• Mike Thiele

Wellbeing at work - Can you really afford the cost of ‘unwellness?’

When does workplace wellness stop becoming a tick box exercise and start to become something more personal, more meaningful and a solution to improving productivity?

Workplace stress a cultural norm?                                                                                                                    

In today’s working world, stress, pressure, depression and anxiety now seem to be widely accepted as ‘the norm’ for a working environment. Work is more intensive than ever with heavier workloads and unmanageable deadlines and so it comes as no surprise that presenteeism at work has more than tripled since 2010 from 26% to 86%. In 2017/18, 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Many workplaces have swapped out typical vending machines for healthier options and provided employees with water bottles to promote hydration but with such alarming ‘unwellnes’ statistics, does that really cut it?

How much of a people person is your manager?

The culture and values you build your organisation on, people management and the awareness and quality of leadership teams will determine how healthy a workplace is. Senior leaders serve as important role models having a huge influence on employees and therefore have a responsibility to promote wellbeing and create a healthy workplace .

Leaders need to look beyond absence data and begin to understand the patterns and behaviours that drive presenteeism and absenteeism. Do your employees feel valued? Do they feel their contribution is appreciated? With managers being the first port of call, can you really afford to not have the correct policies , procedures and training in place to equip them to support employees effectively and genuinely.

Wellbeing Strategy

It has recently been reported that under the government’s new Health, Work and Wellbeing Initiative, a number of successful businesses have recognised the need to improve workplace wellbeing. Health, Work and Wellbeing is a cross-government initiative that aims to improve the general health and wellbeing of employees by working with employers, trade unions and health care professionals to create healthier workplaces with a clear wellbeing strategy. Companies such as Accenture, O2, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell are all supporters of workplace massage and other services that help tackle stress and increase health awareness at work.

Our workplace massage packages are now available with a clear policy and guidelines that are easy and simple to implement into your organisation and come with bespoke HR support and advice from one of Cornwall’s leading HR and employment law specialists.