We are taking less sick days, does that mean we are getting healthier?
Gauging the health and happiness of our friends or family is hard enough but how do
we measure the wellbeing of our employees and why is it important. Well according to Forbes
magazine the stock price of the Top 100 best companies to work for rose by 14% a year. This
shows that it happiness in the workplace affects the net worth of a company. So how do we
measure and improve this?
Firstly, we can look at employee churn and sick days. Employee churn is how long an
employees stay with a company and is basically the staff turnover. Happy employees will
always stay with a company as long as they feel they are being compensated financially and
nurtured in their career; t is always easier to stay than to move. Sick days are a little more
complicated. According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, the average number of sick
days taken by Uk employees dropped from 7.2 days in 1993 to 4.1 days in 2017. This may
seem like it is a good thing and possibly an indicator of good health. However, this is not
necessarily the case. The reason for this drop is firstly that employees are increasingly worried
(due to the recession and more recently Brexit) and also the competitive nature of the London
market, that they may lose their jobs. Secondly they also are working under such time
constraints and pressure that they feel that they cannot take time off even if they are sick.
What is interesting is that the nature of what is termed as illness has also changed in
recent years. The second most common cause of sick days, after a cold is back and neck pain.
This can obviously be caused by sitting at desks for too long, not taking breaks from the
screen, lack of exercise and allowing small injuries to go untreated. Among 20-30 year olds
nearly 10% of sick days are due to “mental illness”. This can be due to stress, anxiety,
depression or burn out.
I think these statistics show us that employees need their employers to provide an
environment where they are thriving. Given the hours extra hours that are working they also
GEOLOGY 101 REPORT 2
need to be given access, opportunity and permission to take advantage of the kind of health
benefits that a wellness programme can offer them. It is imperative that this is part of an
employees work day as the average “time at a desk” has almost doubled in the last 10 years
from previously being 7 hours to up to 14 hours a day (Evening Standard) . When there is
barely enough time to sleep and so much more required from employees before their work
day ends it really is down to employers to take more responsibility for their employees’