Paul Wherly

Sick and ill employees leave British businesses losing one month’s productivity a year

Sick and ill employees leave British businesses losing one month’s productivity a year

British business is not quite as healthy as it may feel – when it comes to its workforce.

Companies are losing an average 23.5 days of productive time per employee because of the level of sick leave and reduced performance.

That’s at least a month of work lost per staff member every year.Decline in productivity

What’s more, it seems many employees believe they are healthier than they actually are. Which means they are less likely to change their lifestyle or working practices.

Research on more than 32,500 workers across all UK industries revealed 36 per cent of employees have a chronic lifestyle-related condition such as heart disease or diabetes.

Studies showed 61 per cent of people surveyed had at least two risk factors. One in three people revealed three or more risk factors – with 60 per cent of this group saying they were in good or very good health.

Which suggests many people in the workplace may be much less healthy than they think they are.

The study was carried out by VitalityHealth, Mercer, the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe for Britain’s Healthiest Company (BHC).

BHC research suggested workplace wellness programmes can help employees to im-prove their health.

The 25 per cent of firms with the biggest budgets for health promotion experienced an eight per cent year-on-year rise in the proportion of staff in good or excellent health. This came with a corresponding 16 per cent drop in lost productivity.

BHC said companies could do more to improve the health and wellbeing of their employ-ees and support lifestyle changes.

There are numerous factors which can affect health. These include diet, exercise, family history, lifestyle choices, nature of job, working environment, working practices, stress, team relationships, time pressures, job satisfaction.

Does your organisation take it’s employees health seriously? What do you think?

Shelley Fishel

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