Twenty months after the first confinement in the province, the situation is clear: Quebecers have taken a liking to teleworking. A survey conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, in collaboration with TELUS Health, reveals that working from home and flexible working are among the 10 most important employment criteria for 65% and 72% of respondents, respectively. This desire for flexibility now extends to other social benefits, and considering the scarcity of labour, employers have every reason to take this into account.
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Telecommuting and flexible working
Among employees, telecommuting and flexible working have the appeal of facilitating time management.
In a Léger survey by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, 32% of respondents mentioned that their main reason for continuing to work from home is the significant time savings due to non-travel. A better work-life balance follows closely, as specified by 29% of respondents.
Spending less time between home and the office, combined with the ability to customize work hours, is beneficial to employee well-being in many ways. They can thus exploit the times of the day when they are most productive. It is easier to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits into daily life, such as physical activity. Parents of young children experience less stress by coordinating their professional availability with the daycare or school schedule.
Different social benefits according to the stages of life
For the sake of equality, company benefits are often the same for everyone or for the same status. Some amenities are universally sought after, such as basic dental care and eye exams. Other needs differ greatly, especially according to gender.
The Conference Board of Canada reports that women generally place a higher value on health-related benefits than their male counterparts. They spend more on paramedical health care and mental health care than these in a proportion of 25.8%, compared to 17.6% for men.
Needs also vary by age and stage of life. Also according to the same survey by the Conference Board of Canada, young workers and parents place more importance than their colleagues on social benefits beneficial to their families, such as reimbursement of tuition and cafeteria fees or scholarship programs.
Furthermore, those who prefer to use virtual healthcare tend to be younger (60% for those aged 18 to 34 compared to 28% for those aged 65 and over). According to research conducted in 2020 by theCanadian Medical Association, people who do not have a family doctor prefer to use virtual health services. People without dependents have more time to take training that is not related to their work – for example, on financial literacy.
No wonder even large companies struggle to meet such broad and diverse expectations. “Up to 59% of respondents say the health and wellness support offered by their employer does not meet their current needs,” observes Lauren Florko, senior research associate at The Conference Board of Canada.
More choice and better access to health care
However, it is possible, including for small and medium-sized enterprises, to offer access to a wide range of services. TELUS Health Clinics provide employers with health and benefits management solutions in several Canadian provinces, including Quebec. Employees can get on-demand virtual care, mental health support and wellness advice tailored to their unique needs. There are so many ways to be supported in adopting healthy lifestyle habits. These help prevent potential physical and mental health problems before complications arise.
“Personalised health care options need to be more accessible to employees and enable them to proactively manage their physical and mental health,” said Sonya Lockyer, vice president of TELUS Health. Access to timely virtual care and mental health services is another way for employees to take charge of their health. »
Obviously, the future is telework and flexibility. Isn’t it normal that social benefits and health care evolve in the same way?