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Workplace mental health – the secret to success in the gig economy

Woman taking care of her workplace mental health by taking a break from work and walking in the park and sipping coffee.

VG Staff

May 2, 2023

Mental health is a great equalizer. From executives and in-office teams to fractional remote staff, all have self-care needs that must be addressed. Yet, too many of us ignore the declining state of our mental health and push ourselves past our limits which results in burnout, a lack of productivity, mental fog, anxiety, and depression.

Thankfully, mental health discussions are happening in businesses around the world more than ever before. It’s no longer taboo for an employee or leader to take a mental health day when they require one. Employees are feeling more comfortable requesting mental health days, without fear of being seen as weak or worrying about the repercussions it may pose to their position and career.

In this article, we bring you forward-thinking strategies and inspirational tips to support the mental well-being of executives and virtual assistants alike. Embrace these recommendations and proactively seek out resources in your local area. Strengthening workplace mental health will not only improve your productivity and foster stronger workplace relationships but it’ll also translate into a more balanced home life.

Join us on this journey to a healthier, more vibrant work experience, where we’ll explore practical advice through a holistic view of workplace mental health while prioritizing self-care for everyone, from executives to virtual assistants.

Mental health challenges in the gig economy

Asian man sitting with Caucasian woman outside, eating lunch while they strengthen their workplace mental health

Navigating the gig economy can be rewarding with its flexibility and freedom, but it also brings unique challenges that can take a toll on one’s mental health. Virtual Gurus remains focused on how we can strengthen workplace mental health for our virtual assistants and our clients. We believe in raising awareness of these challenges to promote a supportive work environment for all.

Review the common mental health challenges below to identify areas that may be impacting your mental wellness.

Inconsistent work schedules and income

Working in the gig economy often means fluctuating work hours and income, which can lead to financial stress and feelings of insecurity. Recognizing this issue is the first step toward finding solutions and resources to ease this burden.

Maintaining professional reputation and client relationships

Executives and virtual assistants alike need to cultivate a positive professional image and strong client relationships. The pressure to perform consistently and maintain high standards can be mentally taxing. Identifying ways to manage this pressure is essential to long-term success and well-being.

Balancing work and personal life in a flexible work environment

With blurred boundaries between work and personal life, especially in the gig economy, finding balance can be challenging. As a brand focused on innovation, positivity, and equality, we encourage our virtual assistants and clients to establish healthy routines and set boundaries to set the stage for a harmonious work-life balance.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into strategies and resources to help address these challenges, empowering executives and virtual assistants to achieve their goals while also strengthening their workplace mental health.

Strategies for addressing mental health concerns

Older man taking a work break and sitting on a park bench and smiling while scrolling on his tablet.

Take proactive steps to address your mental health concerns before they control your life and begin to impact your business and career. To support our virtual assistant community and our clients, we’ve put together a concise list of practical strategies that can make a significant difference in maintaining your well-being and achieving success.

Developing a support network

Cultivate connections with like-minded professionals and join online communities where you can share experiences, exchange ideas, and support one another.

Implementing self-care practices

Prioritize personal time, set boundaries, and engage in activities that promote relaxation and mental well-being, such as physical exercise and mindfulness techniques.

Seeking professional help when necessary

Don’t hesitate to reach out to employee assistance programs, tele-therapy options, or local mental health services if you need additional support.

Continue reading below to see our favourite tools to help you implement some of these proactive steps in strengthening workplace mental health.

Tools and resources for executives and virtual assistants

We’re committed to empowering our clients and VAs on their path to mental wellness so we’ve curated a concise list of valuable tools and resources to help you maintain mental well-being while navigating the gig economy.

These resources not only help in addressing the unique challenges of the gig economy but also foster a more supportive and collaborative work environment. These resources address the unique challenges of remote work in the gig economy and foster a supportive and collaborative work environment, ultimately contributing to improved mental well-being and allowing you to excel in your role.

Time management and productivity tools

Managing your time enables both executives and virtual assistants to efficiently prioritize their tasks, set deadlines, and allocate resources, which reduces stress and feelings of overwhelm. In fact, virtual assistants themselves enable executives to become more productive by streamlining workflows and minimizing distractions. Using additional productivity tools will further contribute to a more balanced work environment, allowing individuals to maintain a healthier work-life balance and ultimately, support their mental well-being.

