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We spend more time in our offices during the week than anywhere else, so it makes sense to invest a little time and thought into what your organization empowers its employees to do in that space. This doesn’t mean buying your team a bean bag and calling it a day – as nice as strangely shaped seating is, ensuring you’re harnessing your employee’s full potential goes a little beyond that.

Spending some time implementing wellness initiatives have shown to be an incredible effective tool by ways of increasing productivity in the office. Not only do your employees walk away from the workplace feeling satisfied with the quality of their work, but they also leave with a deeper appreciation for the organisation as a whole.

So what exactly are wellness programmes?

Simply put, wellness initiatives or programmes are policies implemented in the office to assist in the promotion of healthier behaviours and a healthier lifestyle in general. These can range from simple amenities in an office, like having standing desks or allowing your employees to occasionally bring in their pets, to larger ones, like ensuring there are accessible gym facilities or providing complimentary fitness passes. Promoting healthy behaviours in the office can have a real impact on the way your employees work.

Statistics published by journal Population Health Management exemplify just this: employees with unhealthy diets are 66% more likely to show signs of ‘presenteeism’, which is working through fatigue (and therefore producing lower quality work), while employees who smoke are 28% more likely to do so and employees who do not exercise 50% more likely to do so.

There is a clear and undeniable link between the efficiency of wellness programmes and the reduction of these unhealthy habits. Not only do they seek to eradicate these behaviours, they also work by encouraging healthier habits in their place, leaving your employees more fulfilled and productive.

Why are wellness programmes important?

According to a recent survey, 61% of employees feel burned out on the job. What’s more, the top five stressors that have people taking leave include constant fatigue, sleeplessness, aches and pains, high anxiety, and weight gain. Encouraging a healthier lifestyle helps circumvent many of these stress-inducers.

According to Dr. Steven Alada, CEO of Wellsteps, ‘wellness programs are good at helping people adopt and maintain healthy behaviours.  This is perhaps the biggest benefit of having a wellness program (…) Healthy behaviours lead to lower health risks, and lower health risks lead to less chronic disease’. Investing in wellness programmed could actually save your organisation money in the long run, not merely because of a statistically proven increase in output, but in healthcare costs as well.

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard calculated the ROI of wellness programmes to be as much as 3.27 dollars for every dollar spent by an organisation, based on saved cost on healthcare alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 91% of workers employed at companies that support their wellbeing say they feel motivated to do their best.

That’s a staggering statistic- not only do wellness programmes encourage employees to be healthier, but they also encourage them to see their place of work as invested in their welfare as they are in its success.

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