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Employee wellbeing can reduce sick leave

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Workspaces can reduce employee absence and boost productivity through the introduction of health-related activities and schemes.

Every year 170 million working days are lost because people are too sick to go into the office with work-related ill health (23 million) and injuries suffered while on the job (four million) resulting in a large number of days taken off, according to a report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

As a result, employers are being encouraged by the trade union to aspire to the promotion of a healthier lifestyle among staff members and given the amount of time spent at work, the workplace is a good place to start.

In order to improve wellbeing, companies that use London office space can introduce a range of measures to make staff members feel more valued through a healthy work environment.

For example, offering healthy lunch options in the canteen and providing a regular supply of free fruit will help employees to be more conscious of the effects of a good diet on wellbeing. Furthermore, staff should be encouraged to step away from their desks during break times in order to feel refreshed.

By providing an on-site gym or subsidised membership of a local fitness centre, employers can instill as healthier attitude into employees, who should also be encouraged to cycle to work. If offered provisions such as secure bike storage place or schemes where staff can get discounted bikes and cycling accessories, employees would benefit from regular exercise.

TUC’s Frances O’Grady said: “Far too many days a year are being lost through ill health. Sensible employers who are able to identify problems at an early stage, and who introduce changes to prevent ill health and promote well-being will reduce sickness absence and increase productivity.”

The report points to the fact that standard measures of wellbeing are not enough to promote a healthy working environment. Ultimately, organisations need to encourage people to look after themselves while at work by ensuring they are active, take proper breaks and eat well.