Absenteeism costing the Australian Economy

A recent survey of 1000 workers across six government departments found that 85 percent of those who spent more than eight hours a day working at a computer experienced neck pain.  Implementing a corporate health and wellness program in the workplace is fast becoming the norm for bigger corporations in the US such as IBM, Virgin, Google and American Express, all of which appreciate the value of their employees.

Health and Wellness is not only about physical health but mental wellness also.  Occupational and physical evaluations of your work-spaces to ensure that if staff are required to sit at their desks for extended periods they are in the most ergonomically efficient environment to achieve a productive days work.  With the introduction of Telehealth conferencing your employees can also have access to Qualified Psychologists, this has shown particularly helpful to businesses’ dealing with Asbestos related illness.

The Heart Foundation reports “over ten million Australian’s spend an average of eight hours a day in the workplace.  Effective workforce health programs have been shown to improve the health and well-being of employees and facilitate organisation changes, such as reduced absenteeism and increased productivity

Employers can encourage staff to stay healthy and exercise by offering to subsidize and pay allowances towards health and wellness initiatives introduced into the workplace.  It is also a great way to bring some social interaction and maybe a little friendly competition between Management and Staff.  The 10,000 step initiative is a great way to begin, add in a push-up and sit-up competition and you are good to go.

Think about introducing yoga, Pilates or lunch-time boot camp to your office.  Arrange a massage therapist or physio therapist to attend the workplace every fortnight.  As we all know ‘Prevention is better than Cure‘ and offering your staff a half hour neck and back massage for 30 minutes every fortnight is a better business and resource decision than having staff call in sick or leave early because of chronic conditions which can develop because they are desk bound each day.

Why not issue a Health and Wellness survey to all of your staff?  It may just highlight some Chronic Disease that is underlying and also give you feedback as to what types of programs your staff may be interested in.  If you are thinking about offering pay rises soon, maybe think about offering allowances towards a Corporate Health & Wellness package.