More than three-fifths (62%) of UK employers are likely to invest more in digital health products over the next five years, according to research by Mercer Marsh Benefits.
The February 2020 Health on demand report surveyed 1,000 UK employees and 100 UK businesses. It also found that 47% of employees were excited by the prospect of advancements in digital health technology, whereas 37% found these developments disturbing.
The vast majority (97%) of senior decision-makers in the UK stated that their organisation would be investing in wellbeing initiatives either with the same or higher priority as before. However, only 37% of employees felt that their employers cared a great deal about health and wellbeing solutions, while 19% stated that their employer cared very little.
Among the top drivers for offering health and wellbeing initiatives cited by senior decision-makers were attracting and retaining employees (62%), improving morale and engagement (51%) and reducing absence and improving productivity (39%).
Almost half (48%) of senior decision-makers agreed that offering digital health products would mean they were either somewhat or much less likely to to lose staff; however, 56% of employees surveyed stated that it would make no difference and only 22% said they would be less likely to leave an employer that offered digital health solutions.
Tony Wood, UK leader at Mercer Marsh Benefits, said: “It’s encouraging to see an increasing appetite for digital health solutions among employees and employers. ‘Health on-demand’ solutions can effectively supplement existing benefits and help secure access to treatment and services, especially important in the UK where the health system is facing funding pressures and potential Brexit turmoil.
“Our survey shows that most UK employees trust new solutions offered by their employers, which means organisations have a real opportunity to positively impact their employees’ health. However, businesses must avoid the temptation to simply provide more products and solutions without considering whether they are right for their workforce. We know that an individual’s personality plays an important role in their attitude to and engagement with health, which provides a great opportunity for companies to start personalising their approach to wellbeing.”
Hervé Balzano, international leader and president, health, at Mercer Marsh Benefits, added: “The findings from the Health on demand survey confirm our belief that employers looking to build a workplace culture of wellbeing and to improve talent retention should consider digital health investments. Otherwise, they risk being left behind in today’s competitive global labour markets.”