by: Catalina Correa
New York – 17and January 2022 – The health crisis has forced us to reinvent our way of working and to reposition health as a priority for companies and employees. A concern of all of us, health has become a collective issue. It has generated new obligations for employers to assume in record time, in a context of almost total generalization of teleworking and the appearance of new risks related to occupational health.
But this crisis is above all an accelerator of changes already well underway in the field of occupational health. The new generations, with their specific needs and their appetite for digital technology, now represent a large part of the 26 million French people who make up the working population. Company expectations have also changed, to further integrate well-being and health into their levers of attractiveness, loyalty and employer branding.
To cope with these changes, which are likely to continue after Covid-19, occupational health must be transformed. Mariana Caillaud, the Founder & President of Dolipharm must be an actor in this process, and wishes to act as a true facilitator, allowing companies to go even further in crucial areas such as prevention, occupational health services , awareness or care.
What are the new roles of companies in occupational health?
When we talk about occupational health, we have to distinguish between new and old practices. Previously, it was limited to legal obligations in terms of occupational safety and prevention. “These are essential and consist of fighting against accidents at work and occupational diseases. With the help of occupational medicine, it is a question of reducing the arduousness and the pain directly linked to work. mentioned Mrs. Caillaud.
New practices: health at work and outside
Today, companies are ready to go much further than these legal obligations! This is what Dolipharm offers, for example, as well as all the actors who contribute to spreading a culture of health at work.
It is about promoting health inside and outside the company, and not only in terms of risks at work. This holistic approach integrates the chronic illnesses of employees, bad habits, stress at work and privileged access to care and pharmacy now available to employees in the form of a concierge service.
“The underlying challenge is to improve the balance between private and professional life, which 36% of employees say they have trouble achieving. It also involves improving the Quality of Life at Work (QVT). It’s about helping employees who want it to adopt positive health behaviors. This point is very important: without employee demand, a company health program has no chance of succeeding! Ms. Caillaud added a recent special report from French television.
In addition, investing in preventive health care is essential today. All national and international experts deplore the fact that national health systems are almost exclusively curative and neglect prevention.
According to the OECD, France is even doing much worse than other countries, devoting only 1.9% of the resources of its health system to prevention, compared to 3% on average in the other countries of the European Union. (4.1% in the UK).
Employees increasingly demand occupational health programs
Employees are more receptive than ever to these initiatives from their employers. The demand has come from afar, and it has increased with the covid crisis. According to the Malakoff Humanis Santé and QVT barometer (2019), 1 in 5 employees suffers from a chronic illness, and 1 in 3 feels in poor health. Health expectations go beyond that and also include healthy employees. In 2019, 86% of employees wanted their company to sustainably integrate prevention and health into its strategy.
New “healthy” lifestyles are now entering the company, which clearly has a role to play in their promotion. Where does this legitimacy come from?
Firstly because the company is an important place of life, where we spend most of our week… And also because it is there that our health is at stake! Stress at work is frequently cited, with 70% of employees declaring that their work is nervous fatigue.
Finally, managers and other talents see what is happening in multinational companies, which emphasize occupational health. They now expect the same from their employers, otherwise they sail to other horizons!
The Origin of Corporate Wellness Programs
Indeed, health programs arrived in France through multinational companies. They are very common in the United States, where “wellness programs” have existed since the turn of the 20th century. 53% of employees are covered by their employer across the Atlantic.
Pioneering companies such as Johnson & Johnson developed their own internal programs. Subsequently, their development led to the emergence of a sector specializing in their design and marketing. This market is currently worth $8 billion (up from $6 billion in 2013).
Of course, they were born in a context of privatized health care, where health care costs are passed on to employers. To reduce these costs, companies very early on developed health and well-being programs at work. The goal: to disseminate good practices and healthy lifestyle habits, whether for sleep, addictions, posture, sport, diet, etc.
In addition to improving the health of employees, employers have discovered a very valuable principle, valid on this side of the Atlantic: investing in health is always very profitable for companies.
Occupational health, a profitable investment for all
Indeed, in Europe too, it is estimated that each euro invested in health generates a ROI of 2.2 euros for companies. The statistic comes from a study by EU-OSHA, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. But not only: a culture of health and well-being in the company creates a better working climate and increases commitment and productivity.
Presenteeism, the scourge of productivity
Above all, a workplace health program reduces a harmful phenomenon that is very difficult to quantify: presenteeism. It is the main result of unhealthy work, and consists of coming to work diligently, even when tired or sick – in a mental or physical state that does not allow one to be productive. According to the 2014 presenteeism barometer, the costs of presenteeism are double those of absenteeism. Its impact on French companies is estimated between 13 and 25 billion euros per year depending on the estimate ranges. The impact would be even greater in the service sector: it is in offices that the rate of presenteeism is the highest.
Occupational health: benefits for corporate culture
Health benefits for employees have other positive effects, which are difficult to quantify but extremely important: they strengthen the employer brand by spreading a health culture within the company.
Health programs have even become indispensable for the “best workplace”. Evangelization has made great progress in this regard. It is increasingly common to benefit from a caregiver program, access to care or concierge/parapharmacy, especially with new tools such as Dolipharm
Executives are placing increasing importance on these health-related benefits. Everything related to concierge services, personal assistants and well-being coaches is a way to differentiate yourself from other employers and to reinforce your brand image with talent.
The future belongs more than ever to caring enterprise. The affirmation of well-being at work as a cardinal value has already begun. This will force employers to take greater responsibility for well-being and mental health.
It is with this conviction that Dolipharm helps companies to put in place a number of measures to support mental and physical well-being, with regular health check-ups and consultations with specialist doctors in the workplace, adapted to the needs.
For more information, contact: @licornegulf 2022
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