The work from home model 💻 began as a necessity due to the pandemic 😷. Businesses were forced into working either remotely or not working at all. Perhaps a silver lining, but companies soon realized the feasibility of the work from a home model, and eventually the work from anywhere model 🌎. Of the various benefits, group medical insurance 🏥 gained traction as employees were looking for more than just virtual wellness meets.
And here we are! Three years later 📅, the virus 🦠 doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere 😔, and for many, the work from anywhere culture is here to stay, too! And so is the demand for healthcare from their employers.
Much has been written about the effects of the global pandemic on businesses large and small 🏢 and the nature of employment. The journey 🏃 from work from the office to work from home 🏠 to work from anywhere has been scrutinized at every step of the way to determine the feasibility, advantages, and drawbacks of remote work. This has been done from the perspective of both employers and employees, and it is safe to say that the pros ✅ outweigh the cons ❌ for both parties.
For employees, work from anywhere allows flexibility, reduces travel expenses 💰, and has been shown to increase productivity and employee motivation 🤗.
For small business owners and large companies, offering work from home lowers logistical and administrative costs 💸, such as having to rent office space, increases employee satisfaction, and encourages acquisition and retention of global talent.
The work from anywhere model in its early days came with its set of challenges for employers and employees. To foster and sustain a positive work environment 😀, employers now even continue to adopt strategies, such as virtual brainstorming sessions, bonding sessions 🧑🤝🧑, and virtual wellness camps ⚕.
However, of the various incentives that result from work from anywhere, the most significant from both employer-employee perspective is employee wellness and healthcare 👨⚕️. The solution to this is all-inclusive corporate health plans.
Naturally, group medical insurance becomes difficult when the group is spread across geographies owing to the work from anywhere model 📍. Even so, there are many international healthcare plans that are being offered. It is also one of the most important benefits that an employee looks at, especially (and ironically) as a result of the pandemic that popularised the work from anywhere culture in the first place 😢.
Let’s understand how group medical insurance is beneficial for both parties in work from anywhere scenario.
First, from the point of view of employees.
In a 2021 survey by Flexjobs, 65% of employees were found to want to continue working from home, 33% leaned towards the hybrid model, and a mere 2% were in favor of returning to the office full-time 🏤.
The pandemic brought with it feelings of uncertainty and fear 😥 and for many, it took a toll on their mental, physical, and emotional well-being 🛡️. In such situations, the focus of many employers shifted to ensure feelings of security and belongingness to the company.
Most companies began providing covid-19 related support and relief. From salary advances to online consultations with doctors, these strategies to ensure that the employee doesn’t feel ‘isolated’ during the pandemic were crucial.
However, covid 19 relief is temporary (hopefully!). We are all optimistic about a covid-free future. What covid 19 did do, nonetheless, was to bring employee wellness and healthcare to the limelight. Many looked at healthcare as a central perk or even requirement in some cases, when considering a job offer 🤑. Companies, therefore, began providing group medical healthcare.
Feelings of security within the company would also naturally turn into increased productivity and commitment towards their job. Knowing that if something were to go wrong health-wise 🚑, they can turn to their company, serves as a huge morale boost for many employees.
Next, let’s take a look at it from an employer’s perspective.
Group insurances are often much more beneficial to employers than providing individual insurance plans to their employees. This is true for the following reasons –
- The government provides various tax benefits and breaks as the premium paid towards group insurance can be claimed for tax returns ✔️.
- Group schemes often turn out to cost significantly less than individual policies.
- Group medical coverage 🏥 also ensures that all employees are covered under the same scheme, differing depending on their role and position in the company but not on the basis of age, gender, or social status.
- Group insurance also has a certain level of flexibility attached to it, wherein, the employee can change to an individual scheme 🕺, upon fulfilment of certain conditions.
Working from anywhere, when looked at from an insurance point of view is also a win-win situation for both employer and employee. Granting employees the flexibility to work from home allows for a work-life balance that is often non-existent in a physical office setting.
Combine that with frequent wellness strategies, such as virtual yoga 🧘or Zumba lessons 🏋️, or eat fit challenges will further motivate employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A sustainable healthy lifestyle would naturally reduce the risk of health issues!
Group health insurance is a mutual benefit. And so, a win-win! It significantly adds to employee satisfaction and performance. For the employer, it is a cost-effective way to ensure that their employees are working efficiently and productively😀.