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Reduce Employee Stress with Physical Wellbeing Benefits

30 May 2023

Workplace stress is never off our radar, and with so many factors to consider, it’s a topic we’re returning to again, this time focusing on how physical wellbeing benefits can help reduce employee stress levels.

An industry review...

There are multiple factors that impact employee stress levels, including external and personal circumstances. However, there’s also a difference between industries, which you’d expect given the varying nature of roles and responsibilities.


Unsurprisingly, the healthcare industry is at the top with an overall high-stress level of 11%*, but it shares that spot with the finance, information, construction and trade industries. Healthcare support is at 10%, and education is close behind at 9%.


Employee stress levels also vary depending on seniority, with 14% of upper management reporting high stress due to having a higher level of accountability and responsibility over other employees. Second to upper management is the other end of the seniority scale - interns and temporary workers, of which 10% recorded high-stress levels.


67.9% of students attend internships, so interns are predominantly younger people embarking on their career path - we’ll look at the relationship between stress and age next. As for those in temporary positions, the high-stress level could be attributed to having less job security.


A generational divide...


In today’s climate, the cost-of-living crisis is also causing stress, with one in 10 UK adults feeling hopeless about their finances. Research has also found that those aged between 35 and 44 are the most stressed age group, with 28% revealing they’re stressed daily, with work and family being the leading causes.


As for the younger generations, 60% of 18 to 24-year-olds report that their higher stress levels are down to the pressure they feel to succeed.


While the causes may be different, each generation in the workplace will, at some point, feel highly stressed. Moderate levels of stress are natural and can be a driver, but when an employee experiences high levels of stress for prolonged periods, they’re at risk of burnout and further mental health issues.


Using physical wellbeing benefits to reduce stress in palliative care


We mentioned above that those working in healthcare report the highest stress levels, none more so than those working in palliative care.


According to the British Journal of Nursing (BJN), palliative care nurses are at high risk of burnout. However, the BJN also suggests that physical wellbeing initiatives can help, becoming a ‘coping mechanism’ and reducing the risk of occupational fatigue.


This is why Matt Bullock, CEO of Acorns Children’s Hospice, reached out to Pluxee UK to add our Corporate Gym Discounts to the employee benefits package he was already providing.


“At Acorns, our people are at the heart of all we do, and therefore their wellbeing is very important to us. The gym discount scheme allows us, as a charity, to provide our people with a very tangible employee benefit that promotes physical wellbeing and makes it much more affordable and accessible to them. The offer has been totally embraced by our people, and I am delighted in the uptake by Acorns workforce.” Matt Bullock


Acorns have seen a consistent increase in month-on-month uptake since its initial launch, and the scheme’s success highlights how well Acorns have embedded this message within its core values.


Online GP 


Online GP is our digital health platform that prioritises your employees’ physical wellbeing, providing them access to healthcare professionals when needed and from the comfort of their homes 24/7, 365 days a year.


The NHS is under pressure, and this is impacting the mental wellbeing of your employees. 38% of people say that accessing an Online GP would improve their mental wellbeing because of the speed and ease of booking an appointment. 


With wellbeing toolkits at the touch of a button, employees can take better care of themselves, helping to keep them physically and mentally healthier. It’s also a healthcare benefit employers can provide at a fraction of the cost of private medical insurance.


Gym & Fitness Discounts


“Exercise has also been shown to relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma, and is now prescribed by the NHS for people living with mental health issues.” Welldoing.Org


As well as making it easier for employees to keep themselves healthy, making exercise affordable will give them a physical outlet for reducing stress. Our Corporate Gym Memberships open the door to a more active and rewarding lifestyle. Employees can save up to 25% off an annual gym membership for their whole family, and they can also access boot camps and a variety of other fun activities and classes – some of which they can attend virtually.


Cycle to Work Salary Sacrifice Scheme


Cycling helps employees keep fit, lose weight, and raises their immune system, preventing illnesses like heart disease and cancer. It also benefits mental health, reducing stress and improving your state of mind, productivity, and sleep quality.


When employees purchase or upgrade their bikes with a Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme, they can stretch their salaries further, thus reducing financial stress and anxiety.


Research by Halfords found that the average monthly cost of running and maintaining a car is £228. In comparison, an £850 bike purchased through the Cycle to Work scheme would cost £48 per month. That’s a cost saving of £180 per month that employees can use towards everyday expenses, and in addition to the (up to) 42% savings employees can make in tax and NI contributions.


It takes a behavioural shift to adopt cycling as a mode of commuting to work, but as well as the mental and physical benefits, employees can save a considerable amount of money.


Reduce employee stress with Pluxee UK


It’s clear that focusing on and improving physical wellbeing can reduce employee stress. However, as we briefly touched upon, financial wellbeing also plays a role. To be most effective, your employee wellbeing strategy should include the three pillars of wellbeing - physical, mental, and financial - providing a holistic approach.


Pluxee UK has been helping you help your people for over 60 years. Arrange a call with one of our wellbeing experts today to discover how we can help your business.







Workwear Guru

My Short Lister

Mental Health Foundation