In the information technology (IT) business, maintaining project profitability often requires keeping personnel costs at a minimal level. However, rising health insurance premiums coupled with new health care reform legislation is putting an additional burden on IT companies. For employees who spend eight-plus hours a day working on intense projects at their computer stations, the need for routine wellness care is vital to their productivity and quality of work. Not having access to affordable healthcare support means illness, injury, and lost work time for your most valuable investment: your people. Therefore, it's up to each IT company to ensure the health and well-being of all employees.
A corporate sponsored wellness programme can be a solution to reducing the costs of healthcare in the workplace. Here are five ways a wellness programme can save your IT business money this year.
1. Reminds employees of risky lifestyle behaviours. The IT world can be a very high pressure work environment, leading employees to engage in risky health behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and overeating. The long work hours can also be damaging to physical and mental well-being, due to being stuck at a desk a lot and not getting enough exercise. Having a wellness programme on site allows employees alternative ways to deal with stress and help reduce risky behaviours, which over the long run improves employee performance.
2. Provides access to self-managed wellness care. The best wellness programme can empower your employees to take better control of their health and well-being. Providing onsite wellness benefits, such as a corporate gym, massage therapy, an employee assistance programme, flu shots, and more can help employees see you are vested in their success. Web-based wellness programmes, which cost pennies as compared to doctor visits, provide even more value by reminding employees to take care of their health and reach important wellness goals.
3. Reduces healthcare insurance premiums and sick time. A study conducted by Harvard University in 2010 advised that when employees have access to corporate wellness support, this reduces the cost of healthcare insurance premiums and sick time. For each dollar spent on an employee wellness programme, health premiums drop by $3.27 and an additional $2.73 is saved in absentee days. That can be significant for an IT department that deals with frequent illness or absenteeism.
4. Prevents catastrophic losses due to illness and injury. Imagine an IT workforce that's healthy, mentally and physically strong? When IT employees are given the opportunity and encouragement to take advantage of a corporate wellness programme, they are less likely to experience preventable ailments common in IT (neck pain, stress headaches, back injuries, repetitive motion injuries) that cause them to miss work or file workers' compensation claims.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.