This week, mental health charity, Safe In Our World, launched the #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign, calling for video games companies to pledge mental health support in their workplaces. As a founding partner of Safe In Our World, we were quick to sign up to the pledge to ensure a safe and secure environment at Genba Digital. But supporting this cause was always going to be important to us, regardless of our associations.
We consider ourselves a ‘people-centric’ company, striving to keep our team’s mental wellbeing a consistent focus. As a global digital distributor, Genba is a 24/7 business supporting over 50 games publishers and developers and an etailer network of 150 spanning across multiple time-zones. Like crunch sufferers, our team can feel the pressure too – so it’s even more vital we keep an open channel of communication with them when it comes to mental health support.
And the current industry stats only add to this importance.
The Ukie census this year revealed that 31% of people working in the UK games industry are living with depression, anxiety, or both. It is an unsettling stat, particularly as the COVID-19 situation has potentially exacerbated these conditions for sufferers, while no doubt becoming newly encountered conditions for others.
A Guardian article on the shift to working from home highlighted that technology cannot be solely relied upon for supporting a team’s new set-up. And some people are just not working-from-home types. One tech worker noted: “I’ve worked 100% remote before…and there comes a point where even an introvert would like to see another human.” It illustrates the potential pitfalls of viewing an employee as just ‘a quiet type who gets their head down’. The reality could involve a very different internal struggle.
The point of this post is not to brag about our own sense of mental health awareness. It is to emphasise the necessity of such a pledge when there has never been a more crucial time. It’s a call to other companies like us to not just tick the box, but really actively seek ways to support your team and tune into what they are trying to tell you through their actions, their output or their words.
Genba still has room to grow in how we support our people through these challenging times – so we’re pledging to do better. Technology is an incredible tool, but it can only get you so far. A business is ultimately about its people, and this most precious of assets must be cherished and nurtured.
You can sign up to the #LevelUpMentalHealth pledge here.