Blog updated September 2022
We all know how important wellbeing is in our personal lives... but does it really have any benefits in the workplace?
A 2019 study by Virgin found that staff who participated in wellbeing activities were 49% more productive and took 31% fewer sick days. Google offices famously offer on-site therapists, yoga and massage as they understand the positive impact it has on staff and how it creates a happy, healthy and productive business culture. In 2019 the UK Health & Safety Executive reported in 2018 that 57% of absence was due to muscular skeletal and mental health problems.
If you have ever worked with someone who has a high level of stress or is frequently absent then you will understand how infectious it is to the business culture. The official figure was 32.5 million working days were lost to work-related ill health in 2019/20 in the UK. Stress, anxiety and depression accounted for almost 18 million of these.
This figure would have increased during and following the Covid pandemic, with a 50% increase in NHS mental health referrals. CIPD reports highlight that working when ill (presenteeism) remains prevalent – and is even higher for those working from home (81% versus 65% among those in a workplace).
In April 2022 The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) published a Wellbeing in the Workplace survey (link below). In their words "Investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity. However, wellbeing initiatives often fall short of their potential because they stand alone, isolated from the everyday business. To gain real benefit, employee wellbeing priorities must be integrated throughout an organisation, embedded in its culture, leadership and people management." They also importantly and specifically added "Employers should ensure they have a holistic framework in place to support people’s physical health and safety, and mental health, and offer sources of help such as counselling, an employee assistance programme and occupational health services where possible. "
The CIPD survey identified the top three benefits of employers increasing their focus on employee wellbeing:
A healthier and more inclusive culture.
Better work-life balance.
Better employee morale and engagement.
Provide early access to occupational health support and other specialist sources of help, such as counselling or physiotherapy.
Of course larger businesses may have a budget for a wider wellbeing staff incentive. But smaller companies can book my wellbeing sessions which are the length of a coffee break, affordable and can even be subsidised or paid for directly by staff. For larger companies I have access to other therapists so that larger staff number sessions can be accommodated.
Information source links:
Ted Talk: How Stress Affects your Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuyPuH9ojCE&feature=youtu.be
CIPD Health and Wellbeing Report https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/viewpoint/employee-health-well-being
CIPD Wellbeing in the Workplace fact sheet: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/well-being/factsheet
UK Health and Safety Executive wellbeing and mental health report 2022: https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/mental-health.htm
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