Taking a Breath: BI Day Prioritizes Mental Health of Employees

Employee blog bi day

As a fully remote company, we love any opportunity for people to come together in person. But our team comprises more than 220 people all over the world, and only about 30 of them have elected to work in person in shared workspaces. Everyone else is working from home, or traveling as needed. That's why virtual events like BI Day and BI Week are so important.

Our annual BI Week is an all-week virtual event that brings us all together for 20 cumulative hours of collaboration, teambuilding, and fun. After our last BI Week, we asked ourselves why we needed to wait another year to bring everyone together again. The answer was simple—we didn't have to. That's how BI Day was created. It was intended to be a celebration of our people and an opportunity for our team members to focus on self care.

We started BI Day with an indoor gardening tutorial. Our payroll manager is extremely enthusiastic about in-home gardening and was willing to teach everyone how she sets up her garden. She grows a wide variety of vegetables and herbs all year, and she encouraged everyone to give it a try. She emphasized that no matter where you are, you can garden throughout the whole year. It's a great way to improve your mental health, and it brings peace of mind.

Then we moved on to a presentation by Nicole Symcox, Licensed Psychotherapist and host of the Mental Health Remix Podcast. Nicole focused on stress and mental health, pointing out that the fast-paced tech industry can cause a lot of stress. She highlighted the importance of learning to deal with anxiety and stress while working from home, and gave useful tips for how to do so.

This segment really resonated with BrightInsight's leadership, especially CEO Kal Patel, because we believe that mental health is as consequential as physical health. We're building a company culture that encourages employees to come forward when they're experiencing mental health struggles, just as they would if they had a broken leg or other physical challenge.

Our entertainment hour is a time-honored tradition during BI week. We love inviting diverse talent from around the world to perform for us online. This time we invited Solle Wall, a Charlotte-based violinist who performs worldwide. She kept everyone entertained from the moment she started playing, right up until we had to move on to our next presentation.

The next segment was a fireside chat featuring a senior executive from a company we recently partnered with. He spoke with Kal Patel, David Matthews, and Jessica Baggetta, exploring the partnership between his company and BrightInsight. He explained why they selected us and what he's looking for in the future of digital.

We closed with Kal. He facilitated an interactive word cloud exercise, asking employees why they're here at BrightInsight. Some notable answers included:

BI day graph

Kal followed the word cloud exercise with open discussions with BrightInsight’s commercial and technical leaders. He closed by addressing everyone, thanking them for joining BI Day.

This BI Day had a very distinct wellbeing focus, from the gardening tutorial to the mental health talk, to the violin performance. The whole idea was to give people the chance to just take a breath. We run at such a fast pace, and we're always looking for ways to sustain it. We wanted to give something back to the team and let everyone catch their breath.

Employees attended from Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, France, and the USA. Our employees in India were unable to attend as we inadvertently scheduled BI Day on the same date as an Indian holiday—an important learning for future events. We hope to have a special BI Day for our India-based team members in the near future.

Next year's BI Week will be the next time we do our longer virtual event, but we're hoping to do some other shorter events before then.

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