Bridge for Health has developed a series of ‘Wellbeing @ Work Innovation Labs’ for socially driven businesses that are interested in expanding their current social responsible practices to focus on improving health and wellbeing in their workplaces.
Our innovation labs are based on the “Wellbeing @ Work Model’ that focuses on the social and physical environments at work. B4H facilitates a design thinking process to identify health-related problems and develop prototypes to test out solutions in specific workplaces. This approach enables the engagement a variety of stakeholders to gain an in-depth and common understanding of how to promote health in the workplace by addressing the root causes of illness at work.
The main solution to workplace health issues to date has been the development of Workplace Wellness programs, aimed to provide a variety of supports and services to help employees lead healthy lifestyles. They typically provide a basket of services including, but not limited to, occupational health and safety, fitness centres and disease management programs. The main focus of these services is generally to improve physical health, although with the release of the National Standards on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in 2013, mental health concerns have become a top priority for employers.
The evidence is clear that investing in employee health & wellness is good for the bottom line. However, the burden of illness is growing every day. In fact, the latest statistics show that the estimated economic burden of illness and injury in the workplace is growing. The “typical” workplace wellness programs may help to minimize the symptoms related to illness, but they do little to nothing to address the unhealthy environment itself. Creating sustainable, truly healthy workplaces under the economic constraints on businesses requires looking at the big picture that includes the demographic shifts, employee engagement and workplace culture. Paying attention to these six business practice areas and finding the root cause of illness will enable leading companies and organizations hire and retain employees, and also have a positive social impact on the communities they serve.
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