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Investing in workplace wellbeing reaps benefits for business

New research findings indicate that employees overwhelmingly want their workplaces to invest in staff wellbeing, which often results in increased engagement, energy and happiness.

The 2019 Workplace Wellbeing report, compiled by Australian advocacy and training organisation WorkScore, surveyed over 12,500 Australian employees, with a particular focus on persons in the financial services, retail, healthcare, education and governmental industries.

On the question of employer investments in wellbeing, 78 per cent of people said that when their workplace cares about their wellbeing, they feel engaged at work, and 74 per cent said that they feel happy when this occurs. By contrast, when an employee said that their workplace didn’t care about their wellbeing, only 38 per cent felt engaged by work, and just 22 per cent were happy at work.

“Workplaces that care about employee wellbeing have over six times more employees who are happy at work,” WorkScore said in its report.

Increased levels of happiness can also be accompanied by elevated engagement and energy in the workplace, the report continued.

“If you want to see a more energetic workforce, look after health and wellbeing at work. Our survey revealed 54 per cent of people who work in companies that care for wellbeing reported high energy levels, compared to 26 per cent of those who feel that their workplace doesn’t prioritise wellness.”

Conversely, in workplaces that care about wellbeing, less than half (47 per cent) reported feeling down or depressed, compared to 71 per cent of those who said that their workplaces don’t care.

The benefits of investing in wellness are further highlighted by additional findings from WorkScore: one in three of the survey respondents said that they find it hard to switch off from work, one in three said that they struggle to achieve work-life balance, and only one in two feel a sense of achievement with their working lives, with 25 per cent of those people noting that they do not feel a sense of achievement at work.

“What happens at work has a considerable impact on employee wellbeing, both positive and negative. There is a strong link between the health and wellbeing of employees and productivity and performance,” WorkScore wrote.

“Thankfully, many companies now recognise the need for a focus on employee wellbeing, yet do not fully understand the needs of their employees or the return on investing in such programs.”

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