As clearly evidenced, employee health is still often overlooked in many workplaces in the UK and around the world. Recent trends have revealed that employees are now more engaged with companies that offer a more holistic approach to their health and wellbeing. This now forms a fundamental pillar in how employees assess their future employers and how they make decisions on moving companies.
Health and productivity facts
An organisation called Britain’s Healthiest Workplace has been collecting workplace data since 2012. Their findings have been consistently showing that employee productivity has been dropping steadily since 2014 with many businesses seeing a loss of over a month of potential work each year.
Most of this lost time comes from various sickness related absences and presenteeism (employees are present at work but not being productive in their role).
Financially this meant that the UK has lost £91.9 billion in 2019. The statistics below (taken from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace) show a lacklustre image of the levels of productivity at work, as well as the amount of employees that cannot cope with their work, mental and/or physical health.
|Businesses losing thousands of hours:||Financial worries and stress are taking their toll:||Not enough sleep and physical health issues:
|Employees don’t know about support:
|Employees lost 14.6% of working hours||16.4% of employees earning less than £20,000 suffer from depression||35.1% of employees say that they sleep less than seven hours per night||Small organisations offer 25 health interventions|
|This represents a loss of 38 productive days per employee, per year||For the £20,000 to £30,000 income category, the risk remains high at 10.4%||42% have problems with the quality of their sleep||Medium and large organisations offer 30 health interventions|
|This is worse with lower income and younger workers||56.4% suffer from work-related stress||More than half suffer from two or more musculoskeletal conditions, like a bad back||Only 28% of employees know about the support available|
|But engagement levels are increasing year on year||35.1% felt unwell because of work-related stress||Younger employees sleep less hours a night than older colleagues||Employees say their health improves when they use them|
|Financial concerns are very common, with 51.1% of employees reporting it||Younger employees are more likely to report problems with the quality of their sleep||Support includes programmes to help staff stay active and eat well|
|Employees who have financial concerns are half as productive as others||They are less likely to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day|
|They also have unhealthier lifestyles, such as binge drinking and bad diet||They are also more likely to binge drink and/or smoke|
Taking the above statistics into consideration it is quite evident that taking a holistic approach to employee health would bolster more interest in the company. One of the elements that has been becoming increasingly more popular, especially in light of the recent pandemic, are corporate health assessments.
Reduced health issues and additional support will boost the morale of the team and will likely result in an increase of productivity and engagement. Below you can read about the ways in which introducing health assessments in the workplace can benefit the company.
Benefits of Corporate Health Assessments
There are financial benefits to offering corporate health assessments to the people who are working in the organisation. We are not tax specialists, and every company will want to take their own specialist advice, but we do know that the HMRC permits an employer to pay for one medical check-up per annum (the definition of Medical Check Up is a “physical examination for determining the employee’s state of health”) and it not count as a benefit in kind for the employee. It also counts as tax deductible for the employer.
There are a couple of constraints such as the employee does need to be exactly that (an employee rather than a Partner etc) and the Health Assessment has to be arranged through the company and not by the employee themselves. However, an Echelon Health Corporate Health Assessment programme would put the appropriate administrative processes in place and thus qualify as the Medical Check Up.
Better productivity and increased loyalty
A company that treats its employees well should see the same reflected back. They are more likely to be productive and loyal because they have reassurance that they will be taken care of in return should something happen, as has been the case during the pandemic and increased flexibility and work-from-home conditions.
A significant number of employers have reported that working from home has increased their organisation’s productivity over the last year. When interviewed in December 2020 31% said working from home has increased the productivity and efficiency of their company. As of October-November 2021 this figure now stands at 41%. (CIPD, 2022)
Increased rate of retention
There is a belief that ‘modern employees’ do not want to stay in one company for a long time; this is simply not true. Everyone wants to find stability in their work, and it is when their work and time is not valued or their requirements and needs are not adequately met that they turn to other companies. According to research from CIPD (2021) employees are more likely to stay with an employer when businesses address employees needs such as inclusion, diversity, sustainability, reskilling and health.
