Employees Cycling To Work Often Left Without Shower Facilities

According to new research by One4all, bike to work schemes are proving popular with Munster companies – 29% say their employers provide such a programme. However, just 19% say that employers provide shower facilities for those who cycle or run to work. Additionally, only 30% provide a secure bike area for employees who cycle.

Almost three quarters (73%) of Munster workers believe their employers should encourage their staff to be healthy. Concurrently, almost half of Munster workers would like to see their own workplace do more to encourage employees to stay fit.

The research, undertaken by Coyne, is carried out as part of One4all’s annual report into health in the workplace. The report has two strands: fitness/health in the workplace, and mindfulness and mental health in the workplace. The aim is to understand how Irish workers feel about health and wellness, what employers are currently doing in these areas, and where companies can improve.

Less than one third (32%) of respondents agreed that their employer values their health and wellbeing – however, this is an improvement on last year when similar research showed that just 23% felt their employer viewed their health as a high priority.

A high number of respondents (58%) have said that their productivity at work rises when they exercise regularly. Over one third (34%) said a health and fitness programme would make them more likely to stay with a company and one fifth (19%) claimed it was an important factor for them when job searching.

Despite this, just 13% of respondents say their employer has an employee fitness programme. One quarter agree that their employer encourages them to eat healthily, and provides healthy snacks such as fruit in the workplace.

Flexible working hours and free/subsidised health insurance were the two most important structures cited by Irish workers to improve workplace health and wellbeing.

Michael Dawson, CEO, One4all, said of the new findings: “Every year we conduct this large body of research into health in the workplace, in order to understand what Irish companies are currently doing to encourage the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees – and indeed, to show areas where companies can improve in the areas of mindfulness, fitness, and health. The results around health and fitness this year really highlight the benefits of a healthy workforce in terms of productivity and drive.

“On a positive note, the number of workers who feel their employer values their health seems to be on the rise. However, there is always work to be done in this area, and it would be great to see more health and fitness programmes implemented by this time next year. The desire is clearly there for Irish workers to weave health and fitness into their workday, and the onus now is on employers to take this feedback and use it to the benefit of their companies, their workers, and indeed their bottom line.”

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