"The working environment has changed for many and so have priorities regarding health and wellbeing. Employers must take the time to find out what support employees want most and modify their programme where needed to provide the most effective solutions."
- Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection
This research was directed at employers in the UK and asked which areas of support had increased in importance for their employees. Of those surveyed (500), 57% thought that mental health support was the most important, followed by 24/7 virtual GP (50%), ill-health prevention support such as fitness & nutrition advice (48%), financial resilience support (48%), and general health and wellbeing advice (46%).
Towergate’s research also found that social interaction and community (46%), support for dependants such as children & elderly relatives (42%), advice on potentially serious illness (42%), support and treatment for musculoskeletal (MSK) issues (41%), access to face-to-face GP (37%) and cancer screenings (32%) were considered important.
Towergate believes this growing need for virtual GPs reflects “the struggles that many employees are having in getting an NHS GP appointment,” speculating that employers are aware that their staff understand the importance of looking more holistically at their wellbeing and the benefit of living healthier lives.
Likewise, the independent intermediary highlighted that “employers can make a real and valued difference to their employees in these areas by offering access to support such as virtual GPs, screening, and risk profiling, all of which will help to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the workforce.”
Discussing these statistics, Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, felt it proves “employees’ needs have changed in the new hybrid working world,” and that in turn, health and wellbeing support must adapt.
“Programmes need to be all-encompassing, across all four pillars of health and wellbeing: mental, physical, social, and financial. Employers must take the time to find out what support employees want most and modify their programme where needed to provide the most effective solutions,” she concluded.