According to the latest Seafarers Happiness Index for Q4 2020, the level of happiness rose when it came to the ability to keep fit and healthy onboard. This appears to be another area where some companies have invested in the wellbeing of their seafarers.
The report stated that a number of crew said their employers had bought new gym or entertainment equipment for them, in recognition for their efforts during trying times. “Our ship has received a new table tennis table, and we actually had a tournament throughout the weekend. It was real fun”.
Small gestures mean a lot, especially in difficult circumstances. The companies which are able to find the budget for some new equipment, or who are able to improve the facilities onboard, gain a huge amount of praise from their crew. It seems it is a very wise spend indeed and reflects very well on the employers.
Unfortunately, it is not the same everywhere and there are still seafarers who do not receive the attention, support or investment to make positive improvements to their time at sea. The report also heard from many seafarers who are simply too exhausted to think about their physical or mental wellbeing. “I am too tired with no energy to keep fit” was a common response.
Another respondent suggested that there is a need for companies to ensure better monitoring of time onboard: “Proper management of free time should be part of the way the ship is run.” They added, “If we are monitoring free time properly, it will show that we do not have enough time to sleep, to rest or to have recreation”. Without full transparency, it appears that issues can be ignored and no remedial action taken.