How do we make our workplace healthier for everyone? Well you could do the following:-
1. Hold Health & Safety briefings
2. Run workshops on Wellbeing in the workplace
3.Ensure all furniture is ergonomically designed to avoid RSI and back pain
4.Promote a culture of work life balance- workplace wellness
5.Run Onsite wellbeing events
6.Install PC based learning programmes
All of the above are good best practise for workplace wellbeing but there is a more fundamental approach adopted by some companies which is around the culture of the business and treating employees as an asset to be nurtured and encouraged to grow. Especially when you consider that around 4 in 10 workers think that stress is not handled well in their workplace. Any intervention that seeks to improve employee health and the wellbeing of the workplace is an investment worth making.
workplace wellbeing in ACTION
One such company is Google who provide a range of staff benefits from lunchtime entertainment to free haircuts. But what’s in it for them, why spend money on the fluffy bits where ROI doesn’t get measured? They’re not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts but because they know it has a positive effect – there is hard evidence to suggest that a happy workforce is a creative and productive workforce. Research has shown that work related stress is the second most common health problem in Europe’s workplaces – after musculoskeletal disorders. In the UK, stress, depression, and anxiety accounted for more than 15 million sick days last year, the highest in five years. 50–60% of all lost working days can be attributed to work-related stress, which averages to 27 days off work for every employee suffering from stress. The BBC reports that sick leave is costing the UK economy an annual total of £14 billion.
Many of Google’s perks, from their subsidized massage program to their bring-your-pet-to-work scheme, are designed to target stress and boost employee morale. Around 50% of workers in large companies (250+ employees) consider stress to be a common problem in their workplace, but a few outliers, such as Google, are doing their best to keep that number down and to keep productivity high.
Better workplace wellbeing means better staff retention, but also helps companies attract the best employees. Improving staff retention is an excellent reason to offer benefits, especially when you consider that over half of Britain’s employees are unhappy at work, with over a third of them seriously considering leaving their jobs. The research shows that age and position are both a factor, as 40% of those in the age group 25 – 34 and 36% of those aged 35 – 45 are thinking about quitting. Additionally, 41% of managers are seriously considering a move, including 53% of senior managers, compared to 33% of non-managers
So creating the healthy workplace requires a leap of faith that centers on our core understanding that if you treat people well you get back more than double your investment.