Health and Wellness in the WorkplaceTrina Jordan Introduction to Research and Information Utilization – RES/110Craig BaileyNovember 11, 2004Health and Wellness in the WorkplaceIf the health of employees can help or hinder a company, then why do companies still have sick days? With the “on the go” lifestyles, how can we not question the health of employees and their families.
Today we have high stress jobs, rush hour traffic, and demanding schedules. Being healthy and fit is the way to conquer tomorrow. We, as people in the workforce, are depended on to follow through with work commitments. A healthy employee is able to do more and feel well enough to enjoy it. We strive to do our best but how can we when we have low morale at the office.
Healthy employees directly impact the bottom-line of all companies, from the sole proprietorship to the large corporation (1996). Keeping health-care costs low, boosting morale, increasing productivity, and reducing the absent rate is a payoff that every good business owner should recognize. When a small business is trying to become larger, having employees who are healthy and stress free is important. Losing a member of an already small number due to being ill is not the way to succeed. Working in an environment that is happy and productive is the perfect place to work, regardless of what the job is.
With the health care costs reaching high number there is no wonder we have a large number of absenteeism. So many wait to the last possible painstaking work day to decide to see a doctor about their aliment, and all of that could be prevented. Preventing oneself to have to take time off from work is one way to keep costs low. There are so many areas that need to be addressed when it comes to what is going to slow us down as a company. According to estimates by Dr. Jaime Claudio(1991), a corporate wellness consultant for Health Plus, a provider of health-care insurance, a comprehensive eating awareness and weight- management program designed to improve long-term habits could generate an 80% reduction in the incidence of potential problems caused by obesity in the workplace.
These problems include hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and diminished work efficiency. Obesity is not the only eating disorder that is a problem, there is bulimia and anorexia. Smoking, drinking, substance abuse, and stress are problems that are brought into the workplace and stop productivity. We have to be aware of issues that are there but are not usually thought of as an illness. There are people suffering from domestic abuse, depression and sleep disorders.
With all these areas to cover, the employer has so much to worry about. Each and every problem affects profit and productivity. As companies struggle to rein the health care costs, most overlook what may be a $150 billion problem: the nearly invisible drain on worker productivity caused by such common ailments as hay fever, headaches and even heartburn (Hemp, 2004). We tend to get up and just go to work and try to work through a stuffy nose or a migraine. We try to handle our discomforts, but we are only giving a small percentage of our true working potential. Researchers say that presenteeism-the problem of workers’ being on the job but, because of illness or other medical conditions, not fully functioning– can cut individual productivity by one-third or more (Hemp, 2004).
Companies think that when someone calls to say he or she can not come in because they are sick is going to hurt the company, truth is coming to work sick is going to hurt productivity more. When a person is absent there is no one to do the job but when a person is there and is sick there is still no one to do the job. Illness affects both the quantity of work (people might work more slowly than usual, for instance, or have to repeat tasks) and the quality (they might make more-or more serious mistakes) (Hemp, 2004). Companies are finally seeing the problem, but now what is the solution? Implementing wellness programs is the most popular idea. Because a wellness endeavor is costly, .