Fitter workers step up productivity

17/11/2014 - 11:14


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Fitter workers step up productivity

Moral and economic factors have driven employers to take on the responsibility for a physically healthy workforce – tackling mental health in the workplace is their new challenge.

Offering access to health and wellness programs is becoming more common as employees increasingly demand additional benefits and employers recognise potential productivity improvements.

To reinforce the business case for such programs, statistics indicate employers can save up to an average $15,660 per year by implementing an effective program, which helps workers remain healthy, or get healthy.

Those savings are derived from an estimated average 30 per cent reduction in sick leave (costing $2,160 per year) and 10 per cent reduction in staff turnover (costing $13,500 per year).

Consequently, aside from recognising a moral responsibility, employers have accepted how encouraging a healthy workforce can also help their bottom line.

Strategies range from offering free gym access and end-of-ride facilities to educational seminars on nutrition and overall healthy living.

As a result business opportunities have opened up for organisations with health expertise (see As corporates seek outcomes, health becomes business).

While many employers are dipping toes in the water, those that have adopted the business case for a healthy workforce are going further and taking a more holistic approach by also addressing the mental health of their workers.

It’s a subject often considered too personal for employers to delve into.

In the year since Business News first addressed corporate health and wellness in its inaugural Well@Work feature, the conversation has matured, both with employers looking to measure the outcomes of health and wellness programs, but also taking it to a deeper level by addressing mental health.


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