Many employers across the country recognize the importance of providing a healthy workplace for their employees. According to a 2010 report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, companies understand the value gained when creating a workplace environment where people feel healthier and happier, enjoying a better work-life balance.
A healthy workplace does more than work towards the prevention of injuries, accidents, and illnesses. A healthy workplace is a positive approach to improving the well-being of the organization and employees simultaneously. It creates awareness, educates, provides opportunities to practice skills, and develops healthy policies. The approach includes examining the work environment and improving any factors that negatively affect employee health and safety such as noise, equipment, and lighting. Adults spend the majority of their lives at work, so it is natural to use the workplace to educate and create an awareness and understanding of the benefits gained from living a healthy lifestyle.
Employers are seeing the benefits of spending the extra money needed to ensure a healthier workplace. Some of the benefits to employers include decreased absenteeism, fewer workplace accidents, higher employee satisfaction, improved corporate culture, greater productivity, and increased profit levels. Healthier employees are more mentally alert, better able to concentrate and have higher energy levels. All of these work to a company’s benefit, improving the organization’s net worth.
As the competition among companies increases, a business’s positive public image gains importance. Projecting a positive image to the public allows companies to gain a competitive edge over others in the industry. One way of improving the company image is by having a healthy workplace, demonstrating respect for employees and consumers alike. This tells potential customers that this is a company that cares about more than making a profit; this is a company interested in improving the lives of individuals.
Companies competing for skilled employees gain an advantage when their public image is one of a caring employer who values their employees. In today’s world, where skilled employees are harder to find, this becomes increasingly important. We live in a global society where skilled workers have opportunities to find meaningful work around the world. Companies need to work harder to attract the best employees and a healthy workplace in one way to gain an advantage.
Overall, healthy workplaces are beneficial for employees and employers alike. It reaches beyond as well, to society as a whole, as the costs associated with health care decrease as the health of individual citizens improves.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2018. Australia’s health 2018: in brief. Cat. no. AUS 222. Canberra: AIHW