Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of UK employees experience stress in their jobs1, according to research into workplace happiness by Happiness Works on behalf of Robert Half UK. Of those who find their roles demanding, nearly one in 10 said their job was very stressful.
Given the high-levels of stress among UK employees, organisations are introducing wellbeing initiatives to support the physical and mental health of employees at work. Nearly half (48 per cent) of businesses offer tools designed to promote wellbeing in the workplace, with one in seven providing stress management seminars or training and annual leave for personal and mental wellbeing. Other initiatives being introduced include counselling (17 per cent), leaving work early on a Friday (17 per cent) and limiting the amount of overtime that employees can do (11 per cent).
“Starting a wellbeing programme may come at a cost but health and happiness go hand-in-hand,” explained Phil Sheridan, senior managing director, Robert Half UK. “Creating a working environment that encourages good health fosters a more stable workforce. It also helps facilitate better team relationships, which in turn drives employee satisfaction, performance and morale.”
At a time when organisations are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, UK businesses are also looking to create agile work environments that provide a better work experience and improve staff loyalty. Alongside introducing flexible working policies (17 per cent), organisations are rethinking how the design of the workplace impacts health, wellbeing and productivity. One in seven employers have developed ergonomic workplaces and supply healthy food or drinks.
To promote healthy behaviours, UK employers are also turning to new measures that encourage physical wellbeing. One in five have introduced company bicycle or cycling schemes, followed by subsidised gym membership (15 per cent), corporate sporting and fitness (10 per cent) and tools, such as fitbits or step counters, that encourage employees to move (9 per cent).
“It’s important to remember that employees are an organisation’s most important asset,” concluded Sheridan. “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.”