The government Health, Work and Wellbeing initiative has been working with UK companies to increase awareness of the important link between employee health and productivity.
HR departments increasingly understand the advantages of incorporating a wellbeing programme into the workplace. They provide a fantastic opportunity for a company to show their employees how much they are valued, and create a happier, more relaxed environment in which to work.
Focusing on health and wellbeing in the workplace can achieve:
- Guidance on lifestyle and wellbeing choices, which can motivate staff to keep themselves healthy
- Reduction in rates of sickness absence
- Increased productivity
- Healthier and happier employees who feel more appreciated
- Improved staff morale and loyalty
Increased stress levels at work have been proven to reduce productivity. Tight deadlines, longer working hours and juggling multiple projects can both physically and mentally take their toll. These can manifest into a range of health problems including high blood pressure, migraines and mild to moderate depression.
Over time, being exposed to repeated stressful situations could escalate from small difficulties into Chronic Stress, which is a condition that has been proven to affect memory and the cognitive functions of the brain.
In the current climate, many employees are finding themselves in the difficult position of going to work out of fear of losing their job, even if they are unwell and/or in an unfit state to carry out their role effectively. This is known as Presenteeism, and although the act of turning up to work regardless is an admirable trait, it can often be as detrimental as if the employee were absent or worse – reduced levels in concentration, memory and performance ultimately produce poorer results in workmanship or customer service.
Employees who remain in work without the support they need cost UK businesses up to £15.1 billion a year. Over 70 million working days are lost every year due to mental ill health, with 10 million working days directly caused by work-related problems.
So, how do we deal with these problems that arise? Wellbeing programmes are becoming more and more popular, with therapies such as massage and reflexology providing an ideal break in the working day to relax and unwind. Employees return to work feeling refreshed, relaxed and most importantly, with a clearer head – improving their ability to focus on their return to work. In addition, Stress Management Workshops for managers and employees give techniques on how to reduce stress in the workplace, as well as in their personal lives too. By teaching staff how to recognise their own personal stress ‘triggers’, they can take a proactive approach in managing potentially stressful situations by employing a range of coping techniques.
Ultimately, wellbeing comes from within. Giving employees the skills and resources to make conscious decisions when it comes to their physical, mental and emotional health ensures a productive and valuable workforce.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Charlotte Hunter graduated from St Mary’s University in 1999 with an honours degree in Sports Injury Rehabilitation. Charlotte has been running On Site Massage Co for over 12 years. Since founding Onsite Massage Co, in 2001, Charlotte’s focus has been to help improve the health and well being of the nation’s workforce. A rather ambitious task but something Charlotte feels very passionate about. Charlotte is very proud that she and her team are able to make a difference, large or small, to so many people’s lives with on site therapies and educational workshops.