Before you put your spring cleaning checklist away for another year, take a moment today to ask yourself: am I fostering a healthy workplace? If you are, now may be the time to update your workplace wellness plan – and if you don’t, now is definitely the time to start considering how you can encourage wellness in your workforce.
More and more, companies today are looking for ways to help their employees live healthier, better lives. Why? Because ignoring your employees’ wellness not only hurts them – it hurts your bottom line!
In our busy society, encouraging employees to take extra time can almost seem like backwards advice. But while missing a day of work due to illness can certainly seem like a setback due to the lost day of work, consider that the alternative is asking employees to work while their sick – and that’s even worse.
Why? Because our productivity drops when we’re unhealthy. In the average office productivity drops by 3%-8% due to cold and flu symptoms alone! This doesn’t even begin to include the productivity lost due to chronic conditions.
Illnesses aren’t the only wellness factor employers need to be aware of: dust exposure in the average office can reduce an employee’s cognitive functions by 2%-6%. On an industrial worksite or construction site, which can have an even higher concentration of dust thanks to floating debris or clay absorbent product use, this can mean an unsafe environment that leads to accidents, lost time on the job, and both tragic and expensive losses.
Unfortunately, society as whole currently feels pressured to work through their illnesses, making a bad situation worse. Because taking sick days is heavily frowned upon in our busy society, up to 90% of all workers go to work sick at some point. This means that your staff members may be bringing germs to work that are working to slowly lower your workforce’s ability to work effectively.
Fortunately, more and more companies are starting to realize that it’s easy to begin addressing health issues, and are encouraging a culture of wellness can lead to more work getting done. From considering the air quality of the areas your employees work in to encouraging staff members to visit their doctors, there are a whole range of simple things employers can do to help build a workplace wellness plan that will ultimately lead to happier and more productive workforce featuring decreased rates of illness, injury, disability, and absenteeism.
Different work-sites may have different needs, but if you’re ready to see how a healthier workforce can help your company succeed, now’s the time to begin considering what you can start doing to help improve your worker’s well-being.
Is your company setting up a wellness initiative? Did yours already set one up? Share your testimonials and ideas for how to foster a healthier workplace in the comments!