When we consider our lifestyle, and how it affects our wellbeing, we often forget that we spend over a third of our waking hours at work. Likewise, many of us tend to ignore the mind-body link that connects our mental wellbeing to our physical wellbeing and vice versa.
As it makes up such an important part of our day, we think that it is time for businesses to take responsibility for their employees’ wellbeing – both physical and mental.
What is wellbeing in the workplace?
Wellbeing at work refers to our good health (mental and physical) and comfort (mental and physical) while we are at work. Factors that affect employee wellbeing in the workplace include the quality and safety of the physical environment, the emotional impact of work on employees and the overall psychophysical environment that they are working in. Every industry is impacted by their workers’ levels of wellbeing, from those working in an office building to those on a construction site.
An often-overlooked aspect of workplace wellbeing is that it can determine the long-term effectiveness of a business. Workers that are happy, healthy, and experience high levels of wellbeing will help a company to thrive and remain productive. Those with little to no workplace wellbeing will be less motivated, groggy, and can ultimately contribute to the downfall of a company.
Some employees work too hard to stay afloat
According to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 83% of workers have known someone to come into work when they feel sick. Common reasons for this ‘presenteeism’ are dedication to work and the fear of being judged by colleagues.
Given that pretty much every human on this planet will get sick at some point, we think this number is far too high! Besides, employers who do not encourage employees to look after themselves actually see more absence days!
One of the biggest obstacles to obtaining a ‘well’ workplace is our societal neglect of the mental health aspect of wellness. It is one of the biggest causes of long-term absence, and a lack of compassion for these invisible illnesses can also lead to higher rates of suicide and depression.
Workplace wellbeing can be improved when employers empathise, humanise and plan.
How Can Employers be Better?
Taking employee health seriously with a wellness plan is the most practical way to improve wellbeing in the workplace. There are loads of ways that employers can provide their workers with more support, including:
- Offering benefits that support wellbeing, such as Health Insurance or discounted gym memberships. Anything that improves health and offers peace of mind to your employees.
- Provide mental health support either inside or outside of the workplace and keep talking about it to reduce the stigma around mental health problems.
- Encourage healthy choices in terms of food and exercise by offering benefits such as healthy lunches and exercise sessions.
- Create an environment where your staff are made to feel valued for their achievements.
- Work to improve team relationships and strengthen the bonds between your staff.
Who can help employers be better?
Employee benefits (such as Group Health Insurance) are a fantastic way of encouraging employees to stay healthy, as well as reducing the amount of sick-leave needed by unwell individuals. Private Medical Cover allows employees to skip NHS queues and get the best treatment quickly.
Many policies also include early intervention plans, such as telephone counselling and virtual doctor appointments, to help keep employees well and at work!
If you aren’t sure which policy would suit your company, we would love to help you out. Give us a call for a free review – where we will get to know you and find the perfect policy for the best price possible.
Reach out via the chat function below or give us a call on 01273 222805.