Around 40 percent of UK adults now work from home in some capacity. But, while remote working is business as usual for much of the workforce, there are still questions about how it impacts on employees’ health and wellbeing.
From the increasing spectre of burnout - 69 percent of remote workers report experiencing symptoms - to the growing problem of presenteeism, organisations are faced with more and more challenges from our shift to remote working.
So what can HR leaders do to address these challenges and improve employee wellbeing? In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits that virtual healthcare can bring to your organisation.
What is virtual healthcare?
What if your employees didn’t have to take time off of work to visit their GP? Or sit on a waiting list to see a specialist? And what if they could do all of this while proactively taking steps to manage their own physical and mental wellbeing?
That’s the future that virtual healthcare promises.
Accessible through convenient websites and applications, virtual healthcare benefits empower your people to seek and receive the healthcare they need, no matter where they are. They provide clinically-valid advice and services at the touch of a button.
How virtual healthcare can benefit your organisation
For your people, the benefits are clear. Quick and accessible healthcare support can be priceless - especially in the current climate when NHS resources are stretched thin.
But virtual healthcare also offers countless benefits for organisations, especially at a time when employee wellbeing is becoming increasingly front of mind for busy HR teams.
1. Reduce absenteeism
Absenteeism costs the UK more than £100 billion every year. It’s a staggering cost for businesses. But investing in wellbeing can help.
This is because the vast majority of UK absences are caused by ailments like colds, headaches and stomach bugs. These are relatively minor issues that can be avoided altogether by taking proactive steps to improve wellbeing. For example, eating better, exercising more and getting better quality sleep can all help to boost a person’s immune system. So, as an employer, investing in a wellness program that encourages this kind of behaviour can pay dividends. In fact, for every £1 spent by employers on health interventions, you can expect to see a £5 return in reduced absence and staff turnover costs.
This is where virtual healthcare can make an immediate impact. With access to the advice, support and education they need, your employees can learn how to proactively manage their own mental and physical wellbeing. This will reduce absenteeism and build a healthier and happier culture.
2. Build mental resilience
Helping your employees to develop healthy habits can support their physical wellbeing and reduce absenteeism. But what about the increasingly prominent issue of mental health and its potential impact on your people?
Mental health issues affect one in four people at some point in their lives, and they can take a significant toll on your employees’ wellbeing. Indeed, it’s estimated that more than 15 million days of work every year are lost due to issues like stress, depression and anxiety.
This is why, as an employer, you should take a holistic approach to wellbeing - one that focuses on mental and physical health. Once again, proactivity is key. From everyday advice to critical incident support, virtual healthcare benefits give your people the tools they need to improve mental wellbeing.
This can be beneficial for your business as well as your people. Indeed, the simple act of providing employees with better mental health support could save businesses up to £8 billion every year.
3. Improve productivity
Promoting wellbeing doesn’t just keep your employees out of the doctor’s waiting room. It also helps to lower stress, improve energy levels, build more positive environments. Ultimately, this can boost productivity and will ensure that everyone can perform at their best.
4. Boost your employer brand
In the wake of the Great Resignation, HR teams face a growing challenge to attract and retain the very best employees. Businesses need to do everything they can to stand out from the competition.
But expectations have changed. Today’s top talent isn’t just looking for a corner office and a big salary. Our research shows that one-fifth of the UK workforce plan to quit their jobs within the next year. Many of them due to their health benefits not meeting their expectations.
Your investment in the wellness of your employees, not to mention their families, can mark your card as a company that genuinely cares. And that’s something that can help to give you the edge in this competitive talent market.
5. Reduce the strain on NHS services
The NHS has managed the nation’s health for more than 70 years. But, right now, it’s feeling the strain. By investing in virtual healthcare solutions, your organisation can do its bit to help support a system that’s given us all so much.
With access to on-demand treatment, your people will also benefit. This is because they can access the treatment they need, when they need it, rather than have to wait.
Building happier, healthier teams
Employee wellbeing, and its associated impact on performance, is one of the biggest issues facing HR teams right now. And for good reason. From retention to the impact of absenteeism on your bottom line, your workforce’s health has a direct impact on almost every aspect of your operation.
As a result, your organisation needs to find a way to build resilience and bring wellbeing strategies to life. That’s where Symbio can help. Symbio is a holistic health and wellbeing solution that combines the support your employees need with a simple one-stop resource your organisation demands.
To find out more about Symbio and how it can make your workforce healthier and happier, book a demo. We’d love to show you how our virtual healthcare system can benefit your organisation.