The cost of ill health in the workplace has reached an all-time high. Rising sick leave and lowered job performance caused by poor health are costing European businesses a mind-boggling €73 billion per year.
As more businesses turn to workplace wellness programmes to tackle the issue, some sceptics argue that the return does not justify their costs. So what’s the truth here? Can wellness programmes help employers reduce the financial repercussions of bad health? The answer, most emphatically, is yes. But it might involve challenging some norms first.
Part of the solution lies in encouraging employees to add more movement during their working day by alternating between sitting and standing. One way to implement this is through a workplace ergonomics concept known as Sit-Stand, as some progressive European businesses have already discovered.
In Scandinavia, Sit-Stand solutions are already transforming the working lives of 80% of Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian employees, making them more productive, healthier and happier. Scandinavia continues to lead in workplace wellbeing, according to the most recent Universum annual happiness index[i]. In turn, this is bolstering the bottom-line of its businesses, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by senior management.
Seven sure-fire ways your business will benefit from following suit:
- Reduced absenteeism
Almost a third (32%) of workers have taken an average of two weeks off work due to ailments caused by working at a computer.[ii] Standing and moving during the working day can significantly reduce the risk of such symptoms, eliminating the need to take time off sick.
- Higher productivity
60% of employees claim they are suffering daily ailments caused by being sat at a computer and that their productivity has been affected as a result.[iii] According to Stephen Bowden, Chartered Ergonomist for Morgan Maxwell, “Modest gains in staff wellbeing and productivity can deliver significant financial savings.”
- Retention of talent
More than half (60%) of HR managers say they have seen good people leave their company because of the work environment.[iv] Sit-Stand shows talented staff that you are committed to improving their wellbeing and appreciated workers stick around.
- Attractive employer brand
70% of European employees believe that companies with strong health and wellbeing ethics attract the best staff.[v] A healthier working environment where talented people do good things for companies that care will help you attract new talent, particularly among younger generations.
- Happier employees
72% of HR managers believe employees would feel happier in an office-based job if they had a sit to stand desk. And happy employees are 12% more productive[vi].
- Dynamic culture
Workplace movement can lead to more dynamic, and as a result profitable, teams. Stephen Bowden adds, “If the physical, social and psychological elements of the organisation are taken into account this will provide a positive culture which will help maintain wellbeing, productivity and competitiveness.”
- Top quality work
63% of HR managers think employees’ work would be of better quality if they stood up to work sometimes.[vii]
All of these are direct results of a greater focus on workplace wellbeing. And they’re easier to realise in your business than you may think.
For proof that a workplace wellness programme will boost your bottom line, try our ROI calculator.
[ii] Loudhouse Research 2016, commissioned by Fellowes
[iii] Loudhouse research commissioned by Fellowes, 2016
[iv] Loudhouse Sit Stand research 2017
[v] Loudhouse research 2016, commissioned by Fellowes
[vii] Loudhouse Sit Stand research 2017