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Presenteeism &Productivity

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Simple Steps to Ensuring a Healthy& Happy Workplace

Productivity. Say what you like, this is the main aim of every business – to ensure that their employees are productive, working productively, producing results. What hinders productivity? Illness. The focus here is not on long-term health problems, but simply those small injuries which people have a tendency to dismiss. An aching back, a sore wrist, neck pain. What is problematic with these types of injuries is the fact that people will continue to come to work.

Physiological risks directly affect your physical well-being. In most cases, these risks can be linked to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) – a more common definition highlights injuries and disorders, which affect the movement of the body (i.e muscles, tendons, ligaments). These injuries are a result of sitting for too long, incorrect posture, non-ergonomic keyboards, and mouse-pads and result in injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, trigger finger, eyestrain and lower back problems. What seems surprising to many employers is the ease with which these injuries can be avoided. Ensuring that the lighting is sufficient within an office space, training employees to use equipment correctly, even automating repetitive tasks is a simple and cost-effective way to support your employees so these injuries do not occur.

Whilst it is important to ensure that you have the correct equipment and ambient solutions so that your employees can carry out their tasks, supporting their physical health is also an easy way to prevent injuries. At this point, you will all be thinking of expensive gym memberships and fitbits for each employee – fear not! Promoting physical exercise within a workday can be as simple as the following:

  • Walking around the office to brainstorm ideas
  • Standing up for meetings to keep everyone awake and on their toes (literally!)
  • Researching a few stretching exercises that employees can do beside their desk

You can also encourage breaks so that your employees leave their desk to grab a cup of coffee or catch up with a friend. The highlighted examples show that it really is the small things that lead to healthier, happier employees.

The downside of not actively implementing such changes into your workplace is simply that you risk your employees having long periods off work resulting in a reduction in productivity. A potentially worse situation is that your employees do not take the needed time to recover and come to work. What is the problem with this you say? Employees coming into work with an injury are contributing to a rising trend in ‘Presenteeism’. This is detrimental to productivity as the effect of their injury is prolonged and has a negative impact on the quality and volume of their work.

Ensuring that employees recover from injuries or at best do not incur these injuries in the first place is not a difficult or expensive task. Incorporating a few simple changes to the ergonomic setup of your office along with some positive additions to your office culture can provide you with peace of mind for the health of your employees and your company.

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