Optus encourages employees to take a Pause

Opportunity to pause from digital devices to boost mental health.

Australian telecommunications company Optus has taken action in supporting its employees’ wellbeing by encouraging employees to take a 90 minute “Pause” from all their devices during this Friday’s working hours as part of a broader initiative to encourage downtime while in lockdown.

Optus recently introduced its Living Network feature called ‘Optus Pause’ which allows customers to pause connectivity across eligible devices, blocking out distractions to enjoy moments that matter.

Kate Aitken, Optus Vice President People and Culture, explains the call to pause is intended to help employees find some balance as they deal with unusually challenging circumstances.

“We recognise the challenges that our people are dealing with every day, with many working from home and tied to their mobiles, computers and tablets for hours and hours a day as they juggle work, home schooling and keeping up with the latest news.

“Optus is supporting our people with a range of initiatives, including online meditation, yoga and fitness classes, and of course a robust Employee Assistance Program for employees and their families, but we realised what our people needed was the very same feature we are offering our customers – an option to pause.

“We think providing this permission is a gesture which will truly empower our people to shut off and refresh and come back to work just a bit more rejuvenated and with the knowledge that Optus cares about them. What organisation wouldn’t want that?

“If other companies believe their own employees maybe struggling with their situations, the permission to pause may be right for them, too.

“Whether its tuning out during the time you’d normally be commuting, or simply pressing pause to focus on conversations or a family dinner, taking an Optus Pause can provide just the boost people need right now.”

As research reveals mental health concerns are escalating at an alarming rate, and even the Black Dog Institute’s own WFH Tips promote a ‘digital detox’.

Optus will be staggering its employees’ Pause times so that customer support and network activities are still prioritised.

“We have seen a 30% increase in data use, and keeping customers connected is more important than ever so we will be supporting our people with an eye on our customers as well.”





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