It should not come as a major surprise that healthy workplaces spawn better worker production, not to mention less time missed on the job.
With that in mind, a new guide published recently by Britain’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) notes that those business owners who form healthy workplaces can decrease employee absence and boost productivity.
The report, Work and wellbeing, aims to promote healthier working and help union safety reps identify what within their workplaces are making staff ill.
According to research, every year some 170 million working days are lost due to the fact too many workers are not able to go into work – 23 million of these are due to work-related ill health and 4 million as a result of injuries suffered in the workplace. The number one way of tackling ill health is to halt workers from getting ill in the first place, says the guide.
Work and well-being states that the top method for improving the general well-being of a workforce is to change the way that work is organized and managed.
Top Goal Should Be Reducing Workplace Stress
For example, decreasing stress on the job is far more useful than providing on-site massage for stressed workers.
The report also points out that running exercise classes during lunch hours may prove popular with some employees but employers need to ensure that workers have a satisfactory lunch break in order to benefit.
Also any lifestyle changes must be made available in a completely non-judgmental manner so that no-one feels any changes are being forced upon them.
Work and well-being suggests several means by which employers and unions might attempt to encourage a healthier attitude amongst employees, including:
- Providing an on-site gym or subsidised membership of a local fitness centre
- Encouraging employees to cycle to work by providing a secure storage place for bikes, introducing schemes where staff can get discounted bikes and cycling accessories and having workplace shower facilities
- Offering healthy options in the canteen, encouraging staff not to eat lunch at their desks, or by providing a regular supply of free fruit to encourage employees to pick the occasional apple over their regular chocolate bar
- Giving staff the chance to access employee assistance programmes which can help them cope with personal problems that could have an impact on their performance at work, or offer advice with financial concerns, or on problems they may be having with colleagues.
So, how does your workplace look to reduce stress and improve upon worker health?
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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