Findings from a recent Canada research fojnd that over a quarter of employees say their working environment promotes stress.
When asked to rank how easy it was to be healthy in their working environment:
- employees scored their workplaces an average of 6.3 out of 10,
- open plan offices received a 6.1 rating
- employees who mostly worked from home rating their environment at 8.1.
- Many office-based workers favoured the idea of outside areas in the workplace as well as health benefits, with a third of private office workers (33%) and 32% of open plan office workers saying they would like an outside seating area to get fresh air or stretch their legs.
- Office working also appeared to encourage unhealthy eating patterns, with 19% admitting to eating lunch at their desk as they did not have time to eat a proper lunch.
- 28% of respondents working in open plan offices said that their working environment caused stress (5% of home workers saying this was the case).
- The findings also indicated that office working environments were more likely to induce headaches and other illnesses, with over a third (34%) of employees in open plan offices saying that they suffered from a lack of fresh air.
When asked about possible solutions:
- 38% of respondents said they would like to have healthy living or weight loss clubs available
- 22% said they would like to see an employee and family assistance program offered.
Canada Life marketing director Paul Avis commented:
“We spend the majority of our time at work, so it’s not surprising that the type of environment you work in can have such a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Employers have a duty to ensure they are providing an appropriate and comfortable workspace and encourage their employees to take regular breaks away from their desks. With illness already prone to spreading in office environments, it’s crucial to offer a workspace that cultivates good health and wellbeing rather than damages it. It’s particularly concerning that a quarter of employees feel their mental wellbeing is being negatively affected by their work environment: stress is a major cause of long-term absence and can be hugely detrimental to both employee and employer.”
About Homewood Health
Homewood Health is the Canadian leader in mental health and addiction services. With over 130 years of experience, we achieve outstanding outcomes every day through our national network of nearly 4,000 employees and clinical experts, and through the Homewood Health Centre — one of Canada’s largest and leading facilities for medical treatment of mental health and addiction disorders. Our complete suite of services includes organizational wellness, employee and family assistance programs, assessments, outpatient and inpatient treatment, recovery management, return to work and family support services, customized to meet the specialized needs of individuals and organizations. Homewood Health is redefining mental health and addiction services to help Canadians live healthier, more productive and more fulfilling lives.
NOTE: The content and opinions offered in Healthy Workplaces blog posts do not necessarily reflect the formal stance of Homewood Health, unless otherwise identified. We bring this information forward in the interests of openly sharing valued information in this time of fast-growing online conversations and knowledge.