The year 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways, not least in terms of its impact on the way we all work. Many employees have been furloughed, others have had to work from home for many months, everyone has had to adapt to new ways of working.
These changes have brought with them increased focus on employee mental health and wellbeing. It’s well established that a happy and healthy workforce is good for business, but employers have been faced this year with the additional challenges of looking after their team members during a global pandemic.
Many employees have struggled with working from home or are experiencing increased stress due, for example, to financial worries, family issues or concerns about their own health. In this context, digital wellness services (sometimes called Employee Assistance Programmes or EAPs) that support employee mental health and wellbeing by offering confidential advice and counselling on a wide range of issues have been especially valued.
Much of the support has been delivered remotely, either by telephone or video calls, and its true to say that the pandemic has hastened the pace of digital innovation. Not only can scheme members now access a GP remotely, they can also benefit from web-based physiotherapy sessions or mental health support through individual or group seminars delivered via Zoom.
Digital wellness services as an integral part of a wider company group protection plan have been increasing in popularity over the years. We believe the pandemic has helped to further demonstrate their value and that they will become a permanent feature of companies’ employee benefits schemes.
Thanks to the latest news with regard to vaccine development and approval, we can look forward to better times next year. However, the onus on employers to continue to look after their employees’ health and wellbeing will not go away.
If you would like to discuss introducing digital awareness services as part of your employee benefits package, please do get in touch.