The benefits of a healthy workplace

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Health Assured team

18 December 2019

A newly published report from Public Health England has found that most people in the UK are consuming almost 3 times the recommended daily sugar intake.

 

While in Ireland, market research provider Euromonitor has discovered that the Irish population are the fourth highest consumer of sugar in the world.

 

Our consumption of sugar is not only a detriment to our physical wellbeing; it can leave us feeling sluggish, lethargic and less focused throughout the working day. Paving the way for a low-performing and unhealthy workforce.

 

This is why employers should use Sugar Awareness Week 2020 as the springboard they need to reassess their employee wellbeing strategies and add measures to help lower their workforce’s sugar consumption and encourage healthier lifestyle choices.

 

The cost of an unhealthy workforce

It has been well documented how unhealthy employees can have a negative impact on an organisations output. In fact, research conducted by VitalityHealth has found that unhealthy employees are currently costing UK organisations more than one month a year in lost productivity.

 

And in Ireland, up to 11 million days are lost through absenteeism every year at a cost of €1.5bn to the Irish economy.

 

What can employers do?

Education - Knowledge is power when it comes to increasing employee wellbeing. Employers should consider displaying posters around the workplace covering a variety of topics, such as how to eat healthy, reducing the impact of stress and ways to lead a more balanced lifestyle. To make this interactive, encourage your employees to participate by suggesting or providing content for the posters.

Provide healthy snacks - As an organisation, try avoiding snack food such as, crisps, sweets and chocolate bars, instead replace them with healthier alternatives that help boost energy and increase brainpower. Examples include; fruits, nuts and vegetable crisp alternatives. This could be rolled out in canteens and other communal areas.

 

Encourage employees to get active - This can include a variety of initiatives from encouraging employees to take regular breaks from their desks and move around the workplace, to organising either in-house or external exercise classes including yoga and boot-camp work outs. For example, arranging sports teams will not only improve employees’ physical fitness, but will also improve their mental health through socialising and interacting with their colleagues outside of a work environment.

 

Benefits of a healthy workplace

Reduced absenteeism - Simply put, the healthier your team is, the likelihood of them being sick decreases, thus reducing your absenteeism rates and saving your organisation money in the process.

Reduced Turnover - Studies have shown that the cost of replacing an employee can be as much £30,000/€35,000 per employee. Creating a healthy work environment can help you retain key employees and save money on training and recruiting.

Increased productivity - Not only do healthier employees have more energy, endurance and focus, they’re also happier and have higher life-satisfaction. This is important to note for employers as studies have shown that happier employees are 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

 

Creating a healthier working environment for your team can be a complex project to undertake. But by cultivating a culture of wellbeing in your workplace, you will soon reap the benefits of a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

 

 

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