03 Nov Workplace Wellbeing and why it is important
In recent times greater importance has been placed on individual wellbeing both in and out of the workplace. Many company owners are looking to adopt workplace wellbeing initiatives with the view of increasing the wellbeing of staff to get the very best out of their organisation.
A recent study by Gov.uk suggests workplace wellbeing initiatives have a positive influence on employee wellbeing resulting in better workplace performance through improved financial performance, staff productivity and the quality of services.
Workplace wellbeing is about creating a culture within the business providing employees with the tools and resources to make positive lifestyle changes. It’s all about removing barriers! Initiating workplace wellbeing removes the barriers which people view as reasons for not looking after themselves with the main ones being lack of time and lack of desire. Therefore to get the most out of your employees you need to bring those services to them through workplace wellbeing initiatives which in turn will help them improve their individual wellbeing leading to improved performance and a more successful organisation.
As previously mentioned workplace wellbeing is about creating a culture change within the organisation and with a clear wellbeing strategy this can be achieved. No one wellbeing strategy should be the same and it should be influenced by what could be perceived as the key issues relevant to each business. However there are some common goals amongst most organisations when creating their workplace wellbeing strategies:
Workplace Wellbeing – Obesity and diabetes prevention
There is a strong link between being overweight and illness and the larger the amount of body fat someone carries the greater the amount of strain the heart is being put under. This leads to a consequential cost to the employer. The estimated cost of being overweight to the UK economy is over £16 billion per year with an additional £6 billion a year to the NHS. This can lead to failure to control blood glucose levels leading to type II diabetes. Studies have shown that over a 5 year period after diabetes onset, levels of absence rise by 57.5%. The cost of diabetes to the UK economy is over £23 billion per year. By helping individuals through workplace wellbeing it can prevent the onset of diabetes and in theory it should help to keep individuals at work.
Workplace Wellbeing – Mental health and stress care
The impact of stress is now at an all-time high, with the CIPD’s 2016 Absence Management Survey naming stress as the leading cause of long-term absence (53 per cent) and the second-highest cause of short-term absence (47 per cent).
Practical workplace wellbeing interventions such as employee assistance programmes, access to occupational health services and resilience training can all help to manage anxiety and depression, both of which can trigger stress.
But the stubborn stigma that still exists around mental ill-health can mean that, to effect long-term change, you need to take a long, hard look at your working environment and organisational and management culture.
Workplace Wellbeing – Musculoskeletal and back care
Stress may make the headlines, but musculoskeletal injuries and disorders (especially back pain), are a major cause of workplace absenteeism. Back pain is in fact the second largest cause of absenteeism after the common cold and accounts for 15% of sick leaves. 80% of us suffer from back pain in our lives but a large percentage could be prevented. Initiating the right workplace wellbeing services can help to alleviate musculoskeletal issues or prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Workplace Wellbeing – Sedentary lifestyles and active working
The World Health Organization rates sedentary lifestyles (or ‘physical inactivity’) as the world’s fourth-biggest killer and is a key contributor in the development of conditions ranging from back and neck pain, mental health issues and type 2 diabetes, to weight gain, thrombosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
At work, this risk is exacerbated by a ‘seated’ culture of desk-working, sedentary lunch breaks and long meetings, but the risk can be reduced with a change in working culture. Effective measures include sit-stand desks, stretching and exercise, encouraging employees to walk over to colleagues, standing meetings and lunchtime walks. Ultimately this problem is fundamentally cultural, so employers really can make a difference through workplace wellbeing.
Are you considering Wellbeing initiative, Occupational Health or Resilience Management services? Talk to Annurca! Join us for a Free No Obligation Consultation. We are always happy to answer any questions. Click here to get in touch.