Table of Contents
Every working individual spends about half of their day in an office which plays an important role in the mental and physical wellbeing of a person.
Therefore, these environments need to be built taking into consideration the health of the employees that work there and improving its infrastructure to provide a more wholesome environment.
Companies in recent times have realized that the work-related stress of the employee alone can cost them up to $300 billion a year.
If the workers and staff of the office display a lack of mental or physical wellbeing, it, in turn, affects the economy and productivity of the business.
A survey made on several companies in the US revealed that 70-80% of them were focusing on the wellness of employees because they believed in it impacting the absenteeism rate and increasing productivity.
What is Employee Wellbeing?
When talking about employee well-being, we often misunderstand it to be pertaining to only physical health-related issues. Most companies used to limit this aspect to only providing a few health benefits to employees.
However, there are a lot more things to consider under this category rather than just being free from illness. When talking about employee well-being, we also need to focus on more important aspects of a healthy and well-functioning lifestyle.
Only then can companies aptly optimize the health of the individuals working in the office. Provision of medical care is a common practice to show concern over an employee\’s health.
However, in modern times, there have been certain advancements in the medical field and how health is perceived which need to be revised by brands in order to let working professionals have a healthier and happier life.
The Workplace Wellness Market
The workplace wellness market has been growing at a steady rate over the past few years given the increasing awareness of health in human beings and the importance that it plays in bringing more productivity at work.
The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the industry has a value of around $48 billion. Despite these big numbers and the growing success of the market, it is disheartening to see the economic burden and productivity losses in unhealthy workplaces overpowering it.
A huge chunk of the corporate world is still unaware of the vital role it plays in the success of a business which has led to widespread worker disengagement.
However, the good news is that the real estate industry including office real estate understands and implements necessary health guidelines for employees.
A 2018 survey by the Global Wellness Economy Monitor showed that around 34 countries had or were on their way to building over 740 sustainable wellness estate and community developments. In the next five years, it is predicted to rise by 8%.
Changes are still taking place slowly. Businesses are finally realizing the necessity of bringing about a new approach to wellness. If we talk in figure about how harmful the neglect of the health of employees is going to be the following data will make it easier for you:
- The loss due to an unhealthy work environment in the US was estimated to be $2.2 trillion which represents about 12% of the GDP.
- Stress due to work-life imbalance could cost more than $300 billion annually.
Most normal adults spend a large part of their day working in an office. As a percentage around 38% of the week is spent at work. This clearly shows that an unhealthy workplace has immense power to impact the wellbeing of an individual.
This is why it is necessary for companies to not only express concern over physical wellbeing but various aspects of emotional, mental, and social wellbeing as well.
These wellness programs will definitely play an important part in helping employees lead a healthy lifestyle. By showing that you care for your staff, you can immediately build a strong relationship with the workers.
Offering comfortable workspaces and making wellness initiatives is where you can start.
Stats that Prove Workplace Wellness Works
- Lockhead Martin conducted a survey to figure out the relation of losses incurred by the company due to health issues and the results are as following: asthma (5.2% loss), influenza (4.7% loss), migraines (4.9% loss), allergies (4.1% loss), and depression (7.6% loss).
- In a study conducted by GSK among office-going workers in the Philippines, China, India and Indonesia, 67% of them admitted to experiencing some kind of body pain at work. Over 60% individuals had faced headaches and other physical sufferings that in turn led to loss of productivity.
- The global economy suffers an economic output loss of about 10-15% at an annual rate.
- 70-80% of US companies believe that absenteeism can be significantly reduced and productivity proportionally increased according to a survey conducted by Global Wellness Institute
- Another study by the Globa; Wellness Institute indicated that discomfort at place of work could result in the following drawbacks at work:
- 62% of individuals believed that it enabled them to be less productive
- 63% of individuals admitted to reduced ability to engage at work
- 62% of individuals said that it hampered their motivation to complete their assigned tasks
- In addition to these conclusions the results also showed how this not only affected the work of people but also caused certain problems in their personal life:
- 69% of individuals faced issues related to mental and emotional health
- 50% of individuals had to suffer from physical health problems
- 36% of individuals admitted on it affecting their relationships with friends and family
- 35% of individuals said that it affected their social and dating lives.
