You might feel that cost, lack of staff time, and concern for intruding on employees’ personal space make it difficult to encourage workplace wellness. You’re not alone. Among small business owners, 93 percent say that employee health is important to their bottom line — yet only 22 percent actually offer wellness resources.1
Why supporting employee health is important
In a small office, just one sick employee can have an immediate ripple effect on your operation. Other employees have to work harder to keep things on track — plus they’re now at risk of getting sick, too. If employees who fill in become overworked or lack training, that could also increase the potential for short- or long-term disability and workers’ compensation claims. Introducing workplace wellness not only shows employees that you care about their health and well-being, it also helps protect your business.
Getting started with workplace wellness is simple
With most people in the U.S. spending about 30% of their lives at work, the office is a great place to encourage healthy habits. In addition, workplace wellness activities have been shown to help companies attract and retain productive employees.
You can start by raising awareness about healthy choices, such as taking walking breaks and choosing low-sugar snacks. With just a few small steps, you’ll be able to show your employees that you support their health and wellness needs.
Don’t worry if your business isn’t able to launch a full-scale workplace wellness program. The important thing is to do what you can. With even a little effort, you can help support employee health — and help protect your bottom line.
2 Karen Van Nuys, PhD, et al., “The Association Between Employee Obesity and Employer Costs: Evidence From a Panel of U.S. Employers,” American Journal of Health Promotion, May/June 2014.
3 Micah Berman et al., “Estimating the Cost of a Smoking Employee,” tobacccocontrol.bmj.com, June 3, 2013.