For some employers, physical and mental health are considered separate entities. You might have all your employee benefits lined up for financial health, care lines for medical emergencies and even have policies in place to help educate your employees on things like pensions and retirement plans, training and development. But what about their physical health?
The fact is, the body and the brain both need attention, and if you want employees who are engaged, happy at work and bring their whole self to each task, it’s important that employers take the same approach to physical wellness as they do mental health.
But what does that mean?
We all know that exercise can release endorphins to improve mental health. There are the cycle to work schemes, fitbits being used in offices, and of course, healthy eating plans, fruit boxes and the like.
However one reason wellbeing never gets the lift it needs is – time.
You need to make time to support employee wellbeing
Figures by the TUC revealed that, since 2001, the number of employees working 48-hour weeks has risen by a quarter of a million to three million, while half a million British workers suffered from work-related stress in 2018, and 44% said it was due to workload.
Having initiatives in place to support good physical wellbeing is one thing, making sure they are actively advocated, supported and participated in is quite another. Employees may want to take advantage of a discounted gym membership, but if leaving work on time to exercise is frowned upon – they may not feel able to.
The employee with two kids in school hasn’t got the time to join your spin class after work, however great it is.
The employee caring for his father hasn’t got the time to take a lunch break to relax – he needs to make calls and undertake life admin.
And if you think the young team members are faring better, consider that Gen Z, those born after 1996, are half as likely to meet the recommended levels of physical activity as Millennials. Lack of exercise and poor diet is a lethal combination that is negatively affecting the short- and long-term health of Gen Z.
Some of your time needs to be invested in solutions that look after all your people.
Employees need time for a break
One way to improve mental and physical health is to let employees have time. Whilst they won’t be at their desk, working – consider that that could have benefits in the long term.
Studies from CIPD show a sharp rise in presenteeism over the last few years from just 26% in 2010 to 86% in 2017, while another report shows a cost of £81 billion each year in the UK.
Allowing employees time to go and exercise, take a class, meditate, relax, do yoga – can all help them.
You can lead by example.
Work-obsessed CEO’s run the risk of creating a company culture in which presenteeism reigns. As opposed to being absent from work, presenteeism leads to employees having lower productivity while at work. They’re also likely to feel judged according to how many hours they sit at their desks rather than the quality of their output. This can lead to burnout, unhappiness and increased health issues, which end up impacting both company and employee negatively in the long run.
Initiatives such as creating a culture of sensible working hours and regular breaks should be taken – but it will only work if it is advocated from the top and led by example. Only then will a truly healthy culture prevail, one in which employees feel empowered to take control of their mental and physical wellbeing – safe in the knowledge that the business is supporting them.
Lavish can help
Lavish gift cards are redeemable at spas, salons and treatment rooms across the UK. Aimed at both men and women, Lavish gift cards help promote the idea of downtime. Whether introvert or extrovert, a trip to take some ‘me time’ is nothing to sniff at.
Relaxation brings a wide range of benefits, including lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. reducing muscle tension and chronic pain.
Permenantly ‘on’ employees soon fade out.
Give them the gift of some time!
Speak to us today about offering Lavish Gift Cards to your employees through a reward, recognition or incentive programme.