WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce released a report developed with D.C. Health that outlines what resources businesses have been providing for their employees to promote overall health and wellness. The report is called, “D.C. Works Well: What a Healthy Workplace Means to D.C. Chamber of Commerce Members and Businesses.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced how important it is to have a healthy workplace. The report outlines the importance of not only taking safety precautions with general health but also making sure there are resources for emotional, spiritual and physical health.

“There has always been a strong correlation between wellness in the workplace and an employee’s wellbeing, especially considering the fact that adults spend most of the better part of the day working,” said Angela Franco, President & C.E.O., D.C. Chamber of Commerce. “The current public health crisis continues to challenge our day-to-day lives and our worksites—whether they are virtual or in-person. Sources of support for employees are even more important than ever, and with that in mind, the D.C. Worksite Wellness Initiative aims to assist employers in engaging their employees in efforts to stay healthy and well.” 

The report shows that participating D.C. employers had more strategies in place in the areas of Occupational Health and Safety and Organizational Support. For example, an average participating D.C. employer had 77 percent of Occupational Health and Safety promotion strategies in place.

An area that the report shows needs improvement is having strategies regarding Chronic Disease Prevention, Physical Activity and Nutrition. For example, an average participating D.C. employer had 38 percent of Chronic Disease Prevention health promotion strategies in place.  

The photo below provides more information on the findings.

The report calls on the local government to support employers’ innovation and thought leadership in the realm of health and wellness at work through a “Wellness Ambassador” program. The program would encourage employers to designate an ambassador or champion among staff to promote health and wellness at work.

“Worksite wellness matters for all businesses, regardless of their size, because the long-term benefits can help increase general health and satisfaction of employees, lower future health care costs, improve overall quality of life for all, and lower insurance premiums and workers compensation claims,” said Franco. “The D.C. Chamber is here to support and encourage a program created by D.C. government to support our region’s businesses as a way to help them achieve a positive bottom line, which in turn, helps to boost our region’s economy.” 

The chamber used an online survey of D.C. businesses in Spring 2020, followed by a series of discussion groups in November 2020 to reach the findings.