The idea behind occupational health is to ensure that employees are fit and healthy to do their job, whatever that may be. Occupational health is often associated with physical hazards related to employees’ jobs, for example, those that require physical labour or working with machinery. Alternatively, employees who work at a desk could be at risk from developing MSK (musculoskeletal) problems if they don’t have the correct desk setup. An unsupportive chair or desk at the wrong height could cause severe back and neck ache.
But, of course, occupational health digs a little deeper and looks into the mental health of employees too, ensuring your staff are fit for work both mentally and physically.
Shining a light on occupational health highlights problems that could be having a negative impact on your employees and, as a result, affect productivity through people being off work ill.
Occupational health services are designed to help you, the employer, support your staff on their return to work. Ensuring they’re physically and mentally fit to do their job, reducing the risk of further impact on the business. Here’s how...
Detect illnesses early
Occupational health services include a range of health assessments and health checks that will help identify any illnesses early. This will give employees the chance to take the necessary action before the problem escalates and requires more advanced medical attention and therefore additional time off work.
By implementing occupational health solutions and helping monitor the physical and mental wellbeing of employees, you’ll begin to see your absenteeism rate reduce, which in turn, will save great costs to the business. Services such as Absence Management Referrals help liaise with absent employees and support their return to work by ensuring they are physically and mentally fit. Making sure your staff are ready to return to work and reducing further risk of impacting the business.
Promote a healthy lifestyle
A healthy workforce naturally increases all-round productivity. When people eat more healthily, exercise (even if it’s simply walking the dog) and get enough sleep, they’re able to focus more. As an employer, you could consider a wellbeing solution to help encourage this healthy lifestyle. For example, flexible working hours to improve employees’ work / life balance, helping boost morale and improve productivity.
Flexitime enables employees to work to their own schedule, with varying start and finish times, making it easier for them to get the right work/life balance. A report by HSBC looked into their most productive sector and found that 89% of respondents cited flexible working as motivation to be more productive at work. Whether they use their time to fit around family commitments such as the school run or to attend classes at the local gym.
Those who eat and sleep well are more productive, they’re able to concentrate better, communicate more and tackle everyday tasks more efficiently. Creating a better, healthier working environment will boost motivation and will have a positive impact on your employees, increasing quality of service and productivity.
Find out what the real issues are
Understanding your employees and knowing what they’re really feeling can be quite difficult, which makes finding a solution challenging because you don’t actually know what the problem is you’re trying to fix. The best way? Ask. Online occupational health questionnaires and surveys help you find where your employees need support and also allow you to see where you may need to seek external help from occupational health professionals.
Want to know more about what you can do to support occupational health in the workplace?