India is increasingly facing the burden of metabolic and lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes, cardiac issues and so on and a holistic approach by the corporate towards the health of employees can greatly influence their overall well-being. Holistic approach towards employee wellness can improve habits, increase productivity and also boost employee engagement resulting in overall benefit for the company as a whole.
According to the Rebooting 2020: A Story of Covid-19 and Shifting Perceptions survey by The Mavericks India, 61% of Indians are facing mental health issues due to the lockdown. Therefore, along with physical well-being, mental well-being must be prioritized at this challenging time.
Due to the current situation of global pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 the entire corporate culture has taken a U-turn. More and more people are working full-time from home and this has affected a lot on the health and wellness of corporate employees.
Covid-19 adverse effect on Employees:
- Mental health: Due to the pandemic outbreak, uncertainty of work, global scenario and no option to socialize is becoming increasingly stressful for everyone around leading to mental and psychological burnout. Loneliness and anxiety issues are increasing day by day. Due to extended working hours and inclination to late night work completion or watching web-series on online platforms, the sleep patterns have been extensively disrupted. Surveys have shown that people have become more prone to insomnia. Personal relationships are hampered as people are not able to release stress and are locked within the house itself.
- Physical activity: There has been a steep decline in the physical activity of people due to the lockdown. Average daily step count has also reduced considerably. This has also resulted in a drop in the metabolic rate and increased weight gain. Homes, unlike offices do not have a proper ergonomically designed chair to support the back and hence long working hours is taking a toll on the back and neck of employees. There is an increase in the frequency of back and neck pain as per a recent survey done in New Delhi.
- Other health issues: Long hours at home and erratic eating patterns have affected the metabolism and made the other related issues like diabetes, weight gain worse. Hormonal imbalances are also on the rise due to bad eating pattern which is also happening due to lack of house help and inclination towards ready to eat meals. Bloating, constipation and indigestion are on the rise too.
Benefits of a Holistic Corporate Wellness Program:
- Improve Productivity: Corporate wellness programs aiming to inculcate good habits in employees positively affect the overall health resulting in better productivity eventually.
- Health Risk Assessment: Assessment of future health risk and cost beforehand, can give a better picture to calculate and prepare for the future. Health risk can be assessed well in advance with the company wellness program and planned accordingly. This can also prepare us for future health emergencies like the current pandemic outbreak where individuals with co-morbidities are worst hit.
- Reduce Healthcare cost: A well designed wellness program, with the ability to make a change in food choices of employees to making them aware about health and wellness can reduce the healthcare cost considerably.
- Decrease In Employee Absenteeism: A better health profile, with a healthier physical and mental state can decrease the chances of employees falling sick considerably which has a direct impact on employee absenteeism.
- Team Building: Wellness programs conducted in groups can increase bonding between team members. It can also positively affect the team spirit and thereby making the work culture better in the company.
- Employee Retention and Recruitment: An organization with a wellness program in place attracts new employees as apart from monetary benefits, employees also look for other perks and benefits like overall well-being.
Companies which did not have a wellness program for employees before lockdown should definitely invest in it now in the challenging times to keep the employees healthy and those who already had a wellness program in place for employees must tweak their programs to make best use of the same even when the employees are working from home.
This is the time when the best of health, physical as well as mental, is getting the benefit of surviving the pandemic without getting affected, and hence a care from the company towards its employees becomes all the more important and a must.
ReferenceRebooting 2020: A Story of Covid-19 and Shifting Perceptions survey