- 66% of individuals found that they were considerably less happy than before.
- A good wellness program also helps increase the employee engagement at a workplace. It has several benefits as listed below:
- 37% lower absenteeism levels
- 21% higher productivity
- 65% lower employee turnover
- 10% higher customer satisfaction
- 22% higher profitability
- Another advantage of having higher percentage of staff engagement as concluded by a research by Gallup is that your brand can earn higher by over 147% outperforming your competitors
- It has been witnessed that workspaces with no wellness program have a lesser productivity by 17.5%.
- 59% of companies believe that a good wellness program can significantly reduce their expenses.
- Over 67% companies reported having a happier and satisfied team of employees in the office.
How Do Wellness Programs Increase Productivity?
New Research Helps Explain How Wellness Programs Increase Productivity
Healthways developed a survey called Well-being Assessment in order to clearly understand the concept of truly imbibing wellness in one\’s life.
The tool was adapted from a WBI Survey that helped companies record the health, well-being, and presenteeism of employees. It was then provided to various employers where 20,000 employees were taken into study.
The survey was conducted over a diverse range of industries and markets like customer service and call center, healthcare, finance, design, etc.
The process involved employees filling up the form as a part of their benefits enrollment process. It consisted of questions related to health like physical activity, health problems, smoking status, dietary habits, etc.
They also received medical data like body mass index (BMI), high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, heart attack, and chronic neck, back, leg, or knee conditions that cause pain.
Presenteeism was then calculated based on a series of questions based on hindrances that lowered productivity. These were then compared with the responses on health and consequently, the presenteeism score was calculated.
Elevated Health Risks and Poor Behaviors Are Predictors of Poor Productivity
The presenteeism scores were based on various factors and varied from individual to individual. Those that ranked among the top 20 percent had high presenteeism.
A study on this data helps researchers understand the correlation between health behavior and the presenteeism of the employee. It also showed how introducing a wellness program could significantly increase productivity at work.
Employees with an unhealthy lifestyle or with health issues had a substantially lesser amount of productive time in the office.
This cemented the idea further that presenteeism was heavily based on health risks, prevention of chronic disease, and a healthy lifestyle.
This survey is important because, in present days, the sedentary lifestyle, and poor diets leading to excess body fats demands more concern regarding the wellbeing of an individual.
Leaders Are Seeing the Evidence
Worksites can implement effective health strategies that focus on the health of the employee which results in greater productivity.
These wellness programs play a major role in influencing the presenteeism of workers and help business owners to proportionally cut down hidden costs.
If you look over the internet or discuss with other brands, you will find ample evidence of how a company can improve employee health and productivity with the help of these steps.
Their success rate in the present scenario is evidently growing and is on its way to make health a major concern in the coming years.
However, a lot of companies are still doubtful of the legitimacy of these programs. Despite the clear evidence of its success, they are reluctant to implement these strategies.
They are skeptical if they will truly bring about any change or improvement in the work environment. Moreover, small or medium scale businesses who are concerned about the expenses and are worried if this will be viable in a smaller environment like theirs, unlike large companies who speak to have got excellent results.
This is where HERO took the initiative to demonstrate how even small companies can implement wellness programs through leadership-driven efforts in order to improve employee productivity.
The fact that most medium-sized companies don’t write checks for presenteeism is what leads to leadership reluctance. It can be considered as a hidden cost that can be prevented in order to increase revenue and profitability.
The only method that seems to work for this dilemma is using standardized and well-accepted tools so that office can keep track of both the productivity and presenteeism of employees.
If these figures are taken into consideration and worked upon a large part of it can be understood and managed easily.
A major role of worksite wellness programs is to reduce health care costs. However, age-old notions are changing. The healthcare programs have a more important part to play which pertains to employee productivity.
If the unhealthy lifestyle of the modern generation continues, companies might as well start considering presenteeism and introducing wellness programs.
As of now, this is the best way that provides a win-win situation to both the employee and the employer. While the staff enjoys the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, business owners become happier with increased rates of productivity as a result of it.