Why workplace wellbeing is value adding
More workplaces than ever are recognising the importance of wellbeing, with employers choosing to adopt practices that increase staff health and happiness.
Beyond legislative requirements, from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an understanding of the productivity and morale benefits has increased ten-fold.
Procuring resources that help people work better, increase their sense of job satisfaction and reassure them that their safety and confidence is a priority, is no longer simply a ‘nice’ thing to do. It’s also a route to better staff retention, reduced absence, better work and ultimately, bigger profits.
There are the tech giants paving the way, providing facilities that encourage people to play and work hard. Facebook and Amazon offer running tracks, coffee bars, workout areas, social meeting spaces and restaurants. They aren’t doing this for the sake of it. People who are happy at work are more likely to stay there longer and contribute more.
The figures on why we need to do more on wellbeing speak for themselves. Stress is believed to account for 43% of all working days lost due to ill health, and for 34% of all work-related ill health cases, according to BITC’s National Employee Wellbeing Survey 2017.
The physical health absence statistics are not good either. Badly positioned workstations and equipment are said to cause problems in lower backs, necks, shoulders or upper limbs. These kinds of problems are the second most common reason for work absence, after coughs and colds, according to the ONS, causing 30.8 million lost working days or 22.4% of all lost working time.
While rivalling the resources of a tech giant may be well beyond budget, there are some clear-cut ways to make any workplace healthier and happier:
A first step is to look at workstations. Making sure that people are sitting comfortably is a legal requirement, with employers required to run through the HSE’s Display Screen Equipment Workstation checklist on a regular basis.
Furniture and related accessories should be sited so that the employee can work easily and safely. All screens should be placed on a firm surface at a comfortable height, with the user’s eyes level with the top of the screen.
All office chairs, including seat, backrest and armrests, should be adjustable so that workers can sit and work comfortably. When selecting chairs, think about the needs of different people.
Where laptops or tablets are used, accessories are vital. These include laptop risers, wrist supports and separate keyboards where a laptop is in use.
Consider posture and comfort if sit-stand workstations are in use. Anyone standing up to work needs to wear comfortable shoes and use an anti-fatigue floor mat.
Giving people headsets will make phone calls more manageable, help them hear the person at the other end of the line more clearly and ensure they’re as comfortable and efficient as possible. Comfort is key when you spend a lot of time each day on the phone, and a headset removes back, neck and shoulder problems by removing the strain caused by cradling a headset between the shoulder and neck.
Safety of employees entering and leaving buildings at different hours, or travelling around for work, is essential to wellbeing.
It makes sense to issue lone workers with a personal alarm for protection out and about, and if your workplace doesn’t already have security cameras in its car parks, these would be a worthwhile investment as a deterrent to intruders, and a comfort to anyone using a car park after dark.
Providing drinks and treats at work is a way to increase employee satisfaction levels, and a well-stocked kitchen will boost motivation. From herbal and fruit teas and bottled water to biscuits, sweets and fruit juices, it isn’t difficult to provide a mix of long-shelf life products with something for everyone.
Banner’s Working Well Day
If you would like to put any of the above into action, we can organise a free Working Well Day at your workplace. All you need is some free space such as a lounge or reception area and we will do the rest.
Your Banner account manager will give advice about working well and discuss all your issues, including help on desk assessments, demonstrating products and posters for you to display.
Please contact your Banner Account Manager for more details.
With Banner you can provide a happy and healthy workplace.
For more hints and tips:View our FREE B Guide to Health and Wellbeing