Online platforms for networking and skill development

This may not seem like an obvious solution for improving mental wellness in the workplace, but trust us, it will help. Networking and skill development significantly contribute to mental health in the workplace by fostering personal growth, boosting confidence, and creating a sense of community.

Pursuing new skills while building meaningful connections with like-minded individuals is a fantastic tool for fostering positivity in your career. Both executives and virtual assistants will benefit from networking and skills development by feeling supported and empowered, reducing feelings of isolation and stress.

LinkedIn is the leading online platform for building professional connections, staying informed about industry news, and discovering job opportunities. Users can also access LinkedIn Learning, which offers a wide range of skill development courses.

  • Best for skill development: Udemy

Udemy is an online learning platform featuring thousands of courses on various topics, including business, technology, design, and personal development. Users can learn at their own pace and gain valuable skills to enhance their careers.

Coursera partners with leading universities and organizations to provide a vast range of online courses, specializations, and degree programs in fields such as technology, data science, and business. The platform allows users to build in-demand skills and advance their careers.

Skillshare is an online learning community that offers thousands of classes on creative topics, such as graphic design, photography, illustration, and more. Users can develop new skills, explore their passions, and connect with like-minded individuals.

  • Best for industry-specific networking: Meetup

Meetup is an online platform that helps users find and join local groups based on shared interests or industries. Users can attend events, workshops, and discussions, expanding their professional network and learning from experts in their field.

Graphic showing the top apps for networking and skills development
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Mental health and wellness apps

Utilize meditation and mindfulness apps or stress and anxiety management tools to help maintain mental balance during your workday. These apps offer a range of features such as meditation exercises, mindfulness techniques, and mood tracking, which help both executives and virtual assistants develop healthy habits to cope with daily stressors.

Apps to help strengthen workplace mental health:

  1. Best for meditation: Headspace

Headspace offers guided meditation sessions, mindfulness exercises, and sleep support to help users manage stress, anxiety and improve focus. The app is designed for beginners as well as experienced practitioners.

  • Best for anxiety management: Calm

Calm provides a variety of tools to help users relax, such as guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing exercises, and soothing nature sounds. It is particularly helpful for managing anxiety and promoting better sleep.

Happify features science-based games and activities designed to help users overcome stress, negative thoughts and improve emotional well-being. The app focuses on developing positive habits and resilience.

Moodpath is an app designed to help users track their moods and emotions, providing insights into their mental health. The app also offers personalized recommendations for coping strategies and self-help resources.

Insight Timer offers a vast library of guided meditations, music tracks, and talks from renowned teachers to help users improve focus, reduce stress, and develop mindfulness practices. The app also features a customizable meditation timer.

By incorporating these apps into their routines, executives and virtual assistants can maintain mental balance during their workday, improve emotional resilience, and cultivate a more positive mindset, ultimately strengthening workplace mental health and contributing to a healthier and more productive work environment.

An infographic showing the top 5 apps for strengthening mental health in the workplace when working remotely.
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How you can help to strengthen workplace mental health

Take proactive steps to implement tools and strategies for self-care, rather than waiting until your mental health has deteriorated. If you’re an executive with tasks piling up you may want to consider bringing in the support of a virtual assistant to take care of your administrative tasks. This will provide you with the much-needed breathing room you need to focus your energy.

If you’re a virtual assistant struggling to maintain your workload or your mental health is suffering, please reach out to the Client Success team or your virtual assistant community for support. The Virtual Gurus VA Community is a thriving hub, full of individuals ready to support you by providing advice, lending a helping hand with your client work, or being a compassionate ear for your thoughts.

Remember, prioritizing mental health is an investment in yourself, your team, and the overall success of your business. Embrace the journey to a healthier, happier, and more productive work experience, and watch your success soar.

VG Staff

We connect you with the right talent so you can delegate and save time, confident your projects are in capable hands. Our remote team of skilled Virtual Assistants does it all, from bookkeeping and marketing to data entry and administrative support.

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