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Employee wellbeing doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck

Our first step was to carry out an assessment of the company to highlight any health and wellbeing related issues.

As with most office-based companies, the design agency’s employees were spending seven hours plus a day in front of their computers, so the first part of the programme was to provide each employee with a 20-minute "Workstation and Posture Assessment".

None of the staff had previously been given a workstation assessment, as the company was unaware that it is part of the Health & Safety regulations for all staff. We found that 85 per cent of employees were set up incorrectly at their computer, with incorrect positioning resulting in bad posture.

This can also have a knock-on effect on many other areas for those affected, with nearly a quarter of staff reporting early symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). A further 82 per cent of staff reported experiencing high levels of stress, back problems and shoulder tension, which can all be attributed to their incorrect set-up at their computers.

With our review and workstation assessments now complete, we introduced energising neck, back and shoulder massages. Each employee is now entitled to one 20-minute session per month, as part of an ongoing programme. In addition, on the first of every month, every employee receives our email of tips on how to stay healthy and energised at their computer.

Once the first part of the programme was complete we carried out an evaluation to assess the results on the employees. The workstation assessments were a success: now all employees are set correctly at their computers and 78 per cent of employees reported having little or no back problems and shoulder tension. All the employees that previously reported symptoms of RSI now felt little or no pain. Importantly all staff reported feeling happier and more motivated at work and a further 82 per cent of employees said they felt less stressed at work following the energiseYou program.

The next step for this company was two of the energiseYou "Nutrition for High Energy" workshops, teaching staff how to eat and drink for high energy every day. Importantly, during the four months of this programme there were 24 fewer sick days than the four months previous. And four less employees left the agency verses the four months previous. Although it is very tough to measure, the managing director felt that the programme has improved the overall performance of the staff.

This client example highlights the positive effects that can be gained by putting your employee’s health and wellbeing at the top of the agenda!

Oliver Gray is the managing director of  a provider dynamic employee wellbeing services to the UK’s best companies to work for.

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