We’ve written previously about the hard numbers and colossal cost when it comes to workplace absence, however the benefits of reducing this aren’t restricted to numerical savings off your absence bill every year. This post will discuss two wider benefits of dealing with workplace absence as a result of occupational physiotherapy we’ve had fed back to us from our clients.
The Obvious Benefits
To recap quickly, the direct benefits of an occupational physiotherapy program include the below (excerpt taken from our eGuide, How to Reduce the Effects of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) on Your Absence Rates.)
- Reduction in sickness absence management from short-term and long-term MSDs due to immediate, easily-accessible and proactive treatment and intervention which gets employees back to work quickly and safely.
- Improved workforce productivity: employees are healthier, fitter and presenteeism is reduced.
- Employee morale increases: a happier and healthier workforce improves productivity, service standards, and staff retention.
- Helps employers to manage their ageing workforce by keeping older employees fitter and stronger so they can keep doing their work.
- Helps to decrease potential liability claims.
- Demonstrates a Company’s commitment to employee health and forms part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.
- No wasted time travelling to physiotherapy appointments if employees are treated on-site.
- A lesser cost and less restrictive than private healthcare insurance.
- Gives a Company a differentiation point at tender.
Now, we move on to two indirect and more subtle benefits our clients have noticed:
Wider Benefit 1: Morale and Modified Duties
If a member of staff is off sick due to an MSD, oftentimes they are being paid to be at home which from an organisational perspective, can be costly. It is for this reason some organisations aim to get employees back into work on a modified duties program, where manual workers might complete office-based tasks for example in the interim while their MSD’s improve enough for them to return to their normal work.
However in this instance being asked to come into work to do something that isn’t your usual role might not be as enjoyable.
Our clients find the prospect of a physiotherapy appointment helps employee morale in this regard. Coming into work on modified duties is made much more attractive as during the day, the member of staff gets a physiotherapy appointment and dedicated treatment to improve their health and get them back to work in their usual role quicker.
Presenteeism is widely cited as costing twice that of absenteeism, and this is a key example of where occupational physiotherapy can help with this issue.
Wider Benefit 2: Arming The Manager’s Tool Kit
The manager’s role can often be a tough one as they juggle upper management demands with junior expectations under one roof. Occupational physiotherapy has been cited by our clients as a valuable tool for managers to have at their disposal to offer to employees, making their job easier to execute, and benefitting multiple levels of the organisation.
- Occupational physiotherapy benefits can be felt throughout all levels of an organisation
- Having a physiotherapy appointment booked works as an incentive to tackle presenteeism and improve employee morale around modified duties programs
To conclude, now we’ve addressed the wider benefits of occupational physiotherapy as a well-being program, you can learn about the technicalities of implementing such a program, from data protection to confidentiality and duty of care, in our free eGuide: Back to Basics; A Simple Guide to Occupational Physiotherapy.