While jobs are one of the primary sources of living for most people, it’s ironic how they can cause stress and fatigue, contributing to poor physical and mental health.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average US lifespan in 2022 reached the lowest point in history since 1996.1 It’s a wake-up call to employers to recognize the profound impact of the workplace on its employees’ health. As an employer, you can make a significant impact on your employees’ well-being, and we’re here to guide you. 

Work Factors Influencing Longevity

Research shows the significant impact that employment conditions have on long-term employee wellness and longevity.2 According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, modern workplaces can either support well-being or exponentially raise risks of chronic illnesses and shorter lifespans.  

 Considering the complexity of health and its effects, there’s still a need for more supporting studies to fully understand the role of work in the American lifespan. Despite this, strong pieces of evidence point to two areas of work as significant influences affecting employee life: 

Job strain 

This factor refers to the psychological and physical demands placed on employees. Often caused by high demands and low control over tasks, this factor usually creates stress, drastically increasing the risk of various health problems. 

Employees experiencing high levels of job strain are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, mental health disorders, and other chronic conditions.3 The combination of high workload and low autonomy can contribute to chronic stress, inflammation, and physiological dysregulation, all of which impact longevity. 

Workplace Culture 

Data from the American Institute of Stress suggests that 80% of employees feel stressed on the job.4 This statistic highlights workplace culture’s impact on the overall health of professionals. 

A positive workplace culture creates an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive. Alternatively, a toxic or negative workplace contributes to high levels of stress, employee burnout, and poor health outcomes. 

Furthermore, research by Blue Cross Blue Shield found that 62% of those who viewed their company culture as positive rated themselves as healthy.5 This is a big jump compared to the 39% of employees who considered themselves healthy despite working in a negative company culture. 

Read More: The Great Resignation and What We Learned From it in the Recruiting World 

Benefits of Investing in Employee Health

Since work can greatly impact the health and lifespan of professionals, we should prioritize improving well-being. As an employer, investing in your people’s health becomes your responsibility. Other than the social responsibility of caring for your employees, investing in employee health also benefits your business. 

1. Reduced Healthcare Costs 

Investing in initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles and early detection of health issues contributes to:  

  • Lower healthcare utilization rates 
  • Decreased absenteeism 
  • Minimized the financial burden of healthcare benefits 

According to the National Safety Council, work injury costs accumulated to $167 billion in 2021, which could have been more beneficial when allocated to other business areas.6 

Prioritizing employee health gives employers significant savings by reducing healthcare expenses associated with treating preventable illnesses and chronic conditions. Employees with access to preventive care services and resources for managing their health are less likely to develop costly health problems in the long run. 

2. Increased Productivity 

Healthy employees are more productive and engaged in their work, leading to improved performance and organizational outcomes. Furthermore, employees who prioritize their health can make better decisions, focus more on their tasks, and collaborate effectively with their colleagues. 

By investing in employee health and wellness initiatives, you create a culture that supports employee well-being. This allows employees to: 

  • Achieve their full potential 
  • Cultivate creativity and innovation 
  • Achieve higher levels of productivity 
  • Drive business success 
  • Gain competitive advantage 

3. Improved Retention and Higher Engagement 

Investing in your employees’ health conveys that the organization prioritizes and values their well-being. Employees are more dedicated and engaged in their work when they feel supported. Furthermore, they are more likely to stay when they’re satisfied with their workplace environment and feel that their needs are met. 

By fostering a culture that values health and well-being, employees commit more to the organization, improving retention rates, reducing turnover, and building a more robust workforce.  

4. Attract Top Talent 

Aside from improving employee retention and engagement, positive employee experience leads to better employer branding, increasing your chance of attracting more qualified individuals into the organization. 

Candidates assess organizations by how they treat their employees. You attract more qualified candidates by showing that you value your employees’ success and growth, and they’re not treated as mere tools for organizational success. This also presents your company as an ideal workplace and an employer that genuinely cares about their employees.  

Ways to Have a Healthier Workforce

The benefits of investing in your people’s health are clear, but how do you do it? Below are some steps you can take to improve employee well-being inside of your offices: 

Offer Comprehensive Health Benefits 

Comprehensive health benefits empower employees to manage their health and address medical concerns proactively. Provide robust health insurance coverage to support employee wellness, like: 

  • Better health insurance coverage 
  • Preventive care services 
  • Mental health resources 
  • Access to wellness programs 

You may consider offering additional perks such as gym memberships, nutrition counseling, or smoking cessation programs to further support your employees’ health. 

Promote Work-Life Balance 

Work-life balance is crucial for preventing burnout and supporting employees’ mental and physical health. This can be done through offering flexible work arrangements like telecommuting or compressed workweeks. 

You can also allow your employees to choose their preferred time to work. Don’t forget to set clear boundaries around work hours, like discouraging after-hours communication to help employees disconnect and recharge outside of work. 

Create a Culture of Wellness 

Fostering a culture of wellness may sound complicated, but it can be done by integrating health and well-being into different facets of the organization. 

For example, you can promote healthy behaviors and habits by offering wellness programs fit for your employees. You can also create challenges and incentives that encourage physical activity, healthy eating, and stress management. Providing resources such as healthy snacks, standing desks, and meditation rooms can also support employee wellness and create a positive work environment. 

Encourage Regular Health Screenings 

Regular health screenings can detect and prevent health problems early on. You can encourage employees to participate in preventive health screenings by providing incentives or offering paid time off for their medical appointments.  

You may take a step further by conducting medical examinations or hosting onsite health fairs. This can provide employees with the necessary information about their own health and how they can prevent various diseases and illnesses.  

FIND MOTIVATED PROFESSIONALS TO FILL YOUR OPEN ROLES

As you invest in your employees’ health and well-being, invest in employees who can drive your business toward success.  

Partner with ACS Professional Staffing and gain access to vast networks of top candidates. With decades of experience and a mindset that prioritizes your success, we can help you create a workforce worth investing in. We don’t simply find employees; we invest in finding the best ones for you and your company.  

Reach out to us today and find unique solutions to your staffing needs. 

References: 

  1. “Life Expectancy in the US Dropped for the Second Year in a Row in 2021.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Aug. 2022, www.cdc.gov/nchs_press_releases/2022/20220831
  1. Burgard, Sarah and Lin, Katherine. “Bad Jobs, Bad Health? How Work and Working Conditions Contribute to Health Disparities.” National Library of Medicine, 1 Aug. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813007/
  1. Power, Niamh et al. “Job Strain and the Incidence of Heart Diseases: A Prospective Community Study in Quebec, Canada.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Dec. 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/article/S0022399920308308. 
  1. “Workplace Stress.” The American Institute of Stress, 2022, www.stress.org/workplace-stress
  1. “Workplace Culture Impacts Health and Life: A Research Report for Large Employers.” BlueCross BlueShield, 2017, www.bluecrossmn.com/Workplace-culture-research-report. 
  1. “Work Injury Costs.” NSC Injury Facts, 2 Feb. 2024, injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/work-injury-costs/