Work & Wellbeing

This section is dedicated to helping SMEs improve their understanding of what it means to have a healthy workforce, providing practical tips for activities and advice to make work and wellbeing a priority.

Entrepreneurs famously work long hours and over holidays. For businesses on the growth path, however, work and wellbeing go hand-in-hand. Increasingly businesses are seeing the light – the happier and healthier their employees are, the better it is for their bottom lines. People work harder when they’re being looked after, and for millennials, wellbeing is a main deciding factor for employment – for example, 82% said they would be more loyal to an employer that offered flexible working.

Why does work and wellbeing matter for your business?

The ONS estimates that 137.3 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016 – which is the equivalent to 4.3 days per worker.

Minor illnesses such as colds were the most common reason for absence (24.8%) followed by musculoskeletal problems such as back or neck pain (22.4%).

It is in a business’ interest that employees are fit and healthy, so that they can come to work. Missed hours means lower output, which means reduced productivity – it’s going to affect your bottom line if this gets out of hand.

How to prioritise mental wellbeing

Mental health is increasingly being taken seriously, and there are plenty of campaigns out there trying to reduce the stigma that people so often see attached to mental health issues.

The ONS estimates that conditions such as stress, depression, anxiety, and sometimes more serious conditions contribute around 11.5% of working days lost in the UK.

How to combat presenteeism and leavism

On the surface of it, it may look as though the issue is that these employees are missing time at work. That’s only part of the problem. In fact, the ONS reports that the average of 4.3 sick days per worker is actually the lowest recorded since the series began in 1993, when it peaked at 7.2 days per employee.

Does this demonstrate that people are feeling healthier, or is it a sign that people are too hesitant to take a sick day when they need one? Presenteeism happens when staff feel unable to take time off could actually contribute to stress – and if the illness is contagious, could put other staff at risk of infection.

This section aims to provide business owners with the latest statistics on work and wellbeing, as well as tips, case studies from businesses who have nailed their company culture, and advice from industry experts so you can keep your employees – and your bottom line – looking healthy.

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