Press release 4 April 2023.
Employers are adapting the health and wellbeing support they offer to employees in light of new remote and hybrid working patterns, according to new research1 from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.
A third (30%) of organisations where some or all staff now work remotely or in a hybrid model have made it easier for staff to access existing support and benefits remotely e.g. via apps and online. Also in response to the remote work/hybrid working model, 28% have introduced new health and wellbeing benefits to support employees e.g. for their mental health and physical health. Just over a fifth (22%) have increased support that can be accessed remotely e.g. virtual GP appointments, and the same number have organised more social events.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “It’s good to see that some employers are making adjustments to reflect that their employees are working remotely or have adopted a hybrid approach to their working location, but this new world is here to stay, and we’d like to see more employers stepping up. Offering access to virtual physiotherapy consultations or remote mental health appointments is not a thing of the future, it’s readily available now and needs to be on the health and wellbeing menu for all employees.”
Reviewing benefits is continual
GRiD reminds employers that it is vital that they continually review the support they offer and how
it is delivered, to meet the changing needs of their staff. Even those who have already made steps to alter their health and wellbeing support may find that it needs further adaptions as staff make different choices about how they work in the future.
Supporting the four pillars of health and wellbeing
GRiD cautions that employers would be wise to ensure that any enhancements they make to their benefits to reflect changes in working patterns, supports all of the four pillars of health and wellbeing: physical, mental, financial and social health. The four are so intrinsically linked that where a staff member has a specific issue in one area, they may also have concerns in another. Holistic support needs to underpin all health and wellbeing programmes.
Impact of hybrid working on health and wellbeing
More positively, 67% of employers claim to measure the impact of hybrid working on the health and wellbeing of their staff. Of these:
- 54% measure productivity
- 52% measure employee engagement and feedback
- 46% measure staff retention
- 40% measure rates of absence
- 29% measure referrals/signposting to support services and insurance (such as an Employee Assistance Programme, Private Medical and Group Income Protection Insurance, vocational rehabilitation, etc.)
- 28% measure their ability to recruit
- 27% measure utilisation rates of support services and insurance (such as an Employee Assistance Programme, Private Medical and Group Income Protection Insurance, vocational rehabilitation, etc)
Employers who do not measure, cannot begin to understand how hybrid working is impacting their staff and secondly, cannot evidence whether any investment in health and wellbeing benefits is having a positive impact.
Katharine Moxham continued: “Ignorance is not bliss. Every employer needs a benchmark from which to monitor the progress of their health and wellbeing programme, and more importantly, whether it is delivering successful outcomes for staff.
“Some employers tackled support for home workers quickly, but these findings show that others are still getting to grips with making modifications to health and wellbeing benefits and their measurement. It’s undoubtedly a challenge and will continue to be so as working practises ebb and flow. However, an employer who doesn’t move with the times is not supporting the health and wellbeing of their staff as well as they could.”
- Ends –
- The research was undertaken by Opinium from 9-22 January 2023 among 503 HR decision-makers and from 10-13 January 2023 amongst 1,212 employees at UK businesses.
For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham