In the past, when people thought about health in the workplace, the main concern focused on “health and safety” such as physical hazards.
However, while these issues remain important, employers should also be focusing on extending their approach to include mental health too.
Health and wellbeing in the workplace are becoming increasingly important for employers and employees alike.
Focusing on employee wellbeing is good for your people and your organization as a whole. Want to know why? Here are just some of the ways wellbeing impacts the workplace.
1) Improved productivity
A healthy workforce can have a hugely positive impact on the workplace. Though it might seem obvious, healthier and happier employees are more productive.
This is because when people eat better and exercise regularly, they are less tired and able to focus on tasks better and for longer.
Presenteeism occurs when employees are physically present in the workplace but don’t work efficiently or struggle to complete work.
For example, research has found those with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to display high presenteeism than those who chose healthier dietary options.
2) Lower turnover and absenteeism
Introducing employee wellness programs to your organization can help to reduce employee turnover, resulting in higher retention. Employees who feel looked after by their employers are less likely to leave their jobs because they feel more committed and motivated.
Wellbeing in the workplace can also help to reduce absenteeism within your organization. It’s estimated that employers lose 27.5 days per employee over time as the staff takes time off for ill health.
However, wellbeing programs and initiatives use appropriate health services, which helps to tackle staff absences and help employees return to work.
3) Improves social interactions
Improving social factors in the workplace is just one of the ways wellbeing initiatives can be introduced. This enables collaboration between employees, helping workplace projects to come into fruition and boost creativity and efficiency.
Encouraging employee social interactions not only improves the office environment, but it can also improve relationships outside of work too.
Wellbeing programs often focus on providing online platforms to improve social interactions between employees. This is a great way to allow staff to connect, feel part of a team and promote social events at work.
When the staff feels valued, this creates trust in an organization, resulting in a happier and healthier workforce.
4) Help reduce the mental health stigma
One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
Work-related stress problems and mental health issues often go together, however as an employer you can help to reduce this by improving work conditions.
Much of wellbeing starts with making your people feel confident enough to speak up when they are suffering.
Therefore, it’s important there are mechanisms in place for your staff. For example, normalizing discussions about mental health should become a priority.
Likewise, having a wellbeing program such as the Employee Assistance Programme from LifeWorks in place also helps to reduce the stigma of mental health.
With this program, employees have 24/7 access to counseling and online wellbeing resources, allowing them to reach out when they are struggling.