90% of absences from work in Finland are short-term sickness absences, which affects both the individual employee's health and the whole company’s productivity and finances. A study on the City of Helsinki employees found that 30% of these sick-leave costs are purely due to unhealthy lifestyles, which can be easily saved by providing employees with the right health tools.
It’s no news that sickness not only affects an individual but puts a considerable burden on the society, healthcare systems as well as businesses. On average, the OECD countries — includes the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, major EU nations like Germany, France and all the Nordic countries — spend around 2.1% of their GDP on sickness benefits.
In addition to work-related risk factors (such as accidents), sickness absences are directly related to unhealthy lifestyle choices among employees, such as low physical activity, poor diet, sleep quality, heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. In fact, recent research by the Department of Public Health (University of Helsinki) on Finnish employees found that as much as 30% of sick-leave costs are purely due to unhealthy lifestyles. The study also found that employees with unhealthy behaviours have more sickness absences, rendering higher costs for employers.
Lack of physical activity and poor sleep are the biggest issues faced by employees.
The study found that unhealthy lifestyle choices lead to higher sickness absences among employees. Based on this, the researchers calculated its direct cost (in terms of salary) to employers. They found:
Read the full research paper here.
Large companies could save around €17.6 million over 10 years by promoting a healthy lifestyle among team members.
The study found that while the number of employees with 3 or more unhealthy behaviours are less (9.5%), over 20% of the employees had 2 unhealthy behaviours.
Monetarily, for a large company with around 40,000 employees, this would mean a direct additional cost of €17.6 million over ten years, or, nearly €2 million every year: and this is just salaries.
In this study, the researchers only looked at the direct cost (salary) of short-term (up to 10 days) sickness absence due to unhealthy behaviours. The true costs are obviously much higher. Sick leaves decrease productivity, cause delays in production, delivery, and cancellations — all much higher cost for the employers than the mere salary costs calculated in this study.
The easy solution is to provide employees with the right tools that provide their health status but also spark action and motivate them to improve their daily lifestyle.
Good news is that there is an easy solution — providing employees with the right tools that measure their health and help them understand it better and keep them motivated to improve their daily lifestyle.
This is where My Nightingale comes in. The blood test and app use advanced technology to summarise an employee's health into easy to understand scores that highlight how daily choices affect their body. However, knowing and measuring isn’t enough. Behavioural change is key. Therefore, the My Nightingale app comes with everyday health tips and advice for each health result to help make easy lifestyle changes that improve long-term health. A free follow-up test is included in every package so that employees can track their progress and stay motivated.
With the My Nightingale blood test, companies can help their employees:
All this makes My Nightingale the ultimate new health tracking tool for employees to get a detailed view of their health and actionable insights to improve everyday lifestyle and prevent illnesses.