Should workplace benefits be revised amidst the ‘new way of life’?

Posted in , by Lucy Holl

A lot has changed since our simpler existence pre-March 2020; this year life has been unimaginably different with occurrences that no one could have ever predicted, but of course with the bad, has come a substantial amount of good too.

Society has been forced to take a step back from normal life, which among many other things, has encouraged us to better appreciate the things we may otherwise take for granted. Some of the most prevalent lockdown activities have been enjoying nature, forming new hobbies, creating new business ventures, and using the time as an opportunity to get fit and healthy.

It has been noted that the pandemic has also brought people closer together- regardless of hierarchy or social status it is likely that everyone who exists has been affected by the pandemic in some way- this shared experience has removed certain social barriers in different relationships, situations and interactions resulting in people being more empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate, and understanding to one and other. One example of this is that workplaces have had to adjust to being extremely flexible with their employees and allow leeway which may not have been acceptable pre-COVID-19.

There are many workplace benefits that companies may offer to their employees, examples are schemes like cycle to work, dress down Friday, well-being experiences such as massages or beauty treatments, beer after work or annual trips. Although we must remember that these schemes will one day be able to resume and the consequences of the pandemic will not last forever, it is inevitable that at this moment, perks which require the ability to travel, attend public spaces and roam freely, are not relevant at the current time.

Your mental and physical health & well-being is your most valuable asset and should take priority over everything. The quality of your mental and physical health is arguably even more important amidst the current times which has both directly and indirectly affected the mental and physical health of millions of people.

Many companies already have health initiatives incorporated in their workplace benefits, some of which may include perks like private health insurance, sessions with counselors or well-being specialists, private exercise classes such as yoga or palates or appointments with private health companies.

The UK’s first lockdown in March this year, saw millions of people missing important cancer screenings, tests and treatments including breast screenings, eye checks, cervical screenings and many may more. The government and health professionals have given their firm word that medical, well-being and mental health appointments must still go ahead and, to further instill this, have released an influx of advertising campaigns urging people to never miss any essential appointment because of COVID-19.

There has never been a better time for employees to get the full use out of work-place benefits in the medical, healthcare and well-being sector as they are still entirely redeemable even in a lockdown environment. According to the NHS health worries are in the top 9 leading causes of stress, so choosing a benefit which would help overcome this could be a great business decision.

Poor productivity and sick days cost the UK economy 77.5bn per year, not to mention the impact that these days have on individual businesses, so it is extremely important that your employees are as well as they possibly can be for themselves and their company.

Click here to learn more about what is offered in Echelon Health’s corporate services.

 

Lucy Holl