There is growing recognition of the importance of physical and mental ‘well-being’ in the workplace.

Recent reports have found that more than 300,000 UK workers are laid off each year due to long-term mental health problems and Mental health costs employers up to £42bn a year and the cost of poor mental health to the economy is more than both of those together from lost output, at between £74 billion and £99 billion per year, so surely the happiness and well-being of employees is vital in order to help tackle rising sickness absence?

Unfortunately though, mental health is still the elephant in the room in most workplaces and employees are reluctant to raise the subject for fear of discrimination, therefore the need to address and create awareness of employee mental and physical health in the workplace is essential.

So here are a few basic tips for Promoting Workplace Health and Wellness

1. Knowledge & Support

Develop mental health awareness among Employees by increasing the knowledge about mental health in the workplace so employees have a clear understanding about what they can do if they are struggling and who they can go to for support. Training managers in mental health first aid is a great way for them to understand and how to identify concerning behaviours and what they can do to help an employee if they are concerned about what they are seeing.

2. Communal areas

Encouraging social interaction between colleagues within communal office areas can improve staff performance. Communal areas can be useful for lots of different purposes, including break times and a central space where staff can relax which can potentially help the atmosphere of the office.

3. Overall Well-being

Promoting flexible work practices to really support employers who might be needing that or who might benefit from different ways of working.

Unfortunately, long hours sitting at a desk is common workplace behaviour. Apparently “Sitting is the new Smoking” so encouraging movement throughout the day is a must.

Make sure your employees have choices of places to work i.e. communal areas (as above) to encourage them to be more active and move away from their desk throughout the day.