With Delta, Employers Must Keep Altering Their Idea of Virtual Care and Work

by Hannah Robinson

The pandemic has given way to a new conversation on hybrid working--that is, working some days remote and some in the office. And the resurgence through the Delta variant has pushed return to office plans back for many. According to the 2021 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, "the pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work...with up to 25 percent more workers than previously estimated needing to switch occupations". Not included in this is the amount of workers needing to acquire new skills and adjust to new conditions. One general idea that has persisted about the changing work climate is that, inevitably (or without a return to a stringent 9-5 in-office work week), employees are going to be satisfied while employers are not. And what of the health benefits plan? In a hybrid work week, what are employers expected to cover? How much of an employee's health is their responsibility--and what can you do to make sure your employees are healthy, happy, and hardworking?


Moving away from group think toward individualism.

Meanwhile, the health plans you've purchased are evolving right under your nose! After a year of unprecedented challenges to the equal distribution of healthcare, you are expected to have holistic plans that enhance virtual care, advanced transparency, and, most importantly, further accountability. Michael Riley, CEO and Co-founder of Sustainable Health Index, shares a bit about what his company is doing to meet these new needs: "The adoption of new technology is now becoming the norm," is SHI's official lens, "[and] clients of SHI have a smooth, quick and easy way to...better support decision on how to invest in the health of their community." Riley says himself that "the current landscape will accelerate virtual services. The key is understanding which virtual services you need.” Wellbeing platforms that offer individualized plans for employees like that of SHI help you make the best decision on where to focus resources and drive people to them to have the most impact.


Providing in and out of person patient care to all employees.

The key is understanding which services. Well said. In a similar vein, Christi Coleman, who is a subject matter expert in this industry, offers some insight gleaned as Senior Vice President Employer Engagement at Proactive MD. "With Covid, we have seen an increase in demand around virtual care and supporting remote employees as well as those who have access to our onsite clinic services," Coleman explains, describing the robust changes the company has undertaken during the pandemic. Her passionate defense of hybrid care is particularly worth reading: "We are working diligently to guide and serve our employer clients as we face these new challengers together, while never compromising patient care." 


Brokers are adjusting to meet the changing client demand too.

Additionally, Amy Perry, an employee benefits broker from USI, puts forth additional insight that neatly ties it all up: “Absolutely, the pandemic has changed the needs of employees. The standard “comprehensive benefits” offering is no longer enough. I am always looking for a way to give my clients a competitive edge and tailor their benefits to their employee demographics."


This is what is expected from employers again; your job is changing just like everyone else’s. Why not take advantage of every resource you have?




To search and source solutions like the ones mentioned in this article, visit The Granite List at www.thegranitelist.com



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