Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Have a healthier Working Environment

How will a healthy work environment benefit my bottom line?

Research shows that healthy people working in a healthy environment are key

to business success. That’s because a healthy workplace improves productivity and reduces employers’ costs.

A healthy workplace will:

  • Improve employee health outcomes
  • Make it easier to attract and retain qualified employees
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Reduce health benefit costs
  • Enhance morale
  • Reduce risk of injury
  • Improve job performance

Healthy Work Environments are Good for Business*

  • Absenteeism in Canada hasincreased steadily since the 1990s. In B.C., actual work time lost for personal reasons was 8.5 days per employee in 2005--and the lost productivity that goes along with it is a major business cost.
  • People who have a supportive supervisor, flexible workplaces, and low job stress report greater work-life balance.
  • Job stress has been linked causally to heart disease, depression, diabetes, asthma, migraines, and ulcers.
  • Obesity in the workforce imposes costs on employers, including workers’ compensation claims, medical benefit costs, and absenteeism.
  • Workplace health promotion interventions that are comprehensive, well-designed, and successfully implemented will have a positive return-on-investment.
  • Multi-component worksite health promotion programs which track return on investment result in average reductions in sick leave, health plan costs, workers’ compensation and disability costs of just over 25%.
*The business world includes private companies, not-for-profit organizations and government
A summary of recent research and evidence on healthy workplaces can help when you’re ready to develop a business case for healthy work environment initiatives.

What is a flexible workplace?

A flexible workplace supports employees to balance work and life commitments. It’s an environment in which the workplace culture views this balance as positive and encourages employees to take advantage of options such as:

  • Flexibility – allowing employees to have some capacity to adapt their workday to respond to family issues such as a child becoming ill or one who has special needs, school visits and parent-teacher interviews or special needs of elders. It typically includes family responsibility leave for employees.
  • Supportive supervisors/managers whose management style values staff and is characterized by a desire to help employees achieve better balance between work and the rest of their lives.
  • A culture that is family friendly - overall attitudes, beliefs, values and taken-for-granted ways of doing things that support work-family issues as legitimate workplace concerns, and as an opportunity to develop ‘new ways of working’. Options include maternity, paternity, family and personal leave provisions.
  • Alternative work arrangements – options are available to employees including daily or scheduled flex time arrangements, job-sharing, reduced hours, compressed work week, family leave options, part-time work, gradual retirement, telecommuting, other leaves and sabbatical options. Such alternative work arrangements are seen as ways of working, and employees using them are not sidelined, marginalized or belittled.
  • Recognition of child and elder care issues including support for child care, providing access to a service regarding child or elder care, establishing on-site child care or, developing a consortium with other employers in order to provide emergency child care. This includes accommodating the needs of employees who are breastfeeding their children.

Source: Work and Family Unit, Saskatchewan Labour, 2005
Component of The Family Friendly Workplace Portfolio

The impact of healthy workplace actions on business success

As businesses progress along the path toward being a healthy business they will see increased benefits for both employees and performance. Use this visual model to discuss the following:

  • Where is your business on this pathway?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • What actions will get you there?
**This article was adapted by -
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Alpha & Omega Healthcare said...

I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work. Thanks for this very useful info you have provided us.

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