Wellbeing strategies for staff should not be regarded as an optional extra and new research has shown that many employers agree.
According to figures by Tower Watson, combatting stress among employees is becoming increasingly important for managers, with 98 per cent stating that workplace anxiety can have a huge impact on business.
For this reason, over 40 per cent of employers already have stress management programmes in place and an additional 31 per cent plan to introduce them into their company in the next two years.
Although costs are often cited as a deterrent for implementing schemes to improve the wellbeing and target stress levels of staff – particularly in times of economic hardship – Rebekah Haymes from Towers Watson believes this should not be the case.
Measures to improve employee health can reduce sickness and boost overall productivity among staff members – this will in turn lead to company savings. If a range of measures, such as flexible working, annual bonus schemes and better holiday packages, are introduced, companies will also benefit from a happier workforce.
Ms Haymes said: "Stress can have a major negative impact on the productivity of employees. That employers are now starting to focus on prevention and encouraging healthier lifestyles is a step in the right direction.”
Take flexible working, for example. As this style of work becomes more commonplace – whether this is conducting business from home, a cafe or wherever employees need to be – it is easier than ever now there are a number of technologies that can keep people in contact at the touch of a button.
Embracing such practices could be a great move for many employers, as allowing staff to take greater control of their work-life balance can result in higher morale and lead to better productivity.
To do this, implementing tools such as free teleconferencing solutions to make sure flexible workers can keep in touch wherever they are could be highly valuable.
However, Ms Haymes warns employers that such styles of working do not mean that staff members should be contacted outside of normal hours – as the expectation to work long days and respond immediately can also impact stress.