UK Workplace Wellness Programmes: Are They Worth It?

The state of affairs

We spend a high proportion of our day at work and most of it at our desks. An anticipated 1.2 million people in the UK each year are affected by a physical injury at work. 80% of these conditions are linked to one of the following: musculoskeletal issues, stress, anxiety or depression. The direct costs of employee absence to the economy are estimated at more than £14bn according to the CBI.

 

So, what is a workplace wellness programme?

Traditionally, employee health initiatives have been limited to injury prevention at work. However, more recently progress has been made to expand this relatively restrictive view of employee wellbeing, advocating a spread of health and wellness programmes across UK places of work.

 

The 3 pillars of workplace wellness

  • Health and safety: as defined by national laws.
  • Monitoring ill health: supporting employees that suffer mental and physical health issues at work.
  • Prevention and awareness: raising the level of information your employees have, helping them to take the appropriate steps for them and creating a wellness culture.

 

Advantages of workplace wellness programmes

 

The key advantages are:

  • They are proven to increase staff health levels – Even the strictest boss wants this!
  • Increase producitivty. Sickness prevents your business delivering on time. This is especially true in smaller businesses where it is harder to replace a sick employee at short notice.
  • Builds staff loyalty. Employees who are cared for remain at a business for longer, which ensures the company retains their skills and experience and reduces downtime and the cost of employee turnover.
  • Saves money through reduced sick pay.
  • Marketing and branding. They allow you to stand out as a company to potential employees and also to customers

 

The drawbacks:

  • It requires a time investment to set up.
  • You need to commit to a wellness culture to ensure it is believable.
  • Costs involved for rolling out an initiative.

 

Recognise, however, that there is only so much that you as an employer can do. Some people will react well, but there will always be those that do not want to be helped.

At ZenDays we have a range of options to suit all budgets and objectives. If you’d like to explore this some more, feel free to get in touch.