Employee wellbeing is becoming more and more of a talking point, both in and out for the workplace, and with good reason too. With several studies in recent years making a link between the workplace environment and the physical and mental wellbeing of employees, it stands to reason that employers should pay attention to the statistics and being to include employee wellness into their health and safety guidelines.
Why Organisations Should Care About Wellness
Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that the main causes of absences in the workplace are stress, depression, or anxiety. In the UK alone, these absences amounted to 12.8 million lost working days in the 2018/19 period – due to depression, stress, or anxiety. This accounted for over half (54%) of all working days lost due to ill health, which can quickly add up to a considerable loss of revenue for organisations.
Tackling the cause of these absences not only benefits the company’s bottom line but by improving health and wellbeing in the workplace, employees benefit too, and become more efficient. Even simple changes such as optimising the physical environment in which individuals spend their day can contribute to better health and wellness. Introducing better lighting and sit-stand desks are just two of the many changes that can reduce stress and improve the mood and productivity of employees. Of course, these changes need to be carefully thought out, and in the case of sit-stand desks, adequate training must be provided on how to safely use them. This will fall under display screen equipment training, which covers the correct posture and workstation set-up for sit-stand desk users.
Invest in Health and Wellness to Retain Employees
The AJ Products Health Survey 2019 found that over 40% of employees believe that their current workplace has a negative impact on their physical health with a further 46% and 48% stating that it affects their emotional wellbeing and productivity respectively. Marry this up with the fact that in the same survey 60% of employees said they would consider changing jobs for a healthier work environment and it becomes clear to see why health and wellness must be taken seriously by employees. Beyond the general health and safety statutory duty of employers, it also plays a key role in employee retention, which is important for internal morale, the organisation’s reputation, and for keeping down the costs associated with a high turnover rate.
Improving Wellness Through Training
There are several ways in which training both employees and managers can lead to an overall improvement in the wellness of employees. First and foremost, stress awareness training can help line managers recognise signs of stress in their team and equip them with the tools on how to best help individuals. Stress awareness training for employees will give them the knowledge and skills necessary to recognise and manage their own stress, and apply positive actions and strategies to deal with it.