Can Benefits Save my Employees a Trip to the Doctor During Working Hours?

The short answer? YES!

Over the years, we’ve established that the most competitive businesses rely on a healthy and happy workforce. Without competitive healthcare benefits, it’s harder to create a winning workplace where talent can thrive. After all, 78% of employees report that they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul if their employers offer comprehensive health benefits.

Health and wellness are at the heart of thriving workplace cultures. When your employees feel safe, healthy, and supported, they perform better at work. On average, employees who have comprehensive health benefits are 11% more engaged at work than those who don’t. 

Building a strong workplace culture starts with investing in the health of your employees. In 2024, this includes telemedicine, or “virtual care” coverage. 

Telemedicine services offer access to quality healthcare when and wherever employees most need it, when it’s convenient and (usually the case) when it’s not. These services allow employees access to licensed healthcare professionals over the phone, through messenger apps, or video to treat a wide variety of healthcare issues from diagnosis and treatment recommendations to quick prescriptions when necessary and appropriate.

While physical health is essential to a happy and healthy workforce, now more than ever, employers are focusing on the need for mental health awareness and support as well. Creating an environment that fosters open communication and resources for those facing depression, anxiety, or other mental conditions is no longer optional in a functional workplace. In fact, more than 70% of patients who experience anxiety, depression, or stress say that their symptoms improved after the therapy visits.

Many telemedicine providers also offer mental health resources, which are confidential and personalized services that rely on a team of licensed mental health professionals allowing users to receive care on their own terms.

Whether it be evidence-based therapy, counseling, professional consultation, or referral-based programs, these services allow employees access to licensed therapists and psychologists, many of which may not otherwise be easily or opportunely accessed.

Not only do telemedicine benefits help employees, but they also benefit employers. In Canada, employee absenteeism costs over $16 billion annually. This loss translates, on average, to nine days of forfeited productivity per employee. A typical Canadian company will lose over $2,000 per employee every year to employee absences. 

Access to these services for individuals can be virtually life-changing, but proves even more beneficial to parents and caregivers, as generally, spouses and dependent children are eligible to access the service, with the option to add parents or in-laws (when coverage allows.) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week medical support enables peace of mind for workers and their employers, while also eliminating the need for long waits for a general practitioner, urgent care clinic, or emergency room.

The result is a happier, healthier team. A recent poll found that 72% of Canadians would view their employer more positively if they were offered telemedicine benefits. This is especially true of young employees aged 18 to 34 years old, who tend to rank lowest in job satisfaction and mental health.

Bottom line: happy, healthy employees can focus on their jobs instead of worrying about managing symptoms they themselves, or a family member is dealing with. Virtual care lets employees see a physician faster and with fewer barriers, so employees can feel better and get back to their lives (and jobs) quicker.