Why it pays off

Statistically speaking, your business loses 9,000 Swiss francs per employee per year due to health-related absences and loss of productivity.

Your commitment to health and safety will save you money, improve your team’s performance and make you more appealing as an employer:

  • healthy employees are more satisfied, motivated and productive.

  • You as a business owner reduce the number of sick days. In Switzerland, these amount to six to seven days per full-time employee per year.

  • Employees with more sphere of influence and the freedom to make decisions develop into more competent and independent members of staff.

  • A good environment at your business makes you attractive as an employer. You find it easier to recruit good skilled staff.

  • Your employees will remain loyal to you for longer if they have a safe and healthy working environment. You save the effort and expense associated with high staff turnover.


A healthy balance between resources and demands leads to good working conditions: resources help workers cope with stress at work. Resources might include things like room for manoeuvre, a supportive attitude from colleagues or managers and appreciation.

The more resources workers have in relation to the demands they face in the workplace, the less exhausted they feel and the less they complain of psychosomatic issues. As a manager, you are in a position to strike a balance in this area.

Unnecessary demands – higher costs

Employees at Swiss businesses have to contend with a variety of physical and mental stresses and demands. If these demands are ignored, it will inevitably mean greater expenditure for your business.

When asked about physical demands, employees most often cite the following:

Standing: 66,7%; Repeated hand or arm movements: 57,4%; High or low temperatures: 48,1%: Painful or tiring posture: 45,4%; Carrying or moving heavy loads: 32,7%; Noise: 24,6%
Physical demands. Source: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Schweizerischen Gesundheitsbefragung 2012, fig. 3.

In terms of mental demands, the increasing intensity of work is the main issue. The most commonly cited reasons for stress are:


Thinking about too many things: 43.3%; Fast pace of work: 42.2%; Rushing: 37.3%; Interruptions: 35.8%; Pressure of deadlines: 32.4%
Mental demands. Source: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Schweizerischen Gesundheitsbefragung 2012, fig. 5.

Around 10% of all employees say that work has a negative impact on their health. Two-thirds say they are mostly or always supported by their managers. This also means, however, that a third are only sometimes, rarely or never supported.

Supported: 67%, not supported: 33%
Support by managers. Source: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Schweizerischen Gesundheitsbefragung 2012, p. 30.

For 26% of workers in Switzerland, the resources available outweigh the demands placed upon them (advantageous range), while 45% of workers report a balance between the two (sensitive range). 28% report that demands outweigh resources.

Resources and demands. Source: Job-Stress-Index 2022, Factsheet, fig. 7.

Lack of awareness of health and safety has negative consequences for the Swiss economy

Many health-related absences can be avoided. A glance at the figures for Switzerland shows there are still things we can do:

  • illness and accidents are responsible for almost 80% of absences. This equates to six to seven days a year for each full-time employee. Each missed working day costs 600 to 1,000 Swiss francs, depending on the sector and calculation method.

  • Then there are the indirect costs: the effort of reallocating the work in question across the team, the increased demand placed on other employees or the costs of finding a replacement.

  • In the service sector alone, there are around 150,000 accidents at work and 375,000 outside of work each year.

  • Within the service sector, hospitality and health and social care are particularly affected by health-related absences, of both a physical and mental nature.

  • Young people and young adults are particularly prone to accidents.

  • Workers with low levels of qualifications are absent more often due to sickness or accidents than those with a higher level of education.

What do businesses do for health and safety at work?

Businesses take a wealth of measures to help staff contend with physical and mental demands. Their intention is to increase productivity and meet employee expectations of an attractive working environment.

Many businesses implement these kinds of measures to help people cope with physical demands:

Ergonomic design of workstations: 62.0%; regular breaks: 53.7%, Resources for lifting and moving heavy loads: 38.0%, Task rotation to reduce demands: 24.8%
Measures against physical demands. Source: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Europäischen Unternehmensbefragung über neue und aufkommende Risiken 2019, fig. 4.

Many firms actively address mental demands with the following measures:

More freedom to make decisions about one's kind of work: 65%; Offer of confidential advice: 49%; Reorganisation of work: 43%; Training in conflict resolution: 37%; Interventions in the case of long/irregular working hours: 37%
Measures against mental demands. Source: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Europäischen Unternehmensbefragung über neue und aufkommende Risiken 2019, fig. 7.

Highlight the importance of health

A wealth of measures have proven effective in promoting health and safety at work – and are also implemented by many businesses. Leadership Lab helps you identify suitable measures for your business. We also provide you with quick and easy access to the wide range of suitable offers. Take advantage of the opportunity: it will pay off.

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