If we’ve learned anything since 2020 about worker health, it’s that wellness at work is a big deal. Not only does our wellbeing affect productivity, but it also affects job satisfaction and employee retention, too.
That’s why healthy organizations need to encourage health-based solutions that are convenient, flexible and accessible. If you’re thinking, “Zoom,” you’re on the right track, but you should also be thinking at-home healthcare.
Why? Convenience is still the number one reason office-based workers want to stay home indefinitely — at least part time. This need for post-2020 convenience is also reflected in telehealth-usage patterns: For example, between September to October 2021, telehealth utilization for mental health conditions (which remained the top-ranking telehealth diagnosis) increased nationally by 1.5%.
Convenience is also a critical factor in closing huge gaps in healthcare resulting from the first half of 2020. According to Urban Institute’s April 2021 Health Reform Monitoring Survey, one in four nonelderly adults (24.9%) delayed or skipped care – and are only now playing catch-up.
With this in mind, here are three ways that employers and organizations can encourage workers to engage in at-home care:
In many industries and jobs, there’s a pressure to work hard without taking too many breaks. This is unsustainable. By not taking time off for preventive care, wellness visits and cancer screenings, workers put themselves at much greater risk for serious illness and death. A corporate culture that encourages self-care through a healthy work environment — for example, one that encourages workers to take off time for medical care or makes it easy to access care— is one that will attract top talent, and show people that they are valued.
About 50% of adults born between 1981 and 1988 live with at least one chronic health condition, and many don’t even know it. Employers can change this dynamic by bringing health assessments into their home, through at-home health screening tools, which are easy to use and empower individuals to self-check weight, blood pressure, blood-glucose levels and other metrics in minutes. Biometric health screening kits (like Reperio’s) come with an accompanying smartphone app that can help users track health status, set goals and gauge progress. Encouraging at-home healthcare services tells workers that an organization values their preferences and busy lives.
Making time for self-care can feel nearly impossible with so many competing priorities. Expanding employee wellbeing programs with more flexible behavioral health options, including virtual behavioral health programs, gives workers an extra incentive to “see” someone to talk about their emotional health and other related issues.
These are just a few of the ways organizations can elevate employee experience, regardless of whether someone works one day, three days or every day in their own home. By keeping healthcare in the home, and as convenient as possible, workers will be more likely to engage and live longer, healthier lives.
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