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Why investing in your staff is the best investment you'll make in 2022!

By Lauren Campestre / Thursday, 15 September 2022 / Topics: corporate wellness, corporate nutrition

The average working individual will spend 40-50 hours of their week at work – that’s about one-third of their total waking hours. They will also consume about one-third of their daily intake at work. With this in mind, we could probably consider our workplace as a second home… but perhaps a little less comfortable and a lot more stressful! With the health and wellness industry booming, it’s no surprise that corporate wellness has become quite fashionable and as health professionals, we couldn’t be happier!

“Work” can often act as a barrier to diet and lifestyle change. As dietitians we see firsthand all the various issues that stem from the workplace – long hours, a lack of personal time, working through breaks, negative office culture, a sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels and poor sleep habits. By incorporating wellness into the workplace, we can start to make a positive change where it counts. As businesses start to take action and invest in the wellbeing of their team, their employees and their business will benefit.

Reduce absenteeism and sick leave
Research shows us that healthy workers take less leave. Studies have found that absenteeism is positively associated with central obesity – that is, obesity increases rates of absence! Conversely, eating a high-quality diet and engaging in moderate levels of physical activity decrease rates of absenteeism. With absenteeism costing the Australian economy approximately $44 billion dollars per year, investing a bit extra in the health and wellbeing of your staff may actually help to cut some costs!

Improve work performance and productivity
Productivity and performance underpin the success of any organisation. People with unhealthy eating habits are 66% more likely to demonstrate poor productivity at work according to Brigham Young University. Further to this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that adequate nutrition can increase national productivity levels by 20%. Who wouldn’t want 20% more productivity?!

Improve workplace culture and boost team morale
Corporate wellness helps to boost team morale by creating a strong company culture where employees can come together to help eachother achieve their health goals. Elements of team building within a wellness program can help to solidify colleague bonds and increase engagement with no only the workplace but the initiative iteself.

Improve job satisfaction and staff retention
Providing your team with corporate wellness initatives shows them that you value them as human beings – not just workers. This can, in turn, increase their job satisfaction and help to keep them around longer. A study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health discovered that organisations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower voluntary attrition (resignation) than those whose programs have low effectiveness (9% vs 15%).

Happier, healthier employees
Corporate wellness, whilst inherently good for business, is fundamentally about the employees. From engaging in corporate wellness initiatives, employees may receive the following benefits:

  • Reduced stress and improved mental health
  • Optimised diet, lifestyle and overall health
  • Improved health knowledge and literacy
  • Reduced risk of chronic health conditions
  • Increased confidence to implement healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes

Nutrition makes up a fundamental part of corporate wellness, alongside mental health, and physical activity. With 2 in 3 Australian adults classified as overweight or obese and rates of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure climbing by the year, it is evident that there is an urgent need for better, more accessible nutrition education.

Five ways workplaces can promote good nutrition

  1. Offer credible, evidenced-based nutrition information to encourage optimal food choices – this could be in the form of a handout, poster, presentation, or online program
  2. Review offerings in vending machines, cafeterias, workplace cafes and lunchrooms to incorporate healthier options
  3. Ensure breakrooms have ample refrigerator and bench space and are stocked with appliances such as microwaves and toastie machines to encourage food storage and preparation
  4. Encourage lunch breaks and social engagement over food to assist with increasing mindful eating
  5. Utilise office parties, meetings and shared lunches as opportunities to demonstrate how healthy food can be delicious and fun too! Instead of only supplying deli meats, creamy dips, and buttery crackers for a cheese board, have a wide variety of healthy options as well including wholegrain biscuits, veggie sticks and a homemade dips.

Corporate wellness is one trend we know will never go out of style.


Fitzgerald, S., Kirby, A., Murphy, A. and Geaney, F., 2016. Obesity, diet quality and absenteeism in a working population. Public Health Nutrition, 19(18), pp.3287-3295.

International Labour Organisation, 2005. Food at work - workplace solutions for malnutrition, obesity and chronic diseases. Geneva: International Labour Office.