Workplace wellness, a relatively new concept to the workforce and to the wellness industry, is making waves in a billion-dollar way around the world. Having an estimated worth of $56 billion globally, and 305.5 million workers benefiting, it is establishing itself as a competitive edge for companies. But what is workplace wellness and does it really work?
Workplace wellness is the idea, program or values of workplace health that a company implements for its employees. Workers are spending almost half of their awake hours at work, and in general, they are not healthy. Whether this be stress that may come about from work, having limited time for healthy and balanced lives and a whole multitude of other factors, the fact is sick days are costing the Australian economy $30 billion a year. In response to this, is workplace wellness. Whether it be the rise of sit-stand desks or gym memberships, Australian employers are taking workplace wellness more seriously, with a workplace wellness expo being held in Melbourne earlier this year. Workplace wellness is not just about helping keep sick days down, but also improving morale, raise productivity, and stay competitive in the recruitment market. And while a lot of Australian employers are taking workplace wellness seriously, unfortunately, many are not. While Australia does rank #10 in the
world, and the estimated expenditures towards workplace wellness is $980 million, this only covers a measly 5% of workers. It also only has an expected annual growth rate of 5% by 2020, so these figures are unlikely to change drastically, unless employers recognise the importance of these programs. So what can constitute as a workplace wellness program? Workplace wellness programs can be a range of things, whether its perks for employees such as gym memberships, yoga retreats, access to mental health support, or even a healthy
food policy, there are many things you can do as an employer that can help your
workplace become healthier. It is important you focus on your employees and what would improve their overall work life, as your employees are one of your greatest investments. Start by opening up a conversation about your employees
wants and think hard about what you hope to achieve in creating a healthier workplace. A great place to start in implementing a workplace wellness program is over at healthyworkers.gov.au