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Wellness In The Workplace

Benefits of Wellness Programs in the Workplace

There is increasing evidence to support the need for workplace wellness programs and more companies than ever are implementing health and wellness strategies.

In 2014/15, 23.3 million days were lost due to work-related illness. On average stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 9.9 and 9.5 million days respectively. The average number of  days lost per case for stress, depression or anxiety (23 days) was higher than for musculoskeletal disorders (17 days).

Health and wellness strategies reduce injuries,and absenteeism with additional benefits such as higher productivity, and increased morale and loyalty. So it is not surprising more and more employers are choosing to implement workplace wellness programs within their companies.

 

What is Wellness?

For the uninitiated mindfulness can come across as something “it bit out there”, quacky almost. Twitter feeds are awash with mindfulness quotes from Deepak Chopra to the Dal Lai Lama himself.

But the basic premise is:

  • Developing a strong connection with our surroundings and with ourselves.
  • To develop curiosity and kindness and most importantly developing a sense of awareness.
  • Awareness can add value not only to the individual but to the whole work environment.
  • Giving us the potential to make us healthier, wiser and to make more compassionate choices.

Using different meditation techniques can help cultivate and bring about a deeper connection with our surroundings and greater awareness of thinking and behaviour patterns. meditation-work

Google and the Huffington Post are leading the way with openly promoting mindfulness within the workplace. They see, and value the importance of encouraging employee wellbeing, creativity, and commitment as the way to achieve success.

As mentioned earlier one of the major problems facing businesses are the number of sick days taken by employees for stress/ mental health related illnesses. Research however, has shown the positive effect of practicing mindfulness on the mental wellbeing of a person. It has shown to improve cognitive skills, working memory, and decision-making of those who practice it.

Using Google as an example again, they promote mindfulness to all staff by offering classes and online resources. Around 35 offices have daily meditation sessions and they incorporate mindfulness in their meetings as well. Google has also invested in the research of the relationship of mindfulness with increased wellbeing, focus and lowered stress. Other companies like Transport of London and Bosch and Beiersdorf have developed programs to include mindfulness into their meetings, emailing, and feedback. Many of these companies also employ mindfulness training providers and participate in research.

Feeling Good

We all know how we good we feel after a massage, but have you thought about how those benefits can transfer to the work environment;Workplace massage

  • Healthier staff and a reduction in sick days.
  • Projects a positive image of your company.
  • Improves staff retention & moral.
  • Reduces and helps prevent muscular pain, back, shoulder & neck ache, RSI, stress headaches.
  • Energising and uplifting. Clearer thinking, improved concentration, increased productivity.
  • Combats fatigue.

Companies big and small have discovered the benefits of wellness in the workplace. They’re using massage as a way to attract and keep employees, while also keeping them productive.

 

To summarise, providing employees with complete wellness programs including can help with the following;

  • Reduce absenteeism: It has been shown healthier employees spend fewer days away from work due to illness, additionally, because good health typically carries over into better family choices, your employees could possibly miss less work caring for sick family members.
    Improve Productivity: While not as easily measured, improved employee morale and productivity plays a big role in the success of a company or business.
  • Improve Presenteeism: Presenteeism a new phenomenon occurring when employees are at work but don’t feel as productive as usual due to stress, depression, injury or illness.
  • Reduce Injuries: Healthy employees are at a lower risk for injury than unhealthy employees with more risk factors. Classes are a popular means of trying to prevent injury, including exercise classes, smoking cessation courses, back care programs and stress management lectures. More examples of workplace wellness programs include health education classes. Incorporating internal policies that promote healthy behaviour, activity, or environmental change that affect the health of an employee.
  • Improve Employee Morale and Retention: Employee turnover is expensive and an employee wellness program is an added benefit to encourage employee retention. Company sponsored workplace wellness programs send a clear message to employees that management values their well-being.

A strategy that incorporates mindfulness in the workplace as well as massage, can seen a significant improvement in wellbeing.

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