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Occupational Health Highlights: May 2017

Here are some of the highlights from the world of occupational health that we’ve come across in the last month. If you want to stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Tips from Singapore on improving occupational health programmes

Human Resources Online ran an interview with Cara Ang, Chief Human Resources Officer at the Singapore branch of insurance giant AIA. It contained some good pointers on optimising occupational health schemes, including:

  • Before starting any occupational health scheme, perform a company survey to gather baseline data on employees. Find out what their concerns and needs are
  • Make sure employees take charge of their own health – self-management is important
  • Management should get on board with health programmes and lead by example to increase participation
  • Consider making health-related goals a KPI for employees or teams – this can be more incentivising than just offering discount gym memberships, for example

Corporate well-being programmes can help cut costs

Over in the UAE, new research findings are showing that occupational health schemes are becoming more advanced and that their benefits are very much two-way. Some of the highlights were:

  • More and more businesses are moving towards structured schemes, rather than “one-off” events
  • Occupational health schemes improve employee retention, reducing costs associated with recruitment
  • Services on offer in successful schemes cover a lot of different areas, from medical assessments to fitness classes and also mental health support

Advice on working from home

Finally, 19 May was National Work From Home Day. An article on Workplace Insight pointed out some of the pros and cons of the domestic office environment, with some stats and advice provided by Bupa:

  • Those working at home are 10% more likely to have neck and back ache than their office-based colleagues. This is possibly due to poorer work station set-up
  • Almost half of home workers work for longer hours than when in the office
  • One benefit of working from home is the ability to get up and keep moving throughout the day. This is not always possible or encouraged in the corporate environment
  • Tips for improving home working include making sure that your workspace is adequately lit and keeping mobile. Also, try to use a hands-free phone where possible.

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That concludes our round-up for this month – look out for June’s highlights soon.