Canada ranks 13th in the world for our productivity and 30th for our health care system. Aside from a lack of streamlined and coordinated services, health outcomes such as obesity, rates of preventable chronic disease and poor mental health are very high creating an unsustainable burden on our healthcare system, and our economy and preventing us from reaching our potential and being fully productive.
However, Luxembourg is the world’s most productive country, and people work on average 29 hours per week. Additionally, with a strong focus on balance between work, family and extracurricular activities, employees have a minimum of five weeks of paid leave per year. With a population of over 600,000, some might say it is easy for them to achieve what they are doing, but it can also be argued that it is scalable for a country like Canada with 37 million. Read more.
Australia is also ahead of the game in terms of productivity and workplace health. They are ranked 7th for productivity and have strong government support for workplace health. They provide significant funding for workplaces – to the tune of $222 million. Read more.
New Zealand is also recognizing the importance of wellness and implementing a well-being budget for the State. Ardern says this is “to address the deep-rooted challenges we’re grappling with as the economy changes.” It is about looking at a long-term approach rather than short-term quick political wins we so often see in politics. They also have an Occupational Health and Well-being framework to provide examples of how to support things like resilience and engagement while also promoting physical health while abiding by health and safety legislation. Read more here or here.
Of course, a healthy working population doesn’t solve our productivity and health outcomes by itself, but it is a very significant contributor. Just think about it, 90% of the population is working and spending more time with colleagues and at work than at home with family. The work environment heavily influences health, and a state of mental, emotional and physical health is necessary to be fully productive.
So, let’s get going and start investing in our economy through workplace health. Become a member of Wellness Works Canada to show your support and get recognized for what you already do to support workplace health and performance.