More companies in Romania are looking to promote healthy habits among their employees, while human resources managers at both multinational and local firms are deploying a mix of wellbeing initiatives and educational programs to help their workforce maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There are companies in Romania paying a lot of money for wellbeing and health-related services, says Fady Chreih, CEO of private healthcare chain Regina Maria. He described how one multinational company in the logistics sector, which has its four-storey HQ in Bucharest, had motivated its employees to become more aware of their health.
“The firm set a three-month challenge for people not to use the elevator, lose a certain amount of weight and exercise, and they won prizes from the company if they managed it. It was very successful,” Chreih told a press conference, when asked by BR about the corporate sector’s initiatives in this area.
Private healthcare providers working with HRs to encourage healthy choices at work
The way in which an employee arrives at work, be it by public transport, bike, on foot or by car, his or her eating habits at the office and even the design of the building where a person works impacts an individual’s overall health.
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“Recently, the number of diseases or symptoms triggered by day-to-day stress has been on the rise. We are speaking mainly about digestive illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and ulcers, or cardiovascular illnesses such as high blood pressure. Insomnia, headaches and symptoms related to anxiety/depression are also very frequent. In this context, the stress level is assessed during examinations by occupational health physicians,” Dr. Nirvana Georgescu, quality and patient safety director at Regina Maria, told BR.
When it comes to companies, doctors’ recommendations for combating stress may include reorganizing working processes, providing areas for relaxation or sports, redecorating spaces, and even organizing workshops and stress management sessions, added Georgescu.
All local firms to undertake at least one wellbeing program within three years, says player
Companies looking to promote healthy practices at work are also catching the eye of valuable job candidates, in addition to strengthening relations with current employees, says Alecsandra Ionita, wellbeing specialist & CEO at Smart Experience.
“In the last three years we have witnessed an increase in the popularity of the outdoor segment of our business, which translated into higher demand for corporate sporting games, marathons, wellbeing retreats and in-house wellness,” Ionita told BR.
Looking at the next three to five years, the local market will undergo a significant shift from the minimum non-financial package that companies currently offer to a bigger and more consistent one.
She added that wellbeing was practically an unknown word to companies three years ago, but in three years from now “each and every company will be involved in at least one wellbeing program.”
According to a study published by Regina Maria on the health of its service users, the highest demand came from patients active in: IT & telecom (accounting for 8 percent of corporate medical services), finance & insurance (3 percent) and automotive (2 percent).
Chreih said that a third of corporate clients have been diagnosed with chronic disease during tests at Regina Maria.
Another conclusion of the study was that employees with a health prevention package use medical services 2.5 times more than those who don’t have this kind of subscription and go to the doctor only when they are sick.