UAE firms increase investments in corporate wellness programmes
Dubai - Businesses in UAE are increasing investments in corporate wellness programmes to promote employee wellbeing, says a new survey.
Of the 98 respondents polled, 70 per cent said they now have a corporate wellness programme in place compared to only 45 per cent in 2013, according to a survey conducted by Meed.
Majority of companies likewise said initiatives are in place to promote a healthy lifestyle among employees, to help them have a more positive experience at work.
The amount of investment varies, depending on the activities, but majority of the respondents reported a minimum investment of $100 to as much as $1million, as part of efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle among employees in general, to fighting increasing cases of stress, in particular, said the survey.
"While increasing investments in corporate health is a good thing, business leaders need to realise workplace wellness initiatives can be done at very minimal or no cost at all," said Richard Thompson, editorial director, Meed.
"What is important to highlight here is that more and more companies are developing such programmes to enhance employee well-being, which has proven effective in contributing to overall business productivity and competitiveness."
According to the survey, 68 per cent said their workforce is under stress because of workload, pressure on having a healthy work-life balance, having a stressful office environment as well as concerns about job security.
Some of the top ill-effects caused by stress cited by the survey respondents included health issues such as neck and back problems as well as performance anxieties. A healthcare-based company also said stress is affecting the quality of service they are able to provide to their patients.
"Stress in the workplace is a concern for employers as well as employees, and rightly so as it affects employee motivation and productivity as well as their overall well-being. This survey will be a useful tool in determining the long-term impact of stress and how well intervention measures in the form of corporate health and wellness programmes are successful in addressing the issue," said Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO at National Health Insurance Company - Daman, which together with Meed spearhead the annual Daman Corporate Health Awards, a programme that recognises wellness initiatives in companies and organisations in the Emirates.
Recognising corporate wellness programmes is an important step in promoting corporate health, as it helps encourage businesses and organisations in both the public and private sectors as well as the non-profit community to develop and implement similar programmes.
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