- Employees place great importance on benefits: Two-thirds of UK employees feel that employee benefits are of equal or higher importance to them than their basic salary.
- Benefits are crucial for a productive workforce: Employee wellbeing is paramount for individuals and a productive workforce.
- Indirect health benefits are still advantageous: For example, supermarket discount vouchers can make it easier for employees to purchase healthy ingredients for filling meals.
Four in five employees report having health and wellbeing worries. This is just one of the reasons why comprehensive health and wellbeing benefits are sought after by job seekers. In fact, 73% say that a company’s benefits package has or would factor into their decision to accept a role.
Statistics like these indicate that there is a need for businesses to implement health-related employee benefits. But what health benefits do employees want most? In this article, we look at some of the benefits that employees say are most valuable to them, and explore how they contribute to employee health, in and out of the workplace.
A study by Remote, which surveyed 10,000 people across five nations, found that in the UK, 77% of workers list flexible work hours as a desirable employee benefit. One of the main reasons that employees value flexibility is that it lends itself to a better work-life balance, so employees can better juggle their commitments. As employee productivity and health are connected, flexibility leads to higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing.
For example, an employee in their forties may have dependent children and ageing parents. Caring for these relatives while working sethours can be challenging, and lead to stress and fatigue. However, flexible working, perhaps compressed hours, flexitime or the ability to work from home, can create space for their personal life, without the worry of compromising their quality of work or job security.
Private health cover
More than a quarter of employees in the UK list private healthcare as one of the more desirable employee health benefits. One of the most significant benefits of private health insurance is that people will often be seen more quickly than through the NHS. This can result in an earlier diagnosis and faster treatment for health issues. Private healthcare can also give individuals more control over where treatment takes place and who provides it.
Having private health coverage can give employees peace of mind and a sense of control about their health, meaning it also improves psychological wellbeing while directly supporting physical wellbeing.
Mental health support
One in six people of working age experience symptoms of poor mental health and nearly one third of employees expect or would like more support from their employers.
A study by Deloitte found that 36% of working adults had used resources to manage their mental health within the previous 12 months, and that there is a growing use of digital tools for mental wellbeing.
Supporting employee mental health makes a positive difference to employees and the business overall. Employers can implement initiatives that promote a greater awareness of mental health, instigate a shift in workplace culture and develop a portfolio of employee health benefits, such as paid wellbeing days and access to therapy services.
Raising awareness of health conditions and providing accurate information about preventable diseases is a significant aspect of contributing to good employee health. For example, 30–50% of all cancer cases are preventable through reducing exposure to risk factors and adopting healthy lifestyle practices.
Around 42% of employers feel that employees having a better understanding of their own risks of serious illnesses, such as cancer, is important, and a third say that easy access to early cancer screenings has increased in value among employees.
Alongside preventative health benefits, those that support employees with health conditions are also vital. There are approximately 900,000 people of working age living with cancer in the UK and 85% wish to continue working when diagnosed. Employee benefits that can help them navigate a diagnosis while in employment can contribute significantly to their psychological and physical wellbeing.
With Perci Health, employers can facilitate online access to cancer care specialists, so their employees can receive bespoke advice from a range of practitioners, including psychotherapists, cancer dietitians and life coaches.
Employees value benefits that will make them happier and improve their wellbeing, and 52% of employees say that discounts achieve this. Examples include supermarket vouchers, gym membership subsidies and money off entertainment.
How employee discounts contribute to employee health may not always be direct, but they are still valid. For discounted fitness classes, for example, the link to physical health is clear, but having access to affordable exercise can also benefit an employee’s mental health. Savings on essential groceries can make it easier for employees to eat healthy meals but they can also reduce financial anxiety that arises from the increasing cost of living.
Whether an employee is off sick with cancer, coping with cancer in the family or adapting to a lifestyle after cancer, Perci Health can help. We connect your employees to cancer specialists through our innovative virtual care clinic. To find out more about how we can support employee wellbeing, book a demo with our team today.
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