Employee Health: A Factor For Workplace Productivity
As defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), job stress can result from an imbalance between an individual’s needs, abilities, resources, and job requirements. Job stress can, in turn, damage health, lead to injury, and have untimely effects on employee health.
What is employee health?
Individuals and groups of people experience stress at different levels. The risks of declining employee health from workplace stress vary from worker to worker. Work-related stress and its complications affect younger workers, most of all, women, and those in lower-skilled jobs.
The good thing about a job is that it can enhance an individual’s health, attitude, employee health and wellness more than anything else. However, time at the office is so stressful that it outweighs any benefits the job can provide and can even hurt one’s health.
Casual full-time workers are most at risk of job strain since they have job control and high job demands. Stressors that affect health in the workplace at work fall into two categories: physical and psychological. Noisy or dim lighting, a poorly designed office or workplace, poor ergonomics, and poor posture contribute to physical stress and poor health and wellbeing in the workplace.
How employee health affects your workplace
It’s the employee’s health that directly impacts a company’s success. An organization’s ability to deal with adversity and overcome its many challenges is based on the importance of healthy employees and implementing wellness challenge ideas. Sick and unhealthy employees are less likely than healthy employees to perform well and be productive.
Employers are less likely to incur healthcare costs for such employees, as well as fewer health problems. Wellness programs for employees can positively impact a company’s profit margins, cost-savings, and image among customers and competitors because healthy employees are more productive.
1. Psychosocial stressors
The following are the most prevalent stress factors. Several factors contribute to these problems, including high job demands, inflexible working hours, ineffective job control, poor workplace design, and job insecurity.
Stress at work affects not only the workers but also the performance of the employer. Employees’ physical, mental, and behavioral health may be impacted by work-related strain.
2. The decline in overall performance
In addition to affecting the worker, workplace stress adversely impacts company performance. People’s physical and mental health, as well as their behavior, are affected by job-related strain.
Many employee health consequences are associated with stress at work, including reduced productivity, higher absenteeism and presenteeism, increased days taken off for medical appointments, and increased healthcare costs. Furthermore, stress increases the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries and turnover rates, leading to higher administrative costs.
3. Impact on employee physical health
In response to stressors, the effects manifest as distress. High blood pressure and anxiety are associated with stress, and these factors increase the risk of coronary heart disease, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders.
Workplace stress has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (obesity, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure) and adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes.
A person’s risk of diabetes is also increased by work-related stress. Physical employee health conditions associated with workplace stress include immune deficiencies, musculoskeletal disorders, and gastrointestinal diseases such as IBS.
4. Impact on employee mental health
Occupational stress contributes to mental employee health problems such as anxiety, depression, burnout, and substance abuse. Stress-related behaviors, such as smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, and poor diet, are more likely to be committed by stress-affected workers.
How to lower employee stress
Stress is primarily prevented through proactive measures, which involve removing or reducing potential stressors. Physical and psychological sources of workplace stress are addressed in this level of intervention. Among the examples are:
- Designing a new work environment fitted with office desks or ergonomic chair
- Job descriptions and employee qualifications should match
- Making specific job tasks more time-consuming and resource-intensive
- Allowing employees to take naps and breaks
- Reduce the risk of occupational hazards by establishing control measures
- Promoting and rewarding clear pathways
- Using safer technology and equipment
- Making decisions and planning for the workplace more employee-centered
- Taking physical risks out of the picture
- Using personal protective equipment or office workout equipment to prevent injuries.
Workplace stress reduction interventions can be categorized into secondary and tertiary interventions. Interventions that focus on correcting and changing workers’ perceptions and perceptions of stress are called secondary interventions. Worker’s stress-induced symptoms of workers must be detected early with these interventions to improve their ability to cope with stress.
- Educational and training programs or meditation exercises for employees
- Psychological training for workers utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy
- Monitoring routinely for stress symptoms and high blood pressure
Tertiary interventions are those that deal with the disease in its earliest stages. These interventions can prove beneficial to stressed workers. Third-level interventions include recovery programs, compensation programs, rehabilitation programs, and return to work programs.
- Employee assistance programs and medical care for affected workers
- Modifications and redesigns of the work environment in preparation for return to work
Other ways to promote better employee health
By introducing health initiatives, employers can facilitate employee health. Initiatives that promote employee health can also build teams. They can improve an organization’s culture, increase employee loyalty, and increase productivity.
Exercises and proper nutrition are a part of corporate wellness programs designed to help employees increase their health at work. Employers and employees alike can benefit from implementing a wellness program.
1. Regular Exercise
Health benefits from regular exercise are numerous. The benefits include lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving cardiovascular health. Exercise boosts energy levels, supports bone and joint health, and lowers blood pressure. It produces an overall better quality of life.
Sitting at your desk for long periods should be avoided for employee health. Besides slowed metabolism and poor posture, it also causes many health issues. As well as affecting blood pressure and blood sugar levels, it can also affect the quality of sleep.
Your employees should also be encouraged to take the stairs rather than an elevator. Your workplace can benefit from fitness seminars conducted by fitness experts. Gift gym memberships to your employees in exchange for their participation in fitness seminars.
2. Healthy Nutritional Habits
Those who eat well tend to be more energetic and focused at work. Nutrition is detrimental to health. Your employees’ health can suffer as a result. In addition to creating health risks, it can cause stress and reduce productivity. Healthy eating can increase the productivity and health of your employees. You must ensure that your workplace promotes proper nutrition.
3. Keeping a clean environment
An individual’s health depends on public cleanliness. Following the recent COVID pandemic, workplace hygiene and sanitation are important. Germs and viruses that cause disease can spread in an unhealthy workplace environment. Maintaining and cleaning your workplace with air purifiers should be a priority for you as an employer. Sanitizing and disinfecting it should be done at regular intervals.