International Workers’ Day - May Day

International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, takes place on May 1st of each year. We honour workers and employees around the world and celebrate the hard work these people put into their jobs and further celebrate the rights that protect workers throughout the world. While most of us can celebrate International Workers’ Day, we must still be cognizant that there is more to be done to protect each and every worker across the globe.

The beginning of May Day took place in 1889, when the Marxist International Socialist Congress adopted a resolution for a great international demonstration, when they demanded that workers should not be made to work for more than 8 hours a day and criticized poor work conditions. After many protests and demonstrations, it became an annual event which is now represented in workplaces across the planet.

It is easy to take the conditions we work in today for granted. We should celebrate and take time to look back and reflect on all the progress that has been made and allow room for growth in the generations and years to come.

About two billion people work in what they call an “informal economy”, lacking rules and regulations and, most importantly, protection and support for the people; not all workers around the world have the same protection and policies in place to protect them from poor work conditions and long hours.

Here are some ways we can support employees and promote a healthy workplace and environment:

  • Build a culture of connection through check-ins – The global pandemic has brought communication into sharper focus over the past two years, as most teams are now operating entirely remotely. More than ever, it is vital to touch base and stay connected.
  • Communicate more than you think you need to – Invest in delivering clear lines of communication on a frequent basis, which will rapidly build trust amongst employees, leading to increases in productivity, output, and morale in general.
  • Modify policies and practices – Life is forever changing and that too should include workplace policies and practices. Flexibility can be a game changer when trying to create a positive and cohesive work environment.
  • Model healthy behaviors – It’s not enough to say that you support mental health. Implement meaningful policies and methods that make your team members feel they can focus on self-care and set healthy boundaries within the workplace.
  • Support workers by choosing ethically sourced goods – By opting for “Fair Trade” products, you are helping support the skilled craftspeople who are making your product, ensuring that they are receiving fair pay under safe working conditions.