HR’s Approach to a Changed World and Addressing Mental Health

From Nancy Tostanoski, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer at OUTFRONT Media

As some parts of the industry are returning to office, how is OUTFRONT approaching the return?  And how much of that decision is based on mental well-being of your teams?

Outfront considers the health and well-being of our employees in all that we do. We are still operating in a voluntary return to the office environment. We are seeing more folks back in offices, but we have left it to individual offices to determine what is best for their employees and work environment.

As the pandemic blurred the lines between work and personal life, how would you recommend ensuring balance?  

Flexibility will be key for us. We now know that our employees can be very productive working in remote locations. However, as a sales organization, we believe that in-person collaboration also makes sense at times. So we want folks to have a connection to the office, while maintaining flexibility to work remotely. We think this will help with the balance of work and personal.

What are some ways in which you prioritize your mental health as an ad executive?  

It is important for everyone to take time for themselves every day. That may look different for folks; maybe journaling, maybe exercising, maybe meditation, maybe time with family or friends. What is important is that personal health becomes a priority for everyone and folks remain in touch with what makes them feel and stay healthy every day.

May is Mental Health Awareness month and as advertising and media professionals, we have the power to shape how mental health/illness is portrayed. How do you recommend we depict a better portrayal, challenge stigma and change the conversation?  

Encourage the conversation! Depict real people with real issues that can be addressed out loud. It is important to recognize that we are all human, have vulnerabilities, and very likely everyone will have some issue that impacts their mental health at some point. I love the encouragement of new modes of treatment (e.g. apps) etc. Removing the stigma of mental health is crucial. Also partnering with organizations that are working to that end is important (e.g. the stability network).

Additionally, be sure to check out our Mental Health Awareness Month Campaign in partnership with mental health-focused clothing brand, Madhappy!