The Increasing Need For Employee Wellness Programmes

The Increasing Need For Employee Wellness Programmes

Many companies will offer some type of healthcare to their staff as part of the salary package or perk. However, employee wellness is more than just a perk but an integral need of the company as well as employees alike. Employee illness including absenteeism or presenteeism ( the physical presence at work, but with decreased work productivity due to illness or poor health) costs companies all over the world billions each year, to the point that employee illness is becoming a global economic burden due to deceased work productivity and other incurred costs.

According to Stats SA, the South African business economy loses up to R16 billion annually due to the associated costs of employee illnesses.

What is more shocking is that the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has found that up to 75% of healthcare costs and deaths in the world are due to lifestyle diseases , such as heart disease, obesity, stroke and cancer, which are considered to be largely preventable diseases.

This is why investing in corporate wellness is becoming a necessity for businesses.

The Rise in Preventable Diseases and why it is the employer’s problem

Our lives have become faster-paced, our jobs more competitive and demanding, and thus stressful. This can lead to poor health habits .We are working longer hours than ever before while still trying to juggle our home and family life, leaving little time to get adequate exercise or sleep necessary to maintain our health. Our lifestyles sometimes offer inadequate access to healthcare and healthy food choices.

The pressure placed on us by work demands, without healthy stress-relieving outlets can lead us to develop unhealthy vices to cope with stress, such as smoking and binge-drinking and drug use. It can also lead to mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Half of long-term work absence is due to mental illness.

Work and lifestyle go hand-in-hand. We spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work and our work life affects our personal life as well our health. Our health affects our employer in turn. The responsibility of an employee’s health falls on both the employer and employee alike.

What Does Corporate Wellness Entail

In a nutshell, corporate wellness is any measure taken by an employer to enhance their employees’ well-being and health. This can be taken to various lengths, which is why the corporate wellness industry is currently worth R576 billion, globally.

Corporate wellness measures can include:

  • Providing employees with access to fitness facilities, such as office gyms as well as free or subsidized gym memberships.
  • Increased health insurance packages
  • Providing financial and other incentives to staff for partaking in various healthy activities.
  • Providing on-site professional health services such as having a company doctor visit the premises to provide consultations to staff.

Doctors-On-Call Can Contribute Tremendously To Employee Wellness

Doctors-on-Call offer business many services on site that work to improve employee wellness as well as to treat and prevent many of the common ailments that lead to absenteeism and low work performance.

Doctors-On-Call corporate services include:

  • Basic medicals for staff
  • Staff Fitness tests
  • Seasonal flu injections
  • Travel medicine prior to staff travelling to endemic regions
  • Pre-employment medicals for new staff
  • On-site emergency consultations

Employee wellness requires a holistic approach, with both employer and employee doing their part to improve health and wellness. It can take time and patience to find the right balance for everyone, but Doctors-on-Call are here to help make the process much easier and get staff operating at the healthy best!