Yoga on the Job
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
3 Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs
Investment in workplace wellness programs that include mindfulness techniques, yoga classes and other forms of relaxation benefits Fortune 500 companies and small business alike.
Are you or any of your co-workers nervous? Irritable? Fatigued? You are not alone. A 2017 American Psychological Association study revealed that 75% of American adults experience at least one symptom of stress per month. Symptoms included anxiousness, irritability and fatigue. Not surprisingly, stress impacts businesses in the form of worker absenteeism, diminished productivity and turnover.
If your employer currently does not offer a workplace wellness program, here are some facts that may motivate them to start one.
Around one million people miss work each day due to stress, costing employers $602 per employee each year. By contrast, for every dollar spent on a workplace wellness program, the employer saves $2.73 and reduces absenteeism. Encouraging stress control techniques and good health behaviors positively impact an employer’s bottom line.
Employees who come to work but are not functioning up to their full capabilities cost $150 billion per yearin lost productivity. In other words, the cost is two to three times greater than direct health care expense.
Unfortunately, reduced productivity is difficult to measure and often overlooked by employers. Yet, recent studies have shown a linear trend of improved productivity for those employees who reduced the greatest number of health risks. Conversely, those with increased health risks showed decreased productivity.
The cost of replacing an employee ranges from 16% of annual salary for low-paying positions up to 213% of annual salary for executive positions. In other words, the cost of losing a retail worker who earns $10 per hour is $3,328. The average turnover rate in the United States is 38%. So, a business with 100 workers earning $10 per hour will incur over $126,000 in turnover costs each year.
By contrast, employers that implement workplace wellness programs to reduce stress and improve health have a much lower turnover rate – just 6%. An employer with 100 workers at $10 per hour, would only incur about $20,000 in turnover costs each year. That’s a significant difference to the bottom line!
DIY Workplace Wellness
So you shared the facts and your boss still isn’t sure that a workplace wellness program is worth the investment? Or, a program is offered, but the company culture is not supportive? If you don’t plan to leave the company, take action yourself.
A group of stressed Information Technology workers at my former employer got permission to use a conference room after work and brought in their own Iyengar Yoga instructor. The yoga class helped them unwind at the end of the day. It also separated work time and home time. Finally, it helped them face the next work day with less stress.