Investment in Health is Investment in Productivity
People’s health is closely related to their productivity. Having good health is the main factor in reducing workplace absenteeism and generates a greater and better disposition to perform tasks.
It is not by chance that per capita production in developed countries has been increasing at a much faster rate than expected, broadly because of education, and specifically people’s quality of life, the impact of which is reflected in their greater productive capacity. On the other hand, a lack of health directly affects the labor force, and has profound repercussions on the economy. Absenteeism is ranked among the leading labor issues and leads to the loss of workers as economic units, either because of premature death or a reduction in their time and capacity to do work.
In addition to health, employee safety is a key element in ensuring productivity, sustainability, and development. ILO data show that the region of the Americas has 11.1 fatal accidents per 100,000 workers. To lower this rate requires an appropriate regulatory framework, combined with health programs, national policies, and workplace safety.
“According to the ILO (International Labour Organization), workers account for almost half of the world population, and the direct costs of work time lost through occupational diseases and accidents on record are equivalent to 4% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).”
Health, well-being, and safety are three fundamental components of a working environment where employees can feel motivated and satisfied. There are a number of environmental factors affecting workers’ health, productivity, and personal well-being.
Below we explain the benefits of each of these factors.
- Natural Light: Exposure to natural light helps regulate a person’s body clock and their ability to sleep. People who enjoy this benefit often have high job performance and good moods, which gives rise to a friendly work environment.
- Visual Aspect: Feeling comfortable where you work is undoubtedly rewarding for any employee. Visual aspects have a big impact on people that can be positive or negative. Not only are we talking about cleanliness and order, but also about a safe, healthy work environment.
- Noise: Noise is distracting and generates anxiety, which has a negative effect on production.
- Design: Design promotes creativity and interrelationships among workers. Colors and textures create a feeling of relaxation in people.
- Interior Quality: This helps both our physical and mental well-being, promoting functionality.
- Interior Layout: Being in a space with a good layout encourages people to generate new spaces, and they become more creative.
- Exercise: To be a healthy individual requires daily exercise. In the work environment, exercise reduces stress and improves relationships among coworkers, increasing group trust and health.
- Services and Location: The availability of services such as public transportation and easy access are factors affecting people’s well-being and comfort.
- Biophilia: This refers to our feeling of connection with nature. Having green spaces increases our creativity and generates a feeling of harmony.
It is essential to recognize what environmental factors are, and how to implement them so that they can have a positive impact within the company.
While on the subject of productivity, we should not forget that the arrival of COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we live and work. We have seen how the unemployment rate in the region has topped 14 percent in the past two years, which, according to the ILO, is equivalent to 28.8 million jobs. We have stopped going to the office every day to give way to work from home, stepping outside our comfort zone and challenging our capabilities. We have now returned to the office after more than two years of the pandemic, which has forced us to undergo another change, exposing our comfort zone once again. We were compelled to change, think differently, and contribute to the management, promotion, and prevention of occupational risks, using our lived experience, and learning from the mistakes made to ensure a better future for businesses, society, and the Latin American economy.
The health crisis seems to be relenting, although the socio-economic and psychological repercussions are beginning to appear. The ILO has lowered its expectations for the labor market’s recovery in 2022 with respect to the fourth quarter of 2019, projecting a deficit in hours worked globally, equivalent to 52 million full-time jobs.
To achieve higher productivity, we need to have good planning to provide us with economic forecasts which, together with performance assessments, are the key to achieving a secure market-strategy plan. Contact our dedicated team of researchers who, through In-Scope, our made-to-measure market research service, will help you obtain the necessary data to understand the present market and the opportunities for growth in the sector.