Are Healthy Employees Happy Employees?

“Health is wealth,” goes the old adage, and with today’s very busy and often fast-paced lifestyles, this becomes even more relevant. As more and more people find themselves working extended hours and in highly stressful conditions or environment, things actually become counter-productive as the employees’ productivity diminishes due to health problems. With this, many companies have started to look into various ways to maintain a healthy, happy, and ultimately productive workforce.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has found that healthy workers are more productive. It also suggests that employers maximize their employees’ performance and lessen absenteeism by promoting a multi-faceted and integrated approach to improving employee well-being. Likewise, a report on The Guardian cites that a six-year study conducted by a health insurance firm and the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan has concluded that employees who are happy at work aren’t only better performers – they also cost less, as employers mostly get to spend less on health services and healthcare and turn into flexible financial incentives to keep their employees happy. Studies like these have driven many companies to roll out employee health management plans and benefits, such as on-site medical facilities, office gyms, and workplace wellness programs like corporate wellness Philadelphia.

While studies have constantly been backing up the idea that healthy employees are the most productive ones, what about employee happiness and satisfaction? Are happy employees also healthy employees? It has long been held true that such is the case, as happy and satisfied workers typically have manageable stress levels, more positive outlook, and better well-being overall. Therefore, they also have less sick days, and are more focused and productive. Conversely, employees who exhibit depression – work-related or otherwise – are known to show increased health problems, higher absenteeism, and decreased performance.

Nevertheless, there are still some doubts about the employers’ part in keeping their employees healthy and happy, and the supposed slash on costs they will get out of it. In a study conducted by the researchers of non-profit research group RAND Corporation and executives of PepsiCo, results say that while programs for helping people with chronic diseases stay healthy paid off in significant savings, the programs for lifestyle management with focus on weight-loss and stress management didn’t result in net savings at all. This is because disease management often results in less hospital admissions but lifestyle programs don’t address such medical costs.

Amidst all the research and speculations, the arguments ring true anyway – being in the best state of health allows people to do more, adopt a more positive outlook, and avoid extended downtimes. Likewise, while an individual’s happiness is primarily dependent upon a person’s disposition, employees are always willing to do better, do more than what’s expected of them, and keep themselves motivated when they are happy and satisfied at work. As many of today’s companies struggle with employee retention, absenteeism, and burgeoning costs of health benefits, it is always worth looking for creative ways to keep everyone happy, healthy, and ultimately, working at their best.

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