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MENTAL HEALTH

Meet Evermood: The Berlin startup promoting mental well-being in the workplace

The office can be a difficult place to talk about mental health issues, but one Berlin-based startup is trying to change that.

Meet Evermood: The Berlin startup promoting mental well-being in the workplace
The team at Evermood. Photo provided courtesy of the company.

In early 2019, Lara von Petersdorff and Marvin Homburg founded Lytt, a digital platform for the safe and anonymous discussion of sensitive issues in the workplace.

READ ALSO: How a new app is fighting workplace discrimination in Germany

In January 2020, they took things a step further with the launch of Evermood, a platform which takes a preventative approach to stress in the workplace, by aiming to catch conflict situations early on and by promoting healthy routines and habits. The next pilot stage of the platform will be starting in March. 

Why the workplace?

Over the last forty years, there has been a significant increase in depression and anxiety in Germany and mental health issues are now the second biggest cause of workplace absenteeism. 

Although many diversity and health management departments in German companies are paying increasing attention to the subject of mental health, “many people feel that mental health is still seen as a taboo subject in the workplace,” said Hakan Housein, Communications Manager at Evermood.

READ ALSO: Do internationals face discrimination in the German workplace?

“Evermood gives its users an anonymous, safe space, where they can communicate their problems to their managers,” said Housein, a German business communication expert who has previously studied in Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.

The Evermood App encourages workers to follow healthy routines. Source: Evermood

Evermood not only provides a communication channel for sensitive issues between employers and employees, but also wants to make mental health awareness part of everyday work life and to “make mental well-being an integral part of corporate culture,” said Housein.

READ ALSO: Herbal tea and sick leave: An American's ode to the German attitude towards health

The platform encourages companies to take part in activities that involve the entire organisation, with initiatives such as a two-week meditation challenge.

Employees will also be able to do weekly, anonymised self-assessments and surveys, which will enable them to track and better understand the state of their mental health and to work on it. 

Employers will then receive anonymous reports on these assessments along with analysis data from Evermood, which they can then use to make the right decisions for their teams' mental well-being.

How will the platform help internationals?

Housein thinks that Evermood will be of particular benefit to internationals working in Germany. 

“When you are working for a company in a country you are not native to, it can be difficult to know how best to approach mental health issues,” he said.

“When you are feeling anxious, it can sometimes be hard to know who to turn to and to know how to deal with a specific crisis, so the individual support area and anonymity of Evermood can really help out there.”

READ ALSO: What are the main reasons internationals in Germany turn to therapy?

The product is also offered in German and English and the team is currently working on making many other languages available.

Evermood Communications Manager Hakan Housein. Source: Evermood

Who wants to use the platform?

“Interest in Evermood has been way beyond what we could have imagined,” explains Housein, “companies in areas where the workforce typically experiences high stress levels, such as law and finance, have been very keen to use the platform.”

However, introducing the platform into the public sector has presented more of a challenge, as “when it comes to integrating new solutions, there are a lot of guidelines and regulations which need to be followed”.

What happens next?

During the pilot stage, the Evermood team will be in constant contact with their customers and the beneficial impact of the platform will be measured by  customer feedback – with HR managers and decision makers giving insight on how the product is being received, so that the team can adjust it according to what works and what doesn’t work.  

Evermood will also track anonymised data, to see exactly how workers are engaging with the app.

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BUSINESS

Why you’ll soon be able to set up a company in Spain with just €1 rather than €3,000

The Spanish government has approved a new draft law that will allow companies to start up with just €1 and for the process to be carried out quickly and entirely online.

Why you'll soon be able to set up a company in Spain with just €1 rather than €3,000
How you can start a business in Spain for just €1. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Currently, you must have to have a minimum of €3,000 to form a Limited Company in Spain, but if passed, the new bill will require you to only have €1, allowing the process to be completed electronically in just 10 days.

By doing this, the law includes measures to diversify sources of financing and promote non-bank financing, on which the majority of companies depend.

The bill’s main objective is to remove obstacles in the creation of companies in Spain.

The draft bill also looks at expanding activities for which you won’t need to obtain a license and promotes the use of electronic invoicing between companies and the self-employed, which will contribute to the digitisation of business activities.

Another aspect that the bill covers are ways to support financing for business growth, such as venture capital and crowdfunding platforms.

The Vice President and Minister of Economy and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, has indicated that this is one of the “most important” structural reforms of the Recovery and Resilience Plan which Spain submitted to the EU, and is aimed at “improving the performance and productivity of companies, as well as job creation “.

Defaults are one of the main problems that threaten business solvency for many Spanish companies because invoices are often not paid by the maximum legal term of 60 days. This problem particularly affects the self-employed, who allow large companies to take much longer to pay invoices for fear of losing more work or damaging relationships in the future.

For this reason, they do not usually demand legal compensations such as recovery costs or indemnities, even though it puts pressure on their margins.

To combat the wide non-compliance with this maximum period between companies, the new bill also suggests an incentive system for meeting payment deadlines and implementing electronic invoicing.

Together with the Startups Law and digital nomad visa, which the government also recently proposed, it aims to promote entrepreneurship and tackle the problems faced by Spanish companies, which makes it difficult for them to grow, go international or restructure debt.

READ ALSO: Tax cuts and special visas: Spain’s new law to attract foreign startups and digital nomads

Spain ranks only number 30 out of 190 in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report in terms of business climate, behind many other EU countries.  

The bill is expected to reach the Congress of Deputies at the end of this year and if passed, will come into force in 2022.

COMPARE: Could Spain become the best country in the EU for digital nomads?

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