Independent Health Insurance Broker asks hard questions

SMP Healthcare, an independent health insurance intermediary, has looked to its own on how COVID-19 has affected mental health in the workplace.

With the new ‘normal’ way of working, how can employers assess their staff? Lianne Harrington, Director of SMP Healthcare, found a simple solution; she asked them. The team answered 10 questions on topics such as:

Working from home:
• One was pleased because they felt safer at home, another was disappointed because the thought of working from home felt surreal, and the last was quite happy.

Home environment and adjustments:
• After a couple of months, one was grateful for a better desk and chair, another’s eyesight suffered as they found they spent longer ‘at work’, another had a separate quiet space and no adjustments were required.

Contact with management:
• There was a WhatsApp group where they sent a “funny” good morning message to each other practically every day, and all agreed the daily call from management was enough.

The ‘new normal’:
• One continued to work so apart from being at home, they were okay. One enjoyed the time at home but missed family and the last found it hard to go outdoors, feeling safer at home.

Returning to the office:
• One was pleased, saying it was great to see everyone on a daily basis again but the other two would have preferred to continue to work from home where they felt less anxious due to feeling safer not having to travel or meet people who may not have been adhering to the rules.

Such a broad range of responses was surprising but data available from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) says that last year, 12.8m workdays were lost in 2019 due to stress, depression and anxiety, while the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) recent report states that 1 in 5 adults were likely to experience some form of depression, up from 1 in 10 between July 2019 and March 2020. Mrs Harrington also approached The Exeter, a health and protection specialist insurer, who further corroborated this using data from their mobile app, HealthWise. Looking at data from March to September 2020, the year-on-year average monthly usage had more than doubled. Of the appointments during this time, 34% were for anxiety and depression related reasons and 13% related to loss/grief/bereavement. The service was most used by members aged 51-60 (29%) and 31-40 (28%).

In her article on the company’s website, Mrs Harrington challenges businesses to ask each employee for feedback to hone policies and procedures and avoid a crisis point. (Full list of questions and responses available here)

SMP Healthcare Ltd are an independent and specialist Health Insurance Intermediary working with individual, small business and corporate clients. We aim to take the hassle away from our clients, completing all administration and sourcing the right products at the right price for them year after year. Our aim is to build a long-term relationship based on trust which is an essential element of our role as an intermediary, especially when dealing with sometimes sensitive and personal information.

Our employees have a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to Private Medical Insurance and its associated products which we encourage them to share with our clients enabling them to make informed decisions at every stage.

Media Contact Details
Lianne Harrington, SMP Healthcare
Chelmsford, UK
01245 929 129
Freephone: 0800 047 0127
Geographic: 01245 929 129

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