Workplace wellness programs are becoming more and more common for Australian businesses. Benefits are widespread for both the employee and organisation. A healthy workplace is an investment in your people and their productivity and happiness.
Benefits for employees
Workplace wellness benefits for employees are widespread with the most common benefits reported including improved health and happiness. In fact 41% of U.S respondents reported wellness programs made them happier in the Principal Financial Well-Being Index.
Employees spend on average between 1,300 and 2,200 hours at work each year (Ref: IDEO) making it clear just how important promoting wellness can be. Wellness programs often aim to reduce stress and muscle strain whilst improving eating and consumption habits of employees. These benefits all make for a healthier individual, in and outside the workplace. Another benefit of wellness programs are that they often build a sense of camaraderie between colleagues. Eating lunch together, taking part in physical activity as part of a social team can provide encouragement for all employees in achieving their wellness goals.
Benefits for businesses
Benefits to the organisation and society are more obvious. Unhealthy eating, stress, poor sleeping habits, lack of exercise and chronic disease can all impact employee productivity and more widely, it can impact Australia’s global competitiveness (Ref: Workplace Wellness in Australia).
Wellness programs have been proven to lower absenteeism and reduce health care costs. Therefore, the wellness of employees has a direct impact not only on the organisation’s bottom line but more far reaching costs to society.
Ways to improve wellness in your workplace
• Make sure your employees have access to healthy snack options. Keeping your lunchroom stocked with fresh fruit and nuts is an easy way to implement this recommendation. Similarly, ensuring vending machines and on-premise cafes have healthy food options can go a long way to promoting wellness in the workplace.
• Mental health is often overlooked in wellness programs however, unmanaged stress can lead to chronic health conditions and decrease productivity. Offer employee assistance programs to employees demonstrating excess stress or depression symptoms.
• Encouraging exercise is particularly important for individuals with highly sedentary jobs such as sitting at a desk. Wellness programs may offer company bikes, hold corporate yoga sessions or incentivise employees with gym membership discounts.
CoolXChange supports healthy lifestyles. The gel bandage provides cooling and compression with no need for refrigeration making it a perfect addition to your workplace first aid kit.