Research has shown that looking after the well-being of the workforce can have significant benefits for both the employee and employer, reducing absenteeism, improving productivity and creating an environment where staff feel valued, committed and supported.
According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 137 million working days were lost to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016.
Musculoskeletal pain is one of the main contenders and packs a real punch – it is calculated that 22.4% of the total working days lost are due to pain in the back, neck and upper limbs. It can keep people away from work for days at a time (acute episode) and some people develop a more persistent pattern of pain (chronic).
For those who choose and are able to continue on with work while being in pain, it is a serious distraction and limits productivity. Imagine the scenario of being in an important sales meeting and being struck by sudden, acute pain that leaves you unable to continue.
So how can you help to offset the problem, decrease absenteeism, increase productivity as well as motivate your employees by looking after them?
Osteopathy is one solution that helps with a wide range of debilitating conditions such as back pain that can keep people away from work, however willing they may be. Patients are commonly treated with a variety of techniques including soft tissue and manipulation of joints, along with education so that patients can better understand their situation. The aim is to analyse and provide treatment options for the problem, rather than just offering transient relief.
At the UCO Clinic, we offer low-cost, student-led consultations overseen by qualified, experienced osteopaths. The UCO Clinic is Europe’s largest osteopathic clinic, and has provided care within the borough of Southwark since 1997.
By forging closer links with the surrounding community, we seek to provide better healthcare for those who live and work within the area as well as vital clinical experience for its senior students. In support of this aim, we run a Community Partnership Scheme for local businesses and organisations, offering the employees of partner organisations discounted rates for consultations and treatments.
The scheme itself is free for organisation to join and enables employers to demonstrate a visible commitment to supporting the well-being of their staff, while employees can access osteopathic treatment for approximately half the price of a private appointment.
Over 130 organisations have signed up to the scheme to date including Historic Royal Palaces; London Cycling Campaign; Network Rail; the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU); as well as several local businesses, community organisations and education providers.
One BECTU member said of her recent treatment: “[They] got to the root of my issue immediately… I was lucky to be able to have a full assessment and diagnosis and a 20-minute treatment on my first session. As a self-employed performer finding a service which is both of the highest standard and affordable is amazing and I’ll be a regular from now on."