MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Expats Want Personalised Wellbeing Benefits

Expats want tailored benefits packages from their employers.
Woman waiting at the airport.

For businesses with employees working abroad, supporting their wellbeing becomes a more complex responsibility.

Ensuring that workplace culture isn’t toxic and that physical and mental health isn’t being jeopardised is essential.

However, this responsibility could become a bit more complex according to a survey released by Aetna International.

According to its results, 9 in 10 respondents want more say on benefits package inclusions.

Over half are keen to see more wellbeing elements.

Which Expats Want Personalised Wellbeing Benefits?

These findings were sourced from a survey of 1,000 expats living in the UK, USA, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong from 1 – 8 September 2021.

The company, which offers expats insurance policies, found that 88% of its respondents wanted the choice to pick their employer’s health care package based on their own lifestyles and health concerns.

With proactive self-care now a central part of expat lifestyles, those surveyed noted a desire for more holistic benefits that supported both their well-being, mental and physical needs.

This was alongside clinician-directed treatments.

Tailored Wellbeing Benefits More Important Post-Lockdowns

Over half (52%) stated that having tailored benefits featuring well-being elements was more important now than pre-pandemic.

The interest in having a greater choice of wellbeing benefits on offer as part of an employer health care package further suggests a growing desire from both employer and employee to break down workplace taboos around managing stress.

It also suggested creating an open forum of discussion around employee mental health.

“People are becoming more aware of all areas of their health,” says Dr. Hemal Desai, global medical director, Aetna International.

“They are understanding that a healthy lifestyle amounts to more than just exercising and eating well and that each person is different.

“Mental health is clearly growing in focus and more people are learning about how to manage it.”

What Do Expats Want In Their Benefits Package?

The survey reveals a quarter (25%) of expats think counselling and therapy sessions need to be included in packages. Overall, this is the largest endorsement for any well-being offer.

Of the markets surveyed, counselling and therapy topped the inclusions list in the USA and Singapore. It ranked second in the UK and UAE, and fourth in Hong Kong.

These findings underline a growing global recognition of the importance of mental health.

Fitness sessions and apps, life coaching and yoga and meditation sessions round out the top inclusions respondents were keen on.

Mindfulness app subscriptions followed closely at six on the list. This shows an appetite for a more well-integrated healthy lifestyle offer.

“There are plenty of tools available to help an individual with everything from mindfulness and sleep to calming and alleviating stress,” continues Dr. Desai.

“We’re also observing that convenient access to these tools included as part of an employer’s benefits offer appears to be a growing priority for busy expats.”

Interestingly, 40% of expats surveyed ranked a health care benefits package as the most important job offer consideration. This compares to 52% who stated salary.

Though it’s unsurprising that salary wins out, the gap between health and wealth is narrower than might have been expected.

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