Health and wellness: why it’s your employer’s business

Health and wellness: why it’s your employer’s business

Could a successful company health and wellness program could extend your life? Perhaps it is a massive overstretch to imagine that HR’s shout out to join this year’s marathon might actually help you live longer. Or that the annual flu vaccine drive might do more than help you dodge a sneeze or two this winter. However, by rolling out a well-executed healthcare and wellness program, your employer can help you reduce your health risks, thereby decreasing the chance of chronic diseases brought on by unhealthy behaviour, stress and prolonged poor health.  This is proven: there are hundreds of rigorous studies globally that prove the positive impact derived by implementing healthcare and wellness programs in the workplace.Wellsteps

How can employers benefit?

In the US as many as 89% of companies support their employees’ health and wellness goals.SHRMIt makes sense for employers to offer their staff the best health and wellness support they can. The top five stress symptoms causing missed work days are constant fatigue (29%); sleeplessness (26%); aches and pains (24%); high anxiety (23%) and weight gain (18%). CareerBuilder. It goes without saying a healthy, unstressed workforce is a more productive workforce with less time wasted in sick days and absenteeism. 38% of wellness program participants said it helped them take fewer sick days.HealthMine 

Furthermore, company-led health and wellness programs promote loyalty “A health-oriented strategy that prioritises the wellbeing of staff, immediately impacts the overall employee-management relationship, which more often leads to increased loyalty.” Dr Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer at National Health Insurance Company – Daman

In a country like the UAE, where your employer is obliged to pay for your health insurance, there is an even more substantial reason for why your wellness is your bosses’ business. It’s an obvious formula that ends in the bottom-line:

less unhealthy behaviour = less health risk = less chronic illness = less healthcare expenditure

In short, your employer is paying for your insurance premiums and the more you claim, the harder it is for their insurer to provide an affordable policy. The healthier you are, the less you need to make insurance claims and the happier your employer becomes. Simple arithmetic. And that’s why your boss is trying to make you do the annual cycle challenge. In the US & Canada, 53% of employees say they would participate in an exercise program through their workplace to help lower their health insurance cost (remembering in these countries the individual often contributes to their own healthcare insurance). Aflac

How can employees benefit?

For us in the UAE, living in a country that has mandatory health insurance has made us used to treating healthcare insurance coverage as a point of negotiation in remuneration packages. Of course we all want the best we can get. 81% of UAE respondents see health and wellness programs as an important factor when choosing between two potential employers. CignaA better insurance policy means as a patient you have lower co-pays, access to better clinics and add-on services, access to a wider network of providers: in other words, choice.

But the benefits for employees go beyond what is and is not covered by your medical network. There is a growing body of research to prove that we are becoming healthier and happier as a result of our companies focus on health and wellness. 61% of employees agree that they’ve made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program. AflacOf employers offering wellness programs, 67% reported increased employee satisfaction, 66% reported increased productivity, 63% reported increased financial sustainability and growth, and 50% reported decreased absenteeism. IFEBP

How is telehealth playing a role?

At the heart of every successful health and wellness program is a drive to change consumer behaviour. To facilitate this behaviour change, the solution must meet our expectations in today’s on-demand world. This is a tough call and companies are turning to tech to support them on their mission.  Telehealth, the remote delivery of healthcare, answers the increased need for healthcare to become more convenient and has become mandatory for some companies looking to reduce their healthcare costs whilst increasing their employees benefits.

Telehealth as an employee benefit is so much more than just a nice-to-have, shiny fad. In the US, 96% of surveyed large employers plan to offer telehealth for employees in states that allow it. Employer Benefits Research InstituteIt is a legitimate supplement to traditional primary healthcare care, remedying many of the issues experienced by large and small UAE companies: striking a balance between healthcare costs and employee satisfaction does not have to be a constant struggle.

Health at Hand is an example of a homegrown UAE business giving companies the ability to sign up their employees for telehealth, making it an easy and affordable way to implement a tangible staff healthcare and wellbeing program. Health at Hand offers convenience, immediate peace of mind and much needed sensible advice.

Ask your employer to include telehealth in your employee benefits. To find out more about how Health at Hand can make a real difference to your business



About Health at Hand

The first independently-owned video consultation app in the UAE to be licenced by the DHA, Health at Hand a connects patients with doctors within minutes, making it the most convenient way to see a highly qualified doctor. Available on iOS and Android, our app eradicates travel and waiting times.

Health at Hand has been developed to provide access to the highest standard of non-emergency healthcare to everyone, wherever and whenever it is needed the most. Sign up today