The Importance of Promoting Physical and Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

Apr 7, 2016


by Alannah Gauld

The Importance of Promoting Physical and Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

National Workplace Wellbeing Day – 08th April 2016

Today, (08th April 2016) is the second annual ‘Ireland’s National Workplace Wellbeing Day’. In honour of this, we wanted to explore the benefits of promoting physical and mental wellbeing at work, and mechanisms in which you can achieve this. After all, according to a report by the WHO, 58% of adults spend a whopping 1/3 of their lives working.

What is Physical and Mental Wellbeing?

The Oxford dictionary defines wellbeing as a ‘state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’. So what has this got to do with work, and why is it such an important consideration for employers?

Why is it important?

There has been significant research into the correlation between working conditions and rates of productivity. Such experiments include Elton Mayo’s – Hawthorne Experiment, which although has its critics, has been a catalyst to further investigation into workplace satisfaction, productivity and success – and the interaction between them.

Apart from the obvious connection between loss of productivity, and loss of profit, other financial implications must be explored. A UK study conducted by Workandwellbeing.com, determined the cost of not supporting employee wellbeing amounted to:

  • £1,500 (€1,850) Average cost of sickness absence each year per employee.
  • 24 Days per case – Average number of days lost to stress, anxiety or depression

Of course, promoting wellbeing on purely fiscal grounds, is probably indicative of an attitude which is counterproductive to promoting wellbeing at all. Measures needs to be introduced for overall wellbeing, and then will likely also lead to:

  • Retaining high performers and key players, and lower rates of attrition over all. This results in a great wealth of product / company / industry knowledge within your team.
  • Higher commitment and concern from employees to the overall performance of the company.
  • Decreased absenteeism and presenteeism.
  • Positive perception of your company in the marketplace, which is beneficial for both attracting new business and high caliber employees.
  • A more pleasant working environment.
  • Positioned to provide better customer care.
  • Encourages creativity.

Some of the biggest barriers and how to overcome them:

Threats to wellbeing in the workplace

How to promote wellbeing

  • Stress: Targets, Pressure (intrinsic and external), workload, overtime.
  • Lack of voice: Micromanaging, Dictatorship like leadership, very hierarchical management structure.
  • Environment: Dark, cramped, unfit for purpose, lack of natural light, too hot or cold, restrictive dress code.
  • Facilities and equipment:  Poor kitchen / eating area, small or unclean bathrooms, out of date PCs and software, lack of parking or bike sheds
  • Lack of training or development: Little or no induction, no scope for continuous development
  • Lack of compassion or support
  • Work vs Life balance: Inflexible working hours or arrangements
  • Few prospects for upward mobility:– No chances of promotion, or opportunity to learn something new in the tangible future.
  • Lack of team spirit: Limited interaction and collaboration amongst team members. No sense of community,
  • Food & Drink: Subsidized / Free canteen, Fruit, Snacks, Tea, Coffee, Beer O’Clock
  • Recreation and team building : Gaming rooms, Recreation room (Pool, Snooker, Table Tennis etc.), Relaxation rooms, sports events and sports teams, team building meals / social occasions.
  • Support: Counselling, psychological support,  compassionate leave, proactive intervention, appraisals and one to ones that encourage open feedback.
  • Flexibility & Work / Life balance: Flexitime, remote working, compassionate leave, onsite / subsidised childcare, Foreign employees offered paid flight home per year.
  • Environment: Casual dress, open, clean colourful space.
  • Facilities: Showers, Up to date PCs software, bike sheds, parking. Areas for cooking & eating.
  • Training and Development: Concise training and development strategy for new and existing employees, Education Grants, Conferences etc.
  • Team Spirit – Team meals, drinks, team incentives

Working in the Tech sector?

We are working with start-ups, all the way up to global leading tech companies, offering the above benefits and more. Interested to hear more? Give us a call on +353 1 679 3182 / [email protected] and we can put you in touch with the relevant specialist consultant for a confidential chat.

Wellbeing at Stelfox.

Stelfox are committed to providing the best possible working environment for our employees. Along with an incredibly supportive team, you will be given industry leading training and development for your whole Stelfox career, with fantastic trajectory for promotion and upskilling. We also truly believe in the motto ‘healthy body, healthy mind’. As such, we offer a fantastic selection of fruit, free ‘Stelfit’ gym classes with a leading Dublin gym, in addition to numerous runs, activities and team building exercises throughout the year. Not to mention, our table tennis table, 5* hotel high flyers weekends, and incentives trips in Ireland and abroad!

Interested in joining our team, and want to hear more about what we offer?

Senior IT Recruitment Consultant
Office Administrator

Contact: Steve Bell (Managing Director) for more information about the above opportunities – +353 1 679 3182 / [email protected]