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American workers’ relationship with mental health has undergone drastic changes in the past several years, heavily impacted by external stressors including COVID-19 and the tumultuous economy. In an effort to decompress, trends have emerged such as “quiet quitting” and “bare minimum Mondays,” which reflect employees holding back their full effort because their maximum output is not being recognized by employers. Yet, these trends are merely a footnote to the larger issue at hand. From an employer standpoint, it’s tempting to view these trends as a movement that’s illustrative of a lazier workforce that is no longer conditioned to produce the same workload they once were.

However, the larger forces at play, and the existence of heightened overall stress, must be factored in. Acknowledging the higher stress levels and additional adversity employees face today, it’s more important than ever that we equip them with skills and tools to proactively navigate these challenges. Rather than a stopgap initiative like a four-day workweek, which will present the same adversity just in a condensed timeframe, we must find ways to help employees better cope with challenging situations.

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