Connecting Health and Tech in the Workplace

Organizations that demonstrate care and concern for their people are better able to recruit and keep talent, while building a more resilient workforce. One way to reinvent health and benefits for value, and contribute to positive outcomes, is by integrating technology into the workplace that supports employee health and wellbeing. With that in mind, here’s what you should know about connecting health and tech in the workplace.

The Issue

The fact is that the health and wellbeing of your people directly affects their productivity, which affects your bottom line. Many chronic health conditions are on the rise, including behavioral problems such as anxiety and depression, which employees increasingly expect benefits to cover, by the way. At the same time, the cost of healthcare has been increasing for some time, with no end in sight. The good news is that technology can have a favorable affect on employee health and wellbeing.

What Benefits Do People Want?

This question must preface any discussions about technology integration. The global HR consultant Mercer recently surveyed 14,000 employees worldwide to gain insight into how organizations can positively affect the health of their people. What the study found supports the shift of late toward digital wellbeing and self-care.

Here are key trends the study turned up, in terms of benefits employees now want:

  • Benefits equal resilience. Where comprehensive benefits were provided, one-quarter of employees saw their pandemic experience as positive. However, just 11 percent of people who had no benefits reported the same.
  • Variety is valued. Employees who had access to an array of wellbeing resources were 35 percentage points less likely to move elsewhere. Moreover, they were 27 points more confident they could access needed healthcare, and 11 points more energized.
  • Digital healthcare. This goes to the heart of integrating technology into the workplace: the survey found that eight of 10 employees value digital health solutions such as tele-health as well as wellbeing applications that assist them in finding healthcare support and in managing their conditions.
  • More mental health care. Half of employees said prioritizing mental health in employee benefit programs is extremely or very important. Why? Because nearly one-quarter of respondents reported being worse off than before the onset of COVID-19 and 20 percent said they felt more isolated.
  • Equitable benefits. Less than a quarter of employees said they were confident they could afford needed healthcare. Addressing that will go a long way toward improving healthcare parity.

Technology and the Workplace

It’s a fact that employees these days regularly use various forms of technology. That’s a given in today’s world. And they increasingly expect that such technology, which they also use in their personal lives, to play a more pronounced and integrated role where they work. Experts agree that such integration, when it comes to improving employee health and wellbeing, will in the end boost the employee experience, job satisfaction, and productivity.

Be it through mobile apps, wearables, hardware, or tele-health, connecting health and technology in the workplace has likely never been more important, particularly in the age of COVID-19 and remote or hybrid employee workplaces. The lesson from the pandemic is that not only is there inherent value in staying well, but that attending to your people’s wellbeing is productive as well as cost effective. 

Mercer has the expertise to help you line up and integrate the technology you need to help keep your employees well. After all, solid wellbeing strategies not only benefit employees, but they benefit you as well, in terms of output and  recruitment and retention.