The need for British employers to handle the nation’s mental health effectively during the pandemic is laid bare in new research from global health service company Cigna Europe, unveiled today to mark the launch of its new healthcare vision across the UK.
As the country looks ahead to restrictions easing and getting back to the workplace, Brits are crying out for help from their employer with life’s challenges: around two thirds of UK workers (64%) would welcome support with daily life including finances and living conditions – while 8 in 10 (80%) believe their employer should better support their work-life balance.
Two thirds (66%) admit to being ‘always-on’, around three quarters (74%) are currently stressed, and a third (31%) of employees have had to take time off work due to COVID-19.
With the way Brits work and live having changed forever, Cigna Europe has launched a new, five-year strategic overhaul to its healthcare plans – placing greater emphasis on putting the care back into healthcare through a ‘Whole Health’ approach, while helping people address significant disruption to their lives due to the pandemic.
Arjan Toor, CEO, Cigna Europe, said: “It’s extremely concerning to see so many UK workers struggle with life’s challenges right now, particularly those that are clearly suffering from burnout and workplace stress. Employers need to step up and look at the bigger picture when dealing with employee well-being.
“Our lives aren’t two-dimensional and health services shouldn’t be either. It’s time to look at the bigger picture and acknowledge that our lives are complex, particularly right now, and what works on paper may not work for people’s realities. Whole Health is an evolved way of looking at well-being. It allows us to look at the most important parts of people’s daily lives, not just their physical health, and holistically understand and support them.”
The company’s new approach will extend beyond the typical provisions of ‘body and mind’ support to help people stay healthy and well in an ever-changing world. It follows extensive research by the company into the current state and future of care delivery, recognising that Whole Health is more than just physical and mental health – it’s everything that makes up our world: our family, friends, work-life balance, access to care, finances and home environment. A difficulty in any one of these areas can have an immediate knock on effect on a person’s whole health.
Cigna Europe will work with employers to educate them on the wide range of aspects that make up Whole Health and how best to care for their employees, not just physically and mentally, during COVID-19 and beyond. It will provide tailored support and tools to help people face the demands of modern life, including help to maintain the balance between work and home life, support with social and family life, and provides counsel when faced with financial worries.
Toor concluded: “We believe it’s time to transform traditional healthcare solutions and our new proposition has been developed with this in mind – to meet our customers’ new and ever-changing needs. The well-being culture has moved from being a nice-to-have to a greater strategic issue and should be an essential part of every workplace wellness programme.”
In addition, Cigna’s latest COVID-19 Global Impact Study, further reveals:
- Around three quarters (74%) of adults in the UK are stressed, with almost half (49%) stating uncertainty about the future is the leading cause, followed by personal finances (36%) and the amount of news/information related to Covid-19 on social media (28%)
- Employees want more support from employers, with 43% wanting flexible working location/hours, followed by financial support for COVID testing (46%) and enhanced healthcare services (42%)