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How we ensure a healthy work environment

Healthy habits and a good work environment are important parameters in a modern company. That is why we at Hjerno endeavour to ensure that the working day is as healthy as possible.

Our canteen serves a healthy lunch every day with green salads and hot and cold dishes, and vending machines with fresh, cold water have been installed, as we encourage our employees to drink water instead of soft drinks.

"It is not a requirement that the employees do not drink soft drinks during working hours – only an appeal. But in fact we hardly ever see cola bottles in the company anymore," says Managing Director Aage Agergaard.

Almost free fitness subscription
Also with regard to exercise Hjerno goes the extra mile. In addition to participating in the annual Vi Cykler til Arbejde (We take the Bike to Work) campaign and the Odense fitness run Eventyrløbet (the Fairy Tale Run), Hjerno pays the employees' fitness subscription to Fitness World’s gyms across the country. Employees only need to pay a symbolic amount in order to show that it is something they intend to use.

In addition, it costs money to smoke at Hjerno during working hours. The time spent on smoking will be deducted from the salary. This has reduced the number of smokers in the staff of employees to very few.

"And that is indeed a win-win for all parties," says Aage Agergaard.

Less than one per cent sickness absence
In addition, the compulsory birthday cake has been discontinued in favour of a common, healthy breakfast every Friday at the company's expense.

"We are more employees than there are weeks in the year and it simply resulted in too much cake in the course of a week. Fortunately, our employees have appreciated both this initiative and the other ones, "says Aage Agergaard, who has observed that the healthy efforts have paid off.

"Today we have less than one per cent sickness absence in the company, which I consider to be very satisfactory."

For comparison, the average sickness absence at the members of the Confederation of Danish Employers amounted to 3.1 per cent in 2017.

Flexible senior programme
The healthy working climate goes beyond food and exercise. Hjerno has invested in a large climate-controlled ventilation system, all machines are running with closed-loop circuits, the various work routines are written down, and the company has, of course, a safety representative.

As a special gesture to the seniors, employees over 60 years of age may decide themselves if they wish to work shorter hours or continue on full time – also after their retirement age, if that makes sense for both parties.

"We hold on to the company’s golden oldies and the seniors can retain a sense of belonging to the company so that one's working life does not end from one day to the next," finishes Aage Agergaard.