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The communal fruit bowl isn’t going to cut it! Reasons why you need a wellness program

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

In the UK 131 million working days are lost due to sickness 

34.3 million account for minor illness

28.2 million to musculoskeletal problems (back, neck, shoulder pain)   

14.3 million days are lost to stress, depression and anxiety

90% don't give the real reason why they are off sick as they are worried about their employers reaction.



As numbers of sick days rise, cases of depression and anxiety increase and the obesity epidemic shows no sign of slimming down, a wellness program should no longer be considered as a 'nice to have' for businesses, it's a “must have!” I am afraid, the communal fruit bowl isn’t going to cut it. 


As a generation, we are working longer, playing harder and 3 in 4 of us have felt so stressed in the last year we've felt 'overwhelmed' or 'unable to cope' according to the Mental Health Foundation. 


With technology making us accessible 24 hours a day, it has never been so important to look after our body both physically and mentally. Work is the most stressful factor in our life, for the first time ever, work related stress accounts for over 1/2 of all working days lost to ill health in the UK. Stress is the most common cause of long-term absence, with the HSE reporting last year 15.4 million days were lost with employees suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety.


According to statistics body NHS Digital a 1/6 of the working population in England have a mental health problem at any one-time. 


The biggest asset to any business are its people and their biggest asset is their health and wellbeing so it makes good business and moral sense to look after your team. Implementing a  wellness program is vital to maintaining a sustainable business. A recent Mind survey found 60% of workers would feel more loyal, motivated and would be more likely to recommend their organisation to friends as a good place to work, if their employer invested in measures which supported their wellbeing. Employers who invest in the mental health of their employees will save money in the long run, through improved staff morale and productivity – which, let’s face it, is something most managers would want. Indeed, analysis by Deloitte suggests employers would see a return on investment of between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 invested.


Employees are increasingly aware of the detrimental impact their long hours and physical inactivity is having on their mental health. 50% of workers are calling for the introduction to physical activity, yoga and a meditation room in a recent stress survey.


Benefits of a wellness program 

Retain staff and reduce recruitment costs 

Attract new talent with exciting benefits 

Improve employee wellbeing and reduce healthcare costs 

Increase productivity and performance 

Lift employee morale and increase company loyalty 

Decrease absenteeism and risk of healthy employee burnout   


Let's make a change to help live well, where you work because 'your health is your wealth'.


Sources 

*Results from the annual CIPA survey exploring issues of health, well-being and absence in UK workplaces. **Labour Force Survey (LFS) - HSE govements statics GB 2018

gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-health-and-work 2018

The Stevenson-Farmer 'Thriving at Work' review - commissioned by the Prime Minister in January


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