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This company thinks it can improve mental health in the workplace in a rather intriguing way.

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

A virtual world could be the key to dealing with real problems. Long-term ill health is considered to be a large contributing factor to economic inactivity in the UK, according to the Office for Nationals Statistics (ONS), as workers take time off to deal with their problems. And a sizeable portion of those are related to mental health.

But now Rethinkly, a self-described "virtual world platform", thinks its solution can help employees get through their issues in the workplace.

Its office software is already being used at organizations such as the NHS in the UK and IBM, and citing its own research that 81% of employees "feel like miscommunication is common in the workplace" – and 1-in-3 feel they can’t show their true feelings in this setting, it claims its platform can make workers feel more comfortable expressing themselves, and perhaps improving collaboration and productivity in turn.

Beneficial detachment

The aforementioned research conducted by the ONS found that the amount of people taking time off work increased by nearly half a million between 2019 and 2022, and separately, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that last year, 60% of poor health absences were related to mental rather than physical issues.

This shows we are in the midst of "possibly be the worst mental health crisis in decades", according to Rethinkly. It attempting to address this, Rethinkly makes some bold claims about its new platform, suggesting that it will "transform how managers, therapists, life coaches and others can resolve workplace and mental health challenges, leveraging real-world experiences, in the context of virtual freedom."

It also claims it "uses a combination of insight from practitioners, academia and case studies leading to one of the most sophisticated tools for addressing communication issues worldwide."

By creating a virtual world, Rethinkly aims to eradicate "all real-world references" to elicit neutrality. Workers can then create avatars of themselves that can emote for them, which the company claims can provide "enough detachment for reflection and transparent communication.

This was originally published on 8th of March 2023. For the full article click here:

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