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Employee wellbeing in the international workplace

01 March 2022

Traditionally wellbeing in the workplace focused on physical protection in the form of occupational health and safety. It is only in recent decades that the focus has changed to a more holistic view of wellbeing with a greater focus on mental health. 

The promotion of this kind of employee wellbeing in the workplace creates the kind of working environment where employees and the organisation can thrive.  Global organisations and their employees face additional challenges as they navigate the often-turbulent world of international business. 


When we layer the complications of a once in a lifetime global pandemic that has gripped the world for the last two years, it is easy to see why wellbeing is a priority for many employers and their international HR teams in 2022. 

Looking at workplace wellness statistics from around the world, we see that the workplace has become more stressful. A survey in the UK showed mental illness is the leading cause of long term sickness absence from work. Anxiety and depression are responsible for 54% of working days lost each year.


Employers are beginning to step up as they see the importance and value of supporting employees to be at their best at work by providing wellbeing support. If you are making a business case for improved wellbeing support in your workplace we include information that may help in workplace wellness statistics for global HR

Occupational health and safety has been around for more than a century in many parts of the world. However, it primarily focuses on physical health. Our emotional wellbeing has only been considered much more recently. The good news for employers is if a company’s employees are doing well, then often so is the business. 


Just some of the benefits your business can look forward to by supporting employee wellbeing include:

  • Reduction in workplace stress [and the associated absences]
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved organisational performance 


Discover more benefits of employee wellbeing initiatives that your company shouldn’t miss out on.

It isn’t surprising to hear that how we feel has a big impact on how productive we are at work. Although a small amount of stress can be a good thing, helping us complete a report or reach a goal on time. Too much stress can leave us frozen, unable to concentrate or complete tasks. Take a deeper dive into the links between employee wellbeing and productivity as well as some of the ways your business can address issues as they arise.


Now we know why employee wellbeing in the international workplace matters what can HR do to improve it if employees are struggling with their physical or mental wellbeing:

Sometimes, providing the right information is all that is needed to support employee’s wellbeing in the workplace. At other times it is better to encourage more active wellness management. This is particularly true at times of the year people find universally challenging, for example dark, cold winter months when physical and mental health may suffer.


Help employees in your organisation actively manage their physical and mental wellbeing with a range of workplace wellness challenges  from wall sits to building resilience.

Are you seeing signs of declining employee morale in your business? This could be presenteeism, more mistakes at work or reduced willingness to take on new tasks. It is something many employees have struggled with, particularly during the pandemic as lockdowns and isolation took their toll. Fortunately there are a number of cost effective ways to boost morale from changing how management communicates to injecting more fun into the working environment with team building exercises. 
Our mental health is linked to how our minds process information. Our emotional wellbeing is how we cope with the emotions that arise as a result. Emotionally healthy people can keep problems in perspective and are more resilient in the face of adversity. Maintaining emotional health establishes a more stable and pleasant working environment for everyone.  Discover the steps managers and HR can take to facilitate emotional wellbeing at work

Does what we eat during working hours really matter that much? Turns out it does. We eat most of our calories across a week at work so it’s not too difficult to see why. For our bodies and brains to function as well as possible we need to eat the right kind of food. Research from the World Health Organisation shows good nutrition at work can increase productivity by 20%. 


Whether employees are working from home, back to the office or a hybrid of both, there are lots of easy ways that HR departments can help promote healthy eating and its benefits at work

Looking for a way to positively impact your colleagues' workplace wellbeing? How about starting a workplace nutrition challenge? What we eat really impacts our work, physical and mental wellbeing. This can be especially true when expats are on international assignment, away from family and friends. Help your business to be a little more conscientious about nutrition with a fun challenge like lunchtime pot luck or healthy bake off. 
Finally, while there is a lot of focus on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, physical wellbeing is still important to our overall health. As more international businesses are facilitating hybrid working, it is important to factor in employees' [ergonomic wellbeing] <Link to blog when live> when they are working from home as well as in the controlled office environment.