-all office persona.
- Stage 2: Learner Safety - Clark extolls the benefits of workplaces that enable constant learning. Our teammates subscribe to the “no stupid questions” mantra – all are free to learn, ask questions, and make mistakes, actions which lead to very rewarding personal and professional growth.
- Stage 3: Contributor Safety - Everyone enjoys the feeling of making a meaningful contribution to projects at work. At Edge & Node, we celebrate people’s strengths and encourage them to voice their truths on what they feel they excel at, and conversely, what they feel drains their energy. This culture of honesty enables everyone to bring their best selves to work and focus on actions that energize them.
- Stage 4: Challenger Safety - Healthy organizations defend the ability to challenge assumptions more than the notion that some kind of status quo must be maintained. Our teammates are encouraged to dissent and voice their opinions, even if it means going against the current. Having a non-judgmental atmosphere helps create a culture of openness.
Healthy workplace culture creates a strong foundation for wellbeing and mental health. But it’s equally important to reinforce the cultural elements of a workplace with meaningful benefits and perks that sustain psychological safety for the long run.
In addition to a comprehensive health insurance plan, we offer a $250/month stipend per employee towards mental health support, a free Calm meditation app subscription, meeting free-Fridays across all timezones, and a unique program of four rest and recharge weeks each year!
That’s right – our entire team receives a week off, four times a year, to rest and recharge. With most of us off at the same time, there is the added bonus of not coming back to a plethora of Slack messages and to-do’s that may normally occur if you took a vacation week. This time off is in addition to their paid time off and holidays, giving them a chance to disconnect from work-related activities and focus on personal wellness. Whether that means spending time with family and friends, traveling, or simply taking a break from the daily grind, we encourage our team members to use this time to rejuvenate and return to work refreshed and energized.
The value of rest and recharge goes beyond preventing burnout alone. Taking time off can lead to increased creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills. Our bodies and brains are not designed for constant, unlimited output – breaks are a must. In fact, many successful business leaders have recognized the importance of rest and taken significant breaks to recharge their minds.
Multiple studies have shown that taking regular vacations and time off from work positively impacts productivity upon return. A study conducted by Ernst & Young found that for every additional 10 hours of vacation time taken by employees, their year-end performance ratings improved by 8%. Additionally, consistent vacation time has been linked to reduced stress, increased job satisfaction, and higher levels of engagement. In Arianna Huffington’s TED Talk titled "How to Succeed? Get More Sleep," Arianna Huffington discusses the importance of sleep, rest, and disconnecting from technology for optimal performance and productivity. She shares personal anecdotes and scientific evidence to highlight the significant impact of rest on our well-being and effectiveness. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, takes two one-week "think weeks" each year where he isolates himself from work and distractions to focus on thinking and strategizing.
We also recognize that benefits like our rest weeks are not always a cure-all – we commit to constantly reevaluating how our team is feeling with quarterly surveys to discover areas for improvement. These surveys gauge current comfort levels, potential points of friction, and outlook for the future. Questions are on a sliding scale and include prompts like:
- It is safe to take risks on this team, even if I fail
- I feel safe speaking up, even when others disagree
At Edge & Node, we believe that investing in our team members' wellbeing brings the team closer and strengthens bonds in our work family. By prioritizing rest and recharge, we empower our team to bring their best selves to work every day. In addition to a positive impact on mental health, a clear mind often results in increased productivity, creativity, and ultimately, success.
As we continue to navigate the challenges of the modern workplace, we encourage other companies to follow our lead in prioritizing mental health and well-being. Together, we can create a healthier and more productive workforce.
Want to join Edge & Node on a mission to solve the world’s biggest challenges – without making any sacrifices of mental health – by working in web3? Browse our open career positions and step into the future of work with us.
About Edge & Node
Edge & Node is a software development company solving the world’s biggest challenges with decentralized technology. Founded by the initial team behind blockchain data indexing protocol The Graph, Edge & Node has extensive experience in developing and maintaining open-source software, tools, and protocols as well as enabling builders and entrepreneurs to create and launch unstoppable applications. The team is dedicated to the proliferation of web3 applications that decentralize digital infrastructure, leverage market-based incentives, and revolutionize peer to peer coordination.
In 2022, Edge & Node unveiled the House of Web3, the world's first web3 co-creation space, situated in the historic Presidio of San Francisco. As a hub of innovation, the House of Web3 harnesses the power of decentralization to ideate and develop solutions addressing the shared challenges of the world. The House of Web3 unites a collective of visionary web3 creators, including builders, researchers, inventors, investors, and partners who are weaving the code of tomorrow into the very fabric of humanity.
To keep up with all things Edge & Node, follow us on Twitter, Linkedin, Github TikTok and Instagram. Follow the House of Web3 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. As we continue to grow, we're always on the lookout for exceptional talent to join our team. Together, let's pioneer a revolutionary digital landscape and shape a brighter future for all.
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