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Better reporting required on employee engagement and wellbeing

Wellness reporting could be improved by FTSE 100

There is a need for more open reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 organisations according to an inaugural report into wellness by Business in the Community. The first Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark, which analysed how FTSE 100 organisations manage their 6.3 million employees gave an average score of just 21 per cent, which said BITC was “not unexpected” at this first stage of development.  The highest scoring Workwell indicators were Diversity and Inclusion (at 50 per cent of total marks) and Health and Safety (at 44 per cent), showing how compliance drives measurement and reporting.

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Employers missing employee health and productivity link

Employers missing health & productivity link

Only a minority of employers understand the productivity benefits of their health and wellbeing initiatives, new research reveals. Towers Watson’s latest Health, Wellbeing and Productivity survey found that 66 per cent of employers thought the link between health and employee performance was a relatively limited part of their health and wellbeing programme, with the main drivers being the desire to be seen as a responsible employer and the need to focus on more preventative health measures to manage rising healthcare and disability costs. More →

Global wellness hampered by lack of staff participation

Fat worker1

The latest in a surfeit of surveys into employee wellness has found that wellness programmes may be firmly on the global business agenda, but there remains a major problem in persuading the most unfit and least healthy members of the workplace to participate.  A whopping 95 per cent of organizations say they are implementing a wellness strategy, but according to the 2013 Global Workplace Health & Wellness Report, by Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) employee participation is another matter, with wellness initiatives achieving less than 20 per cent participation on average, well short of organizations’ 60 per cent participation goals. More →

UK employers failing to measure effectiveness of workplace wellness

MeasureFurther data from Buck Consultant’s Global Wellness Strategies Report reveals that UK employers know what they want from their workplace wellness strategy, but less than one in 10 (9 per cent) actively measures specific outcomes, and three quarters (74 per cent) of those that don’t say it is due to limited resources. According to the study, increasing employee morale and engagement (73 per cent), improving staff productivity and reducing presenteeism (69 per cent), and reducing absenteeism (66 per cent) are the three top goals for UK businesses; with the top four health risks identified as stress, workplace safety and work-life balance issues and depression.

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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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Homeworkers happier but more at risk from poor ergonomics

Flexible workingAmidst all the controversy over flexible working raised by the infamous Yahoo homeworking ban comes US research revealing homeworking policies lead to happier employers and employees. 93 percent of employees surveyed by Staples Advantage agree that telecommuting programs are mutually beneficial, and more than half 53 percent of business decision makers said telecommuting leads to more productive employees. However, the survey also reveals that 48 per cent of telecommuters use furniture or technology that is not ergonomically adjusted for them, which can lead to discomfort, loss of productivity or injury. More →

Survey finds global support for wellness initiatives

Working well

Wellness programs are no longer a “soft” issue for organisations around the globe with employers increasingly recognising the value of employees’ health and well-being to their organisations’ bottom line. According to the latest report from Buck Consultants, global employers – regardless of location, identify improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism as one of their top wellness objectives. Wellness initiatives also continue to add value over time and while significant results can take years to realize, the survey shows how the impact of wellness programs differs by short-term and long-term payoff.

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Change of ways needed to tackle ailing UK workforce

Staff ill health

The best way of tackling ill health is to stop workers from getting ill in the first place, suggests new guidance from the TUC. It may seem as if the union is stating the obvious, until you reflect on the news, reported exclusively by HR magazine earlier this week that the UK was among the 10 worst performing countries for employee wellbeing last year, according to the Workforce Quality of Life Index (WQLI) report  by Kenex, which measures wellbeing from the employee’s perspective. Now the TUC report, Work and well-being, provides evidence that employers who create healthy workplaces can reduce employee absence and boost productivity. More →

Improving desk habits can reduce office workers’ back pain

back pain

Office workers are most likely to suffer from back pain than manual workers due to poor posture at their desks.  In a survey of The British Chiropractic Association’s members, 56% of chiropractors said office workers are most vulnerable to back pain and that sedentary PC posture causes more back problems than excessive lifting and carrying. Now new advice from workplace equipment provider Slingsby says employers can help to prevent a lot of the problems by encouraging staff to improve their desk habits. More →

‘Affinity for nature’ design competition launched

Reconnect Your Space

Science suggests that all of us may be hard-wired to love the natural world, and now a global competition named Reconnect Your Space is calling for architectural, interior or urban landscape design entries that put this affinity for nature, or “biophilia”, at the forefront. The competition, launched by carpet tile manufacturer Interface, invites architects, designers and students of these disciplines to submit their visions for how biophilia can influence the design of a new or existing space, either inside within built environments or outside in cities. More →

Report reveals wider impact than ROI for wellness programmes

Workplace wellness edit

The Return on Investment of workplace wellness programmes goes way beyond cost savings a major new report reveals. Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and the Power of Metrics found smoking cessation incentives help increase productivity, nutrition and exercise drives and centralised programmes which utilise the latest technology leads to increased employee engagement which helps reduce staff turnover. Said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman World Economic Forum “Over 50% of the working population spend the majority of their time at work, so the workplace provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness, as well as guide and incentivise individuals to develop healthier behaviours.” More →

Designing for productivity means creating space for us to be alone

WilkhahnOn the face of it, the case for working in open plan offices is clear cut. Not only are they  more conducive to collaborative work and less bound by ideas of that great no-no that we used to call ‘status’, the economic case is seemingly open and shut. Open plan workstations not only take up around half the space of cellular offices, the fit-out costs are typically 25 per cent lower. And yet there are clear signs of a backlash, at least to the idea of them fostering collaborative work.

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