In a revealing study conducted by Simplyhealth, an alarming 68% of UK workers report experiencing health problems whilst in work. This statistic underscores a critical issue within workplaces across the country, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive employee health and wellbeing strategies.
The research, which surveyed 4,000 UK adults, sheds light on the significant impact of workplace health issues, not only on the wellbeing of employees but also on the productivity and financial health of businesses. With almost 19 million workdays lost annually due to physical health problems alone, the economic implications are vast. Yet, a quarter of those afflicted feel their employers are falling short in providing necessary support.
A notable finding from the study is the gap in physical health support, with 42% of employees citing a lack of access to physiotherapy services as a key factor contributing to back pain—a common workplace ailment. The data suggests a direct link between employee happiness, productivity, and the availability of health benefits, including physiotherapy, which 20% of respondents believe would enhance their job satisfaction and 17% feel would boost their productivity.
The report also delves into mental health support in the workplace, revealing that nearly two-thirds of those who have faced mental health challenges desire more proactive support from their managers. However, almost half of managers admit to having no training in addressing employee health concerns, and a significant portion are unaware of how to leverage existing health benefits to assist their staff.
Claudia Nicholls, Chief Customer Officer at Simplyhealth, emphasizes the necessity for a tailored approach to employee health, pointing out that “every industry has different health concerns” and that a “one-size-fits-all solution is no longer appropriate.” Nicholls advocates for the implementation of diverse health support schemes by employers to address the unique needs of their workforce with an urgent call to action, thereby fostering a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment.
This study brings to light the critical need for an enhanced focus on workplace health and wellbeing. It calls for employers to reassess and enrich their health support offerings, recognizing that the welfare of their employees and their rights is inextricably linked to the success of their business. As the UK grapples with record levels of long-term sick leave and the consequent economic losses, the message is clear: investing in employee health is not just a moral obligation but a business imperative.
The Workers Union Says…
“The findings from Simplyhealth’s research are a stark reminder of the crucial role that workplace health and wellbeing play in the overall fabric of our economy and society. As we navigate these challenges, it’s imperative for both employers and employees to engage in open dialogue about health needs and support systems. The Workers Union remains committed to advocating for the rights and wellbeing of workers everywhere, emphasizing the importance of a proactive approach to health and wellness in the workplace.”