The unexpected impacts of Covid-19 have been surprising the United States for close to a year now, and it’s safe to say we are realizing changes and advancements during this pandemic that are probably here to stay. Among these changes are updates to corporate wellness ideas, strategies and policies like nothing we’ve ever had to consider before. Here are just some of the ways corporate wellness is adapting to Covid-19’s impacts.
With the sudden closures and quarantines insurances and companies are being pushed to open the flood gates on telemedicine options and resources. This new wave has made a heavy push for telehealth benefits to be included in healthcare options provided by workplaces. While this may seem like a sudden jump to offer something new, this can also be a huge cost-saver for the patients and for the insurance claims costs if the situations are handled correctly. Many younger employees may be more apt to seek care earlier in a bout of sickness than they would before, and they can reduce the spread of illness by avoiding the doctor’s office or emergency room. While the benefit may not be a part of business plans today, this is one change with long-term benefits across the board.
Another benefit under the spotlight during COVID is the utilization of EAP programs in the workplace. With depression, suicide, anxiety, loneliness and family issues consistently on the rise, employers are quickly recognizing the value of an EAP program as a resource for employees before it’s too late. EAP programs are not only ideal for dire situations but can also offer employee support for marriage and family counseling, budgeting, community resource and much more. Providing an EAP opens up opportunities for many to seek help and get on their feet and in many cases, back to work with a clear mind.
SICK AND ANNUAL LEAVE
One costly but important piece of stopping the spread of Covid is the urge for employees to stay home when exposed often for 2 weeks or until cleared by a doctor. While this is vital to slow to spread, it can be a costly and unexpected venture for employers to either lose staff or make the switch to remote working. Currently, the CARES act is available to help ensure this standard, but in the future many companies will change the way they handle sick and leave policies to accommodate pandemic exposure, school and childcare closures and more. These changes include the way sick time accrues under current policies and creating more cohesive Standard Operating Procedures so that others can step in with employees taking leave. While unexpected