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Workplace wellness initiatives improve job morale, satisfaction and performance

It emerged this week that workplace wellness programs may not be as effective as previously thought in creating a healthier workforce and, of particular relevance for US firms, reducing health-care costs, but another US study paints a more positive picture. While concurring that determining the bottom-line impact of wellness programs continues to be a challenge for employers, this latest study does find a strong link between the wellness and vitality of an organisation and the health and wellness of its employees, which impacts directly on employees’ increased job morale, satisfaction, commitment and performance. The survey of approximately 1,300 businesses and 10,000 employees conducted by Virgin HealthMiles, Inc.  found that workers also place a premium on the culture of wellness with 87 per cent claiming that health and wellness initiatives play a role in determining their employer of choice. More →

Majority of employers intend to hire permanent staff

Jobs

More positive signs on the jobs front today with the news that despite continuing to face a challenging economic climate, the majority of employers are still planning to increase or maintain their permanent staff over the next three months. This is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest JobsOutlook survey. REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Our latest data shows the majority of employers are planning to increase or maintain their permanent headcount over the next quarter which suggests that the jobs market will continue to outperform the rest of the economy in the short term. Although the ONS reported a rise in unemployment last week, it is important to emphasise that the employment figures were also up.” More →

U.S. employers plan penalties to boost wellness participation

U.S. wellness

Following on from the revelation that wellness programmes are only as good as the willingness of staff to participate, comes a study from the U.S. which highlights the role incentives can play in employers’ efforts to improve workforce health and performance. Aon Hewitt’s survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers representing more than 7 million U.S. employees found that 83 per cent now offer employees incentives for participating in programmes, while 58 per cent plan to impose consequences on participants who do not take appropriate actions for improving their health.

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Half of workers feel pressured to come to work when ill

 

Staff ill health

You’ve nearly made it through the week and feel like rewarding yourself with a duvet day? Think again, the more realistic picture is you’ve a horrible virus but have staggered into work regardless, rather than risk the wrath of a disbelieving boss. New research this week found that nearly half of all workers feel pressurised to come into work by their line manager when they are ill. “Under Pressure” from Adecco Retail also found that far from “shirking from  home”, a third of the 1,000 people interviewed (31 per cent) feel expected to carry on working from home even when sick.

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UK building sector contracts again but there may be light at end of tunnel

Canary Wharf buildingsThe UK’s construction sector has continued its recent pattern of contraction according to the latest survey of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from Markit/CIPS UK. The last month’s index, published earlier today, showed at 46.8, where a figure below 50 indicates a decline in activity, marking the most significant monthly downturn since October 2009. The fall is the fourth consecutive monthly fall although there was a contrast between the commercial sector which endured the biggest drop and residential building which rose slightly.

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Using the office treadmill to fight the flab

Office treadmill

While shopping recently for a new arm chair, I noticed the prevalence of “snuggle chairs”, marketed as wider than average chairs in which two people can sit cosily together. However, judging by some of the customers checking them out, they appeared much more suitable for use by individuals with a wider girth. You don’t have to people-watch in a furniture store or visit the town of Tamworth, which this weekend the Daily Mail branded ‘”the fattest town in Britain” to notice people are getting fatter. Could a new “office treadmill” help address the obesity problem?

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