Between tariffs, fuel prices, and the rising cost of goods and services, it’s arguably more expensive than ever to run a company.
But the most notable challenge to businesses large and small is the ever-increasing cost of employer-sponsored health insurance.
According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, the average US employer’s yearly health insurance contribution has risen to almost $5,000 per employee, and almost $14,000 per family. If that’s not disconcerting enough, Entrepreneur Magazine wrote that this 50% premium increase over a 10-year period shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s important to note that these figures merely represent a nationwide average. As a business leader or HR professional, you know that if your company sees a spike in insurance claims among your employees, you will likely pay much more than the national average.
And the costs don’t end with employer health insurance premiums. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have extensively studied the direct correlation between “preventable chronic conditions,” and lost productivity, which it estimates costs an additional $1,685 per employee, every year, on top of insurance premiums.
According to the CDC’s findings:
- Four of the 10 most costly health conditions for US employers— angina pectoris (chest pain), high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attack—are related to heart disease and stroke.
- Work-related stress is the leading workplace health problem and a major occupational health risk, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity.
- Productivity losses from missed work cost employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, each year.
- Full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems miss about 450 million more days of work each year than healthy workers. The result is an estimated cost of more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year.
- A 1% annual reduction in the level of four health risks—weight, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol—has been shown to save $83 to $103 annually in medical costs per person.
Fortunately, there is quite a bit that companies can do to enhance employee health by reducing preventable chronic conditions…and in turn, reduce medical claims while preventing lost productivity. And according to Work Design Magazine, many of these proactive steps include easy and affordable changes to the office environment.
In a nutshell, these changes will promote active movement while also helping to minimize stress-inducing visual and audible distractions.
What are some improvements you can make to enhance workplace wellness? Read on for examples:
- Problem: Stress-Inducing Noise and Distractions
The American Institute of Stress states that an “…estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress.” The primary cause of that stress? Noise and distractions.
Citing a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, WebMD wrote that even “…low-level noise produced in open-style offices can increase stress and decrease motivation among workers.”
A study by the University of California, Irvine, meanwhile suggests that people who work in “…interrupted conditions experienced a higher workload, more stress, higher frustration, more time pressure, and effort.”
Solution: Luxor RECLAIM Acoustic Privacy Panels
In addition to providing cost-effective, easy-to-install visual barriers to distractions, RECLAIM products reduce ambient noise by incorporating sound-absorbing materials into their opaque panels.
- Problem: Sedentary Employees
A primary cause of the CDC’s list of “preventable chronic conditions” is too much sitting.
After extensive studies, the Mayo Clinic wrote that “Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”
Solution: Luxor Standing Desks and Standing Desk Converters
Forward-thinking companies coast to coast are leveraging standing desks to get employees out of their chairs and moving around. And the benefits don’t stop with burning calories. Many users report relief from back pain, improved mood, more energy, and enhanced collaboration with coworkers…all of which can help boost productivity.
In short, the augmenting of your workplace wellness programs with standing desks and movable acoustic privacy panels represents a modest investment that can potentially yield a significant reduction of health-related costs while boosting employee wellbeing. Look to Luxor to be your trusted source for furniture solutions that foster a healthier and less stressful work environment.
Visit www.luxorfurn.com to learn more.