Employee health survey | Health on demand 2021 

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Employers who show they care have an advantage

Our latest employee health survey asked over 14,000 employees across the globe about how their employer could impact positively on their health. The answers reveal which health benefits matter most to employees for building resilience and loyalty.

Greater demand for employee health resources that meet employee needs is driving a shift towards digital well-being and self-care solutions.

The benefits employees want now

Five key trends were identified as being the most important to delivering the benefits employees want now:
  • Supporting the moments that matter

    through comprehensive benefits meant that a quarter of employees viewed their pandemic experience as positive, compared to just 11% of those with no benefits. This supports the role of benefits for boosting the resilience of employees.
  • Enabling digital access to healthcare

    is valued by the eight out of ten employees who want to use digital health solutions, such as video calls to their doctor and well-being apps that help them find healthcare support and self-manage conditions.
  • Delivering benefits equitably

    will be essential to eliminating disparities, such as lower earners who are less able to access benefits. Overall, 24% of employees report they are not confident they can afford the healthcare they need. 
  • Providing varied and valued benefits

    made those employees with access to the most varied well-being resources 35% less likely to move elsewhere, 27% more confident they can get the healthcare they need and 11% more energized. 
  • Investing in mental health

    is seen as extremely or very important by one in two employees (50%). A quarter (24%) of employees say they are worse off than before the pandemic and one in five (20%) say they feel more isolated.

Employee health survey findings

Our Health on Demand survey asked questions about how employees value different types of health benefits.

The findings show employees don’t just want help to get better when they are unwell. They also want help to stay healthy. Flexible working arrangements and time off for health-related appointments emerged as the benefits that employees find most valuable, closely followed by an app to find the right doctor or medical care.

Many of the most valued employee health resources were almost unheard of a few years ago, such as the ability to video chat with a doctor or nurse and apps to help self-manage health conditions.

When approaching employee benefits design, employers need to include more proactive benefits to help their people stay healthy, all delivered digitally.

The business advantages associated with offering a broad range of health benefits include a more loyal and energized workforce. Employees with access to the most benefits say their benefits make them less likely to want to move elsewhere. (59% compared to 24% of those with access to the least benefits).

Employee mental health survey findings

Our Health on Demand research found that employees face big challenges when it comes to their emotional health. Almost a quarter of employees (24%) say they are financially worse off than before the pandemic. One in five (20%) say they feel more isolated. One in seven respondents felt a decline in work-life balance and one in ten were bereaved due to COVID-19. 

financially worse off


lonely and more isolated


had a decline in work-life balance


bereaved due to COVID-19

Answers to the employee mental health survey questions found that one in two employees feel stressed every day. However, employees who feel supported by their employer are 10% less likely to be highly or extremely stressed. 

Unsurprisingly, one in two employees (50%) say investing in mental health benefits is extremely or very important. With increasing adoption of digital employee health resources set to play a major role in alleviating the mental health crisis, nearly half of employees (47%) see the opportunity to have a video chat with a therapist as very valuable. The same percentage highly value tools that help them build mindfulness and resilience skills to cope with pressure.

Employee health survey findings to bear in mind

Employees who need the most support are least likely to receive it

Women and lower-income workers, including many critical workers, are the least confident they can afford needed healthcare. This makes it important to consciously offer employee health resources that reduce health risks by meeting the needs of disadvantaged groups.

Digital employee health resources are gaining popularity 

Four out of five (84%) employees plan to carry on using telemedicine, such as video calls with doctors. Over half value apps to help them find medical care and self-manage conditions, meaning modern health benefits need to include access to high-quality digital health solutions.

Varied and valued employee health resources boost loyalty

The more employee health resources people have access to the more loyal they are. 59% of employees with access to many health benefits say this makes them less likely to move elsewhere, compared to just 24% of those with access to the least resources.
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