The way we work has changed in recent times. As we have adapted to mobile communication, we are more contactable than ever before, with emails from the office leaking into our evenings and workloads being tackled across a weekend.
When we combine this constant flow of contact with our work life with the rise of ‘presenteeism’ and the effects of this on both our physical and mental health, it’s apparent that something must change. But what can employers do to help redress the balance?
It is possible for companies to put the health of employees first. Here’s how.
A typical working week can take its toll. Whether you work in an office or on a building site, there are plenty of ways that the impact of the role being carried out can affect your health.
Employers are increasingly shifting the focus to the health of their staff and there are several reasons why this is happening. Beyond the legal requirements of businesses in terms of equality laws, companies can benefit from having a healthy workforce.
Firstly, by providing a safe and healthy working space, employees feel valued. This, in turn, enhances loyalty, reducing the rate of staff turnover, which as an employer is beneficial as hiring employees is expensive.
In addition, creating an environment that protects and values the health of workers can boost the self esteem of employees, increasing the likelihood that they enjoy their work and enhancing productivity levels and engagement among team members.
Ultimately, prioritising the health of employees helps both individuals and the business.
There are lots of initiatives that companies can introduce to help employees enhance their physical health. These include cycle to work schemes and discounted gym memberships, giving workers the chance to focus on their fitness levels.
In addition, addressing the office furniture could be a useful approach. Are the chairs helping or hindering employees? What about the desks? The trend towards standing desks has rocketed in recent years and, while the jury is still out on how beneficial they can be, these can help to stretch the spine out and help to keep employees upright.
Look at mental wellbeing
Mental wellbeing is important too. Offering workers mental health days, office perks and even fresh fruit can go a long way towards helping employees. Poor mental health has links to money
worries too, so education around how workers can mange their money and offering financial benefits can go a long way towards alleviating the stress.
Another reason for poor financial health is if an employee has been hurt or is unwell and is unable to work for a period of time as a result. In some instances, not being able to go to work can impact negatively on finances and build up stress levels. Employees could be able to claim financial compensation, however, especially if their health concerns are due to medical negligence – and the funds awarded can help in more ways than one.
By focusing on employee health, employers can reap the benefits of having a strong, happy and healthy workforce and staff members can enjoy working for a company that prioritises the wellbeing of its workers.