Stress: all in a day’s work for most UK staff
With a recent report providing a somewhat disconcerting insight into the likely health of the British workforce over the coming 20 years, private healthcare company Bupa estimates that the number of workers suffering chronic health conditions will rise above the four million mark by 2030.
As Bupa are quick to point out, this decline in general health – together with the fact that the workforce is steadily ageing – is certain to have ramifications on companies’ long-term productivity. In the words of Bupa’s Dr Natalie Jane Macdonald:
“The commercial benefits of taking action on workplace health are clear, as healthy employees can be nearly three times more productive than those in poor health.”
In an attempt to thwart the predicted figures, the UK government is encouraging British businesses to adopt a more pro-active approach to keeping their workers healthy.
And they don’t just mean physical health – for emotional and mental health is just as significant a problem in the high-pressure UK workplace.
Some enlightened employers have already enlisted the services of professional peripatetic masseurs who visit offices and administer stress-busting neck massages to desk-bound executives.
So why pursue current craze for team-building activities which, if anything, increase levels of stress and cut-throat competition between colleagues? With depression and anxiety the cause of many staff absences, an alternative approach to the problem of stressed out staff might be pamper weekends.
Sending employees away on a relaxing weekend break would give them a welcome chance to chill and de-stress completely away from the office. And it would undoubtedly be more calming for them than racing down rapids in a makeshift raft or testing their nerves on a terrifying treetop walk.
After a frenetic few months in any stressful modern workplace, most of us would benefit hugely from the therapeutic effects of receiving a gentle massage while listening to soft music or basking in the still blue waters of a luxurious thermal spa during a health spa break.
Indeed it could well prove to be just what the Bupa doctor ordered…