IT firm to up productivity with online health checks

IT consultancy Parity is hoping a health initiative will improve the
performance of its staff by identifying issues such as stress before they cause
absenteeism problems.

The company has signed up to the Standard Life Healthcare and Vielife
integrated health management programme to enable it to monitor its employees’
well-being, using an online service that checks four key areas: sleep, fitness,
nutrition and stress.

Parity employees will be asked to fill in an online questionnaire relating
to the four areas on a periodic basis. Vielife’s online service also provides
employees with advice on improving their health.

The data will be collected and presented to Parity’s management like a
profit-and-loss sheet, enabling it to identify and then address areas within
the company where there are particular health or sickness absence problems.

Parity’s group HR director, Anne Thompson, said the company had introduced
the health management package, which includes private medical insurance,
because she believes there is a direct link between staff well-being and their

Thompson said Parity, which has 900 staff in offices across the UK including
Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London, would initially trial the initiative
among a group of its fee earning consultants whose performance is easier to
measure than some other staff.

"We know some areas of our business experience significant levels of
stress-related illness which we would expect to improve. Given that a
significant proportion of our workforce are fee-earning consultants and
trainers, days lost through illness have a direct impact on revenue and
profits," she said.

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