A ‘well-being vacuum in workplaces is putting individuals at risk’, says the CIPD

A stubborn ‘implementation gap’ in UK workplaces is threatening individuals’ health and long-term business sustainability, according to new research from CIPD.

The report Growing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential, highlights that the average cost of absence now stands at £554 per employee per year.

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It reveals that fewer than one in ten (8 per cent) of UK organisations currently have a standalone well-being strategy that supports the wider organisational strategy.

Almost two-fifths of employees (38 per cent) are under excessive pressure at work at least once a week, while 43 per cent say that long hours working is the norm for their organisation (to a great or moderate extent).

Sir Professor Cary Cooper, CIPD President and well-being expert, said: “A workforce that is well works well, but we’re still seeing far too many people doing more work than they can cope with, working long or unsociable hours, suffering from technology overload and unable to switch off. Organisations need to take better care of their people and recognise how the demands of work can affect their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to perform well at work.

The report calls for greater and sustained efforts from employers and policy makers to reap the benefits of a healthy workplace in the fast-changing world of work.

Cooper added: “In the fast changing world of work, well-being has never been more important. With the UK at the bottom of the G7 and near the bottom of the G20 countries on productivity per capita, the way we manage people and create cultures that enhance well-being are now bottom-line issues. 

“Prevention is better than a cure; it’s high time that business leaders recognise this and create cultures in organisations in which well-being is centre stage and people are happy, healthy and committed to achieving organisational success.”

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