Every profit-centric company requires productive employees to remain competitive. However, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University, the Health Enhancement Research Organization and the Center for Health Research at Healthways, job productively is directly associated with the health and lifestyle choices of employees specially healthcare industry in Morocco.
Based on a survey of 19,803 workers employed with three large companies, spread across the globe, the study reveals a startling co-relation between lifestyle risk factors – smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity – and lost productive work time.
Employees, who consumed a poor diet, lacked exercise and smoked, were found to be at an increased risk of productivity loss by 66%, 50% and 28%, in contrast to non-smoking employees who ate healthy and regularly exercised.
Another culprit found affecting job productivity is sleep deprivation. According to Jeanne Duffy, associate neuroscientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “The longer someone is awake, the more the ability to perform a task is hindered, and this impact of being awake is even stronger at night.”
The findings are crucial given that an unhealthy workforce cost businesses nearly $153 billion annually in lost productivity. Employees choosing unhealthy lifestyles are more likely to fall sick and account for one in ten days off. Healthier employees in contrast tend to be happier, report 27% less absenteeism and demonstrate better job performance. Jerry Noyce, CEO of the Health Enhancement Research organization, highlighted, “It’s critical that companies look deeper at productivity loss and measure it to understand the impact it is making on their bottom line.”
To boost employee health and productivity, reduce health care costs, and improve profitability, employers are advocating for health-promoting workplaces. Organisations are integrating wellness programs with the employee health insurance benefits. These programs are designed to cover health check-ups and screenings, smoking cessation and weight reduction programs along with discounted gym memberships.
Carter Coberley, VP, Health Research and Outcomes at Healthways, points out, “Well-being is gaining recognition as an important measure that relates both to the quality of life of individuals as well as to financial measures that are important to business and government leaders.”