Three in five employees want employers to spend more on their mental and physical wellbeing as a result of the Covid crisis.
However, this research by health insurer Aetna International found a significant gap between employee and employer views on the quality of the wellbeing support provided both for those working in offices and remotely.
The survey was of 4,000 employees and 1,000 employers in the UK, US, Singapore and the UAE, and follows recent research showing employers now feel more responsible for employees’ health.
Aetna found that eight out 10 (84 per cent) of employees said their mental health is more important now than it was a year ago, while nine out of 10 (89 per cent) said their physical health is more important to them now than 12 months previously.
As a result 87 per cent of employees agree that access to quality health care is more important to them now than before the outbreak of Covid-19. However, whilst 63 per cent of employees would like more to be spent by their employer on health benefits and other resources to help them stay healthy, just 34 per cent of employers agreed they should be spending more money.
The survey revealed a striking difference between employee and employer perceptions on the quality of corporate health care provisions for those working from home. When asked about employer-provided support during remote working, the biggest concerns were surrounding mental well-being provisions. Just 25 per cent of employees rated the support they receive from their employer for stress as ‘good’, compared to 42 per cent of employers who rate the provision the same
Meanwhile 27 per cent of employees would rate the support they receive for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety as ‘poor’, however, just 9 per cent of employers would say the same
Furthermore, 18-24-year-olds were the least satisfied with the level of support provided for stress whilst working from home during Covid-19 with 41 per cent rating provisions as ‘poor’ compared to the 24 per cent global average for all ages.
With most employees across the globe continuing to work remotely – some or all of the time – for the foreseeable future, worker and employer perceptions are changing drastically about the quality, breadth and accessibility of corporate well-being support.
A total of 65 per cent of employees would only return to working from the office if their employer changed their policies regarding workplace well-being. Meanwhile a similar proportion 63 per cent of employers understand that there is now a greater expectation for them to take more responsibility for employee health beyond the workplace
Since the onset of the pandemic, 35 per cent of employers have made improvements to their mental health support, and 36 per cent to their physical health support, by making it accessible to remote workers through technology.
Additionally, only 23 per cent have improved their general well-being support for remote workers in the past six months.
Dr Hemal Desai, global medical director, Aetna International, says:“The outbreak of a global pandemic has heightened employee expectations. Organisations across the globe are stepping up their health and wellness benefits efforts. Yet it’s clear that more needs to be done given the volatile, unpredictable and complex state of the world.
“At Aetna, because we track global views on corporate health and wellness benefits year-on-year, we have a clear view on changing employee demand, adoption and utilisation trends. Never has there been a more critical time for employers to pivot and evolve to meaningfully engage and better meet the total health and well-being needs of their people – particularly their mental health.”
The post Employees want better mental health support at home appeared first on Corporate Adviser.