This old Irish seanfhocal especially rings through in Irelands fast paced economy where work demands often put healthy lifestyle on the back burner for many employees. Many fitness gurus believe that fitness is synonymous with happiness, which is also synonymous with increased loyalty and productivity in the workplace.
Why is this so?
It is claimed that fit employees are less concerned about living a long life, which stands to reason. Fit employees are also less concerned about the cost of healthcare and in general the financial burden in less for them in this regard. Also fit employees can engage in more activities outside of work. Some activities require a certain level of fitness such as athletics and football. This in turn increases their social circle and in theory increases happiness and consequent productivity at work.
The University of Warwick recently carried out a 700-person experiment, which found, after a series of “happiness shocks”, productivity increased on average by 12% across the whole group. In addition to increased productivity levels, employers see the benefit in terms of less work-related illnesses, less sick pay, less corporate health insurance cover, less absenteeism and less turnover of staff (happy fit employees stay longer apparently).
If health is better than wealth for both employees and employers, why don’t more employers feel that if employees work longer hours, more work is getting done and this can give a company a competitive advantage over competition in term of “going the extra mile” for the customer.
For this assertion to stock up, the following should also be measured; work related illnesses, absentee levels, company culture, turnover of employees, employee productivity and general burn out. It all the above come back with a positive reading, then longer working hours work for you and your organisation.
Conversely, if long working hours are having a detrimental effect on you personally and your organisation, perhaps you should consider an opportunity which gives you a better work life balance as in the long run, “health is always better than wealth”.