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Recently Alibaba founder Jack Ma caused a stir with his endorsement of his 9-9-6 schedule – working 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. He even went as far as saying the opportunity to heavily overwork was a “blessing”

It’s no secret that tired workers make more mistakes and have more accidents not to mention they can be downright grumpy – have you ever been there yourself?

If you follow Scientist Matt Walker, you will know all the ways sleep deprivation destroys our health, relationships and productivity.  It impacts our cardiovascular health, reproductive health, mental health, our brain, our immune system.

Another simple stat to note is: a controlled experiment was done on more than a billion people who lose an hour of sleep due to daylight saving time — resulting in heart attacks increasing by 24% whilst the reverse was also true, heart attacks decrease when gaining an hour of sleep.

This is how much even a small change in sleep impacts our health and wellness.

I concur that this type of environment will, without a doubt, have an impact on both individual and organizational wellness.

There is enough research and evidence to show that the corporate sector loses almost R3b per year due to untreated mental health conditions and other stress-related expenses, 50% of sick days taken are stress related and depression contributes to 69% of indirect costs such as low productivity, absenteeism and disability.

This is why our Wellness Assets offering focuses on 3 key pillars:

  • mental and emotional wellness,
  • financial wellness and
  • lifestyle wellness.

Many corporates have employee wellness initiatives in place, however the majority of them are not effective in providing real, practical or sustainable solutions.

For example: At a corporate wellness day initiative, an employee is identified as having high blood pressure and is recommended to visit their GP for a check-up. Often that’s where it ends. There is little to no monitoring and follow-up as to the cause of the high blood pressure, how the issue is being managed both medically and from a lifestyle perspective, often sending that employee straight back into the very same environment that is causing the stress!

Research shows that there are 3 areas that impacts an employee’s well-being the most and causes them insurmountable levels of stress. These areas are:

1. The relationship with their boss, or colleagues and family
2. Their financial situation and level of indebtedness
3. Their health and struggle of managing their lifestyle conditions

The world is evolving and moving, we are no longer waiting for the robots and the 4th Industrial Revolution to arrive, it is here. Business models in all industries are changing, resulting in major disruptions to labour markets.  New categories of jobs are emerging, partly or wholly displacing others, resulting in a demand for new skill-sets in both old and new occupations to transform how and where people work – key to this is both individual and corporate well-being and wellness.

Is your organisation equipped to deal with these changing times and everyone’s collective wellness if working hours are becoming longer and longer and the much sought after work-life balance is becoming more elusive and more of a myth?

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