An approach like this, one that offers a regular age-appropriate health assessment, will also be good because it will differentiate you from the crowd of other employers when it comes to recruiting fresh talent. A perk, like healthcare benefits, attracts more applicants and is a strong factor for those employed to remain in their current positions.
Great customer relationships
If the managers and directors interact with clients on a regular basis, it is even more important to be aware of how you treat them. In the eyes of customers, they are the face of the company, they represent you. Any discontent about any aspect of their job will be reflected in how they carry themselves at work and how they take care of the clients.
This is very important now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many people and companies having to adapt to working from home and interacting with clients through a virtual space. In the United States, workers are on average 13% more productive when working from home, and overall worker productivity has increased by 5% since the start of the pandemic (Flynn 2022).
Lower levels of sick leave
A big part of being considered a good employer is not just maintaining the health and wellness of the employees but also ensuring that their working environment is appropriate and well suited. This includes keeping the workplace clean and tidy and providing access to what they need as well as having wellness programs that everyone can access for free. Some things to consider is perhaps introducing some standing desks, regular breaks, healthy options for snacks, lots of natural light or plants/green spaces. At least 41% of workers say that stress leads them to be less productive (Flynn 2022).
All of these things contribute to a healthy workplace environment. As a result of all the combined factors (environment, health benefits, keeping fit etc.) you should see lower levels of sick leave. The simple correlation is the higher number of healthy employees you have, the less likely it is that they will require sick leave.
A study from 2019 looking at the impacts of workplace environments on employee productivity concluded that “organisations must maintain a better environment in order to enhance employee productivity as, employee performance and workplace environment have direct and positive relationship, employee’s productivity and physical as well as behavioural environment are linked through employee health.”
Their research is only limited by the fact that they did not look at the impact of things such as health insurance, health assessments or other helpful ways of improving an employee’s experience at work. However, with an improvement in just one factor there has been an increase in productivity and health which leads us to think that an improvement in a combination of those factors would be even more beneficial for everyone involved.
Unique in our approach – Echelon Health corporate health assessments
Echelon Health has a vast experience working with a number of corporate partners to elevate the health of their senior managers and reduce risk factors such as coronary heart disease and stroke. We are unique in the way in which we work with our corporate partners in designing bespoke packages that reflect the average gender, age, and various family histories within their management population.
We only use the latest imaging technology available today, and our use of CT, MRI and ultrasound scanners combined with fully comprehensive blood tests, which include hormones and cancer markers allow us to detect up to 92% and 95% of preventable causes of death among men and women respectively.
We also take the administrative burden away from our clients as we arrange all documents and all processing is done in-house by our team, who reach out to the employees directly to arrange their health assessments at times that suit them.
If you would like more information about what is included in our executive health assessments, please do not hesitate to call us. We will be happy to answer any questions and help you in any way we can. For more information on the scans we perform and diseases we can detect please read our previous blogs.
Vitality, (2021). Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, the latest findings. Available at: https://www.vitality.co.uk/business/healthiest-workplace/findings/ (Accessed 08/12/2021).
Roder, N. (2019). Does Your Company Have a Healthy Employee Retention Rate? Available at: https://www.zenefits.com/workest/your-company-healthy-employee-retention-rate/ (Accessed 08/12/2021).
Hafeez, I., Yingjun, Z., Hafeez, S., Mansoor, R., & Rehman, K. U. (2019). Impact of workplace environment on employee performance: mediating role of employee health. Business, Management and Economics Engineering, 17(2), 173-193.
Flynn, J. (2022). 20 INCREDIBLE PRODUCTIVITY STATISTICS : THE STATE OF PRODUCTIVITY IN 2022. Available at: https://www.zippia.com/advice/productivity-statistics/ (accessed 17/08/2022)
CIPD (2022). An update on flexible and hybrid working practices. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working/flexible-hybrid-working-practices (accessed 17/08/2022).
CIPD (2021). Employee turnover and retention. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/resourcing/turnover-retention-factsheet#gref (accessed 17/08/2022).