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New Survey Reveals Workers Worldwide Want ‘Health on Demand’ Digital Solutions from their Employers

London, February 4, 2020

According to the inaugural ‘Health on Demand’ survey of more than 16,000 workers and 1300 employers in 13 markets around the world*, 68% of employers plan to invest more in digital health solutions over the next five years. This suggests most employers already believe digital health solutions can be a cost-effective means of helping their people get healthier – as well as a way to satisfy their desire for more convenient and affordable healthcare. The survey, conducted by Mercer Marsh Benefits, Mercer and Oliver Wyman, found that while specific attitudes differ around the world, the majority of workers overall (64%) are excited by the prospect of digital health innovation. Many workers (63%) also say they would have more confidence in a new solution if it were offered by their employer.

“The findings from the ‘Health on Demand’ survey confirm our belief that employers looking to build a workplace culture of well-being and to improve talent retention should consider digital health investments,” said Hervé Balzano, Mercer Marsh Benefits International Leader and Mercer President, Health. “Otherwise they risk being left behind in today’s competitive global labor markets.”

Seven of the countries included in the ‘Health on Demand’ survey are considered ‘mature markets*’ and six are considered ‘growth markets*.’ The survey found that the appetite for digital health solutions was especially strong in growth markets. Respondents were shown a list of 15 specific digital health solutions and asked how willing they would be to try each one. Across the growth markets, workers were willing to try an average of 10 digital health solutions, compared to an average of 5 in mature markets.

To some extent, this disparity may reflect generational influence; a higher percentage the workers in growth markets are Millennials and Gen Z (54%) compared to the workers in mature markets (43%), and younger people tend to be early adopters of technology. In addition, 54% of workers in growth markets say they would be more likely to stay at their job if their employer provided digital health tools, compared to 27% in mature markets.

“More workers in growth markets are ready for digital health now,” said (Mr. Balzano or local spokesperson). “But the survey found that workers across all markets are open to solutions that make healthcare more convenient and affordable. Employers have an opportunity to embrace positive disruption by providing and promoting solutions that help improve access to quality care.” 

Market-level results also revealed a number of distinct preferences. The solution that the most workers worldwide said they would value is an app that “helps find the right doctor or medical care when and where needed.” In the UK, the most popular solution was wearable technology to help self-manage chronic conditions. And in China, where 76% of workers say they are responsible for the healthcare of a family member (compared to an average of 53% across all 13 countries), the most popular digital health solution was “companion robots that help elderly relatives stay healthy at home”, the solution that ranked last in each of the 12 other countries surveyed.

For a list of solutions in order of popularity across all markets, see Figure 1. For a graph of the average number of solutions that workers are willing to try by market, see Figure 2.

Interest in digital health solutions is part of a broader focus on workplace culture of health. Clearly, employers believe in the importance of employee well-being; a full 95% say their organization will invest more or the same amount in health and well-being initiatives over the next five years. Further, 71% believe that their organization cares about their workers’ well-being. When workers were asked the same question, however, just 50% said they believe their employer cares about its workers. Survey results suggest a way to help close this perception gap. According to the ‘Health on Demand’ findings, the wider the range of health and well-being resources an employer offers – from insurance coverages to subsidized nutrition or exercise programs –  the more likely workers are to feel supported and energized, and the less likely they are to leave their employer. Of the workers who are offered 10 or more such benefits, 75% believe their employers cares about them, compared to just 43% of those offered five or fewer.

Click here to learn more and download the ’Health on Demand’ report.

*Growth Markets: Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico
*Mature Markets: Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, UK, US

Figure 1

Figure 2

 

About the Health on Demand survey

Worker and senior decision maker surveys were fielded in June 2019 in seven mature and six growth markets across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Responses were gathered from 16,564 workers and 1,300 decision makers at organizations of all sizes. Workers included full-time and part-time employees and contract, freelance and gig workers. The margin of error is +/-0.8% for the global worker responses and +/-2.7% for the global employer responses.

About Mercer Marsh Benefits

Mercer Marsh Benefits provides clients with a single source for managing the costs, people risks and complexities of employee benefits. It is a combination of Mercer and Marsh local offices around the world, plus country correspondents who have been selected based on specific criteria. Our benefits professionals located in 135 countries and servicing clients in more than 150 countries, are deeply knowledgeable about their local markets. Through our locally established businesses, we have a unique common platform which allows us to serve clients with global consistency and locally unique solutions. Mercer and Marsh are two of the businesses of Marsh & McLennan, together with Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman.

About Mercer

Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 25,000

employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people with 76,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 60 cities across 29 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 5,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a business of Marsh & McLennan [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @Oliver Wyman.