Companies are losing £57 billion a year as a result of poor productivity from staff members that are not well.
Britain’s Healthiest Company (BHC) looked at 32,538 employees in the UK, and revealed 23.5 days are lost per employee for each year due to under performing or taking time off because they are ill.
Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees was £27,600. With the BHC calculating the cost of lost productivity at 7.85 per cent and 31.11 million people are in work, this amounts to £57 billion a year wasted simply as a result of poor productivity in the workplace.
Shaun Subel, Director of VitalityHealthy, which conducted the study along with Mercer, the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, said these findings are a “wake-up call” for businesses to encourage the health and wellbeing of their staff members.
The research showed 36 per cent of employees have a chronic condition that is strongly linked with their lifestyle, and 61 per cent have two risk factors. Surprisingly, two-thirds of those who have three or more risk factors believe their health is in good condition. However, this simply makes it more difficult for them to change their lifestyle to improve their wellbeing.
Despite this, the study found companies that invested in a culture of wellness saw their proportion of staff with good or excellent health increase.
Indeed, a quarter of firms with the biggest budgets for health promotion experienced an eight per cent year-on-year rise in the number of staff with improving health, as well as a 16 per cent decline in the amount of productivity lost.
Chris Bailey, partner at Mercer, stated: “Employers have a unique role to play in influencing employee behaviours around health and wellbeing.
“By creating an environment of making the right health-based decisions and supporting sustained lifestyle changes, employers can reduce their lost productivity and health create a virtuous circle of healthy, engaged, productive employees.”