Workplace well-being is a topic that is widely discussed, particularly under the current circumstances we find ourselves in, but what does well-being actually mean?
It is described in the dictionary as being ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’, which can mean physically, mentally and emotionally.
For many of us, the workplace is where we spend a huge amount of time, sometimes 40 or more hours a week. It’s therefore also a place that can have a huge impact on our quality of life. The environment we work in, the people we work with and the role we do can all have an effect on our health.
Problems such as musculoskeletal pain – which according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the second most commonly reported types of work-related illness in Great Britain – general ill health, stress and anxiety, can all arise in the workplace and can have a hugely detrimental effect on both the employee and the business.
So the question is, are employers doing enough to take care of their workforces?
The 2020 Health and Well-being at Work report by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) in partnership with Simplyhealth, highlighted that less than half of employers (44 per cent) have a health and well-being strategy in place. Whilst this was up from 40 per cent the previous year, it’s clear that more businesses need to see the benefits of looking after their employee’s physical and mental health.
According to the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), businesses need to make the connection between implementing and effective well-being programme and the health of their employees.
But what actually are the benefits of creating a culture of well-being and ensuring your workforce’s health is a top priority?
Reduce absenteeism. If your employees are in good health, both mentally and physically, and are able to work without experiencing musculoskeletal pain, they are less likely to take time off work due to ill health.
Increase in productivity and morale. A healthy and happy workforce that feels valued is a more productive one, meaning they are more likely to have a greater sense of job satisfaction and feel more motivated to succeed.
Improved relationships. If stress, anxiety and fatigue are reduced among employees, their relationships with team members are less likely to be strained, making for a more relaxed and comfortable environment to work in.
Increased business success. Having a more motivated workforce and seeing employees perform to a higher standard can lead to more organisational success, including higher turnover.
Reduced costs. Businesses with a healthy and pain-free workforce can see a reduction in compensation or insurance claims and lower staff turnover rates, all of which can help to reduce outgoings.
So it’s clear that there are benefits for employers and there are a number things businesses can do to achieve positive workplace well-being. This could be introducing a range of activities, strategies or company-wide changes to improve the working life of staff. Examples include:
- Access to counselling services to encourage emotional and mental well-being
- Offering benefits such as health insurance
- Offer flexible working to promote a better work/life balance
- Exercise programmes, either in-house or through access to gym memberships
- Improved training in workplace safety
- Providing healthy working environments, including work areas are ergonomically sound
Here at Ergonix, we have recently introduced health and well-being workshops, which can be held as webinars or in-house on your business premises. The 60-minute sessions aim to provide delegates with knowledge about how they can support their employee’s health and well-being, helping them to prevent pain and injury, boost happiness and morale and increase productivity in the workplace.