Employers across the UK are finding ways to support workers’ mental and physical health as research shows nearly two thirds of employees experience stress in the workplace.
The study by Happiness Works and Robert Half UK revealed that 48% of businesses are offering tools to support wellbeing, while one in seven provide seminars and training sessions to raise awareness of the importance of physical and mental health.
As fears grow over a shortage of specialist skilled workers, UK businesses are looking to create agile, resilient and flexible work environments to help staff morale and retention. Initiatives such as counselling, annual leave for personal distress and leaving work early on Fridays are hoping to increase overall workplace health. 17% of firms are introducing flexible working policies, and one in seven have developed ergonomic workplaces in attempts to establish a comforting and welcoming atmosphere.
Not stopping at the mental strains of employment, new measures are being put in place to encourage physical wellbeing. Cycling schemes, subsidised gym membership and corporate sporting exercises have become more prominent. The rising popularity of tools such as Fitbits help workers keep motivation high, and 9% of employers are using the tech to spur on healthy competition.
Recruitment consultancy Robert Half is encouraged by the results, believing that a comfortable working environment will naturally lead to a stable workforce. While some schemes can be costly on the employer, the firm believes the result can lead to more than just financial benefit as employee loyalty goes a long way.
Starting a wellbeing programme may come at a cost but health and happiness go hand-in-hand,” said Phil Sheridan, senior managing director of Robert Half UK. “Those companies that promote and protect workers’ health are building a culture dedicated to the overall wellbeing and happiness of employees. These businesses are likely to see higher levels of staff engagement and productivity, helping them become more successful and competitive in the long-term.”