New research carried out by musculoskeletal (MSK) health specialists Vitrue Health has found that UK businesses could save up to £13.9 million a year by ensuring the home office set-ups of remote workers aren’t causing injuries or productivity issues.
The data – based on leading research into MSK pain-related absenteeism and associated productivity losses – shows that businesses could see a significant annual return on investment by ensuring the health and wellbeing of remote workers is prioritised. Even the smallest businesses are on track to save thousands of pounds by ensuring workers don’t do themselves damage as a result of remote work.
|Number of employees||Annual savings due to reduced work-pain absences||Annual savings from reducing instances of pain-related productivity losses||Annual earnings due to an increase in workspace-related productivity||Total annual saving|
8.9 million work days are lost in the UK each year due to musculoskeletal injuries, such as back and neck pain and repetitive strain injury. And with at least a quarter of the workforce expected to work from home permanently after the pandemic, Vitrue’s findings demonstrate the value of ensuring employees can work comfortably and safely. Not only can it reduce the number of people off sick due to desk-related injury, but it can also increase productivity levels.
The table above shows the return on investment businesses could see when at least 90% of the workforce is working remotely, and when employees are provided with remote desk assessments to help them identify and address pain points.
The findings address three key areas: the amount of money that could be saved by reducing desk-related pain absences, the amount of money that could be saved by reducing instances of pain-related productivity losses, and the annual increase in earnings that could result from boosting remote workers’ productivity levels by improving their remote workspaces and behaviours.
The research shows that startups with an average of twenty-five employees could earn an additional £35,000 a year by assessing and investing in remote workers’ health, whilst SMEs with around 250 employees could earn nearly £350,000 by addressing pain-related productivity losses alone.
Most significantly, some of the UK’s biggest employers – responsible for 10,000 employees or more – could boost annual earnings upwards of £13.9 million by investing in the health and wellbeing of their remote workforce.
Shane Lowe, co-founder of Vitrue Health, comments:
“Since swathes of the UK workforce switched to remote working last year, we’ve been seriously concerned about the impact makeshift desk set-ups could be having on the nation’s health. It’s incredibly reassuring to have this new data, which helps quantify the value of taking care of remote workers’ wellbeing. Not only does investing in employee health generate significant fiscal returns for businesses, but it can also reduce instances of pain, injury and absence for remote workers. The numbers show that investing in employee health and wellbeing really is a win-win.
“With most of us facing at least another few months working from home, it’s the perfect time for employers to prioritise keeping staff physically healthy. It’s not just the best decision to support employee health and wellbeing, it also makes business sense, delivering significant return on investment and a happier, healthier workforce.”