For many companies, an employee falling ill is such a common occurrence that its deeply detrimental effect on organizational productivity and progress is oftentimes trivialized or entirely overlooked. This complacency in turn breeds apathy towards proactive remedial measures, which in the long term not only stunts the growth of individual firms but also bears dire macroeconomic implications.
Global studies have shown that reducing the incidence of health risks by one percentage point each year can yield annual savings of about $ 83.02-$ 103.39 per employee. Ill health is of course a natural part of life and more recent research into a leading Sri Lankan firm found that 85.5% of employees had taken time off work, with approximately 57.6% missing work due to a health condition. Meanwhile, the overall loss of productivity was about 10.43 days each year, equating to about Rs. 8 million per annum.
Employers and employees need to engage in honest and empathetic dialogue when it comes to managing medical conditions. Rest and relaxation is vital for recovery, and wherever possible, employees must be allowed to take measures to treat health conditions as early as possible, before they are exacerbated.
Digital Fitness Tools
This aspect of corporate well-being has taken on an entirely fresh dimension in this present age of technological innovation. The recent emergence of health and fitness tracking devices and apps has equipped employers with the tools to motivate their employees to exercise regularly and maintain healthy eating habits.
One such innovation which is gaining major traction within Sri Lankan corporate circles is Digital Healthcare Solutions’ lifestyle, health and fitness app, ayubo.life.
Among its most popular initiatives are its virtual step challenges which corporates have shown great enthusiasm for. Participants can track their progress along a predefined virtual route as they walk throughout the day. The ayubo.life mobile app will log a user’s steps and translate them into real-time progress with the challenge. The application boats over 25 Corporate challenges, where we have touched the lives of 10,000 Employees introducing them to a wellness journey, transforming individuals.
In addition , this novel app provides a comprehensive platform for everyone pursuing an active lifestyle. The app connects to multiple healthcare services, stores family medical records, facilitates on-demand consultations with doctors on video, keeps a record of workouts and partners experts in the wellness industry to provide online wellness solutions.
From the outset, we at Digital Healthcare Solutions realized that making the right choices where health and wellness were concerned has not been a priority for most employees in the corporate sector. Our research revealed that 35% of corporate employees have a high BMI with 47% being at risk of obesity. We also understood that corporate sector required access to curative and preventive solutions instead of traditional wellness models. This is what drove us to serve as a principal wellness partner to Sri Lanka’s diverse corporate community. In this manner we hope to create a healthy environment for the entire corporate community.
Looking ahead, it is vital that more organizations utilize the growing number of resources at their disposal to manage the physical, mental and emotional health of their employees. Moreover, companies should also maintain an open line of communication with their workforce. Employees should be asked if they are feeling stressed. If they seem ill, management should enquire about their health and encourage an honest conversation about such matters. We are only human after all and just like we do for our own families , we need to look after each other at the work place too!
This article is contributed by Dr. Chamila Ariyananda – Director/COO at Digital Healthcare Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, a company funded and supported by Hemas Holdings PLC.