Productivity and wellness

Many arcane methods are used to determine the link between workplaces and productivity. However, one of the simplest and undeniable measures is linked to wellbeing. If staff have continuously below par health, then increased absence through associated sickness can be easily correlated to productivity. This week the FT and VitalityHealth published its annual list of the UK’s healthiest workplaces. There are two parts to this consideration. Firstly, lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking and obesity. Whilst it is difficult for an employer to affect these, there are clear trends by region, which might mean that risk can be managed by locating in the right place to start with. Secondly, there are leadership and cultural factors such as wellness initiatives and access to facilities, which are more within the control of the employer. Data from Public Health England suggests that 1 in 3 UK employees have a long-term health condition and of these 42% considered that this affected their work. The FT study found that 6.1 productive days per annum are lost due to insufficient physical activity, whilst other studies referenced in the report point to a lack of sleep as a key driver of being unproductive. This highlights the importance not just of inspiring offices that drive interaction and creativity, but also of thought through work policies and facilities that allow employees to engage in fitness and relax as part of the work day.