01 Jul 2024

HR Insight: Prioritising Employee Wellbeing

HR Solutions consider how businesses can put employee wellbeing at the heart of what they do and how to focus on developing appropriate strategies.


For 2022/23, the leading cause of work-related ill health was stress, depression, and anxiety, leading to 17.1 million lost working days. Prioritizing workforce health and wellbeing is essential for business and people strategy. This article discusses integrating employee wellbeing into business strategies, the right to disconnect, and managing wellbeing amidst advanced technologies, remote work, and a fast-paced society.

Employee Wellbeing

Poor mental health is rising, significantly impacting employers and employees. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported an increase in long-term health conditions among the working-age population, with 36% reporting at least one condition in early 2023. Economic inactivity due to long-term sickness rose to over 2.5 million people, with over 1.35 million reporting depression or anxiety. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlighted that sickness absence is at its highest in over a decade, primarily due to mental ill health and musculoskeletal injuries. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported 35.2 million working days lost to work-related illness and injury, costing an estimated £20.7 billion.

Developing a Business and People Strategy Focused on Health and Wellbeing

A SWOT analysis helps identify employee wellbeing issues. Key indicators include absenteeism, stress-related absences, low employee engagement, and high staff turnover. Strategies to enhance employee health and wellbeing include:

  1. Assess Current Situation: Conduct surveys and analyze data on absenteeism, health claims, and turnover rates.
  2. Define Objectives: Set measurable goals aligned with business objectives.
  3. Develop Initiatives:
    • Physical health programs (fitness classes, healthy eating)
    • Mental health support (counseling, stress management)
    • Work-life balance (flexible working, regular breaks)
  4. Engage Leadership: Encourage leaders to participate in and endorse initiatives.
  5. Communicate Effectively: Introduce a Health and Wellbeing Policy and raise awareness.
  6. Measure and Evaluate: Track progress and regularly review programs.
  7. Create a Supportive Environment: Foster an inclusive culture and implement recognition programs.
  8. Provide Resources: Ensure access to health and wellbeing information and external partnerships.
  9. Promote Healthy Habits: Offer incentives and organize health-related activities.
  10. Sustain Efforts: Maintain ongoing commitment and update programs as needed.

The Right to Disconnect

The right to disconnect allows employees to switch off from work outside normal hours without disturbance. It has gained traction, notably in the Labour Party's proposals. Implementing this involves:

  1. Establishing clear policies and communicating expectations.
  2. Respecting personal time and promoting regular breaks.
  3. Limiting communication tool use outside work hours.
  4. Managing workloads within contracted hours.
  5. Supporting flexible work arrangements and providing training.
  6. Monitoring compliance and implementing feedback mechanisms.

A written company policy should include the policy's purpose, responsibilities, contact protocols, work hours, communication tools, breaks, reporting mechanisms, training, and review processes.

Managing Employee Wellbeing in a Tech-Driven, Remote, and Fast-Paced World

Modern workplace challenges include advanced technologies, remote working, and a 24/7 society. Strategies for managing wellbeing:

  1. Promote Digital Wellbeing: Encourage breaks and manage digital fatigue.
  2. Foster a Connected Culture: Create virtual spaces for social interaction and provide mental health support.
  3. Enforce Work-Life Balance: Set clear work boundaries and offer flexible arrangements.
  4. Provide Comprehensive Health Resources: Offer mental health support and promote physical health.
  5. Ensure Privacy and Trust: Be transparent about data use and foster a culture of trust.


Managing employee wellbeing in a tech-driven, remote, and fast-paced world requires a proactive and flexible approach. Leveraging advanced technologies, supporting remote work, and addressing 24/7 society challenges can help create a healthy, engaged, and productive workforce.

To read the full article from HR Solutions, click here.

techUK – HR Solutions

techUK membership includes support to manage the time and cost of dealing with HR issues and reduces risks to your company. Members can get free support from Business HR Solutions with a 30-minute call to the HR Advice Line and access to the HR Knowledge Base. Click here to access the service.