Benefits of a Healthy Workforce and Few Tips for Getting It
These days, every celebrity has some type of health program for sale. You don’t even have to be a celebrity to sell a fitness program. Any self-proclaimed guru with a video camera and a personable smile can build an empire selling health. It’s an easy sell. Everybody already knows the benefits of living a healthy life, even if they don’t quite achieve it.
But for some reason, the knowledge of those benefits seems to vanish at the start of the workday. People seem convinced that they can either have a healthy lifestyle, or a strong work ethic. All too often, employers feed into this perception by demanding increasingly unhealthy lifestyles of their workforce. This is counter productive. Employers out to be even more interested than Jane Fonda in the promotion of good health and fitness. Here’s why, and a few ways to make it happen:
Ergonomics pertains to how objects we work with accommodate the health and comfort of the one using the product. Every employee ought to be highly concerned about ergonomics. From sixwise.com:
Over time, using a workstation that does not fit your body (i.e. your chair does not support your back, your computer screen is too high or low, your wrists are at an uncomfortable angle while typing, etc.) can result in musculoskeletal problems of your neck, shoulders and back, poor posture, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
So much of this can be alleviated by just providing the option of an adjustable standing desk so that workers aren’t forced to sit for eight hours a day. Typing away at a non-ergonomic keyboard at the wrong height for prolonged periods of time is not ideal. Don’t spend $400 for a desk chair. Spend a little more for a desk that doesn’t require a chair.
Healthy ergonomics can make all the difference in employees taking sick days, and employees who are energized and ready to take on the challenges of the day. Even if they manage to show up for work, they are fighting the effects of pain, and painkillers, and are slower and less energized than if they were not battling chronic, work-related injuries. Every employer should take a stand for ergonomics in all its forms.
Healthy Stress Levels
There was a time when hiring managers for sales teams largely ignored qualifications, and when with the one that seemed more “hungry”. What that means is that they are looking for people with the greatest amount of desperation and ambition. In a boiler room, the two are difficult to distinguish.
But this unhealthy attitude is borderline abusive, and must be eliminated from management strategy. Effects of work-related stress are indistinguishable from the stress of life and death situations. As far as your body is concerned, stress is stress. Arguably, losing one’s livelihood is a lot like imminent death since the social fabric rapidly falls apart for those without a reliable income. It is far more profitable to have confident employees than hungry and desperate employees.
Healthy Work-Life Balance
It is one thing if you, the owner and founder of a business, want to work 16hr. days, 7 days a week without a day off while you build your future. But it is quite another to expect, even demand this kind of devotion from the people who work for you.
If your employees wanted to sacrifice everything to start their own business, they would have done so, and not be working for you. Even the language is misleading. They don’t actually work for you. They are in your employ. But they work for themselves, and for their families.
The problem, at least in part, is that we have lost the concept of an honest days work for an honest days pay. Owners want to pay workers like employees, but treat them like owners. That is fundamentally unfair and unhealthy. The solutions become self-evident when business owners are able to separate their dreams from their responsibilities as employers. People do not come to work as a means to your ends. They come as a means to their. And that is perfectly okay.
Poor ergonomics, high levels of stress, and no work-life balance make for an unhealthy environment, and is ultimately a sign of a business in destress.