The new year is typically a time where many of us want to get fit and healthy. So notorious is the annual deluge in gyms across the country that it has become the stuff of parody.
Increasingly, our health and well-being has moved from being the preserve of us as individuals to something that our employers are concerned about. Indeed, a recent survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) revealed that the average employer is spending $693 per employee on well-being initiatives per year, with that figure typically rising around $100 per year.
On the surface, this seems a good thing for both parties. The survey reveals that the most popular activities are things like physical activity programs and health screenings. The kind of things that help us to stay healthier, which in turn helps our employer.
Where is the line?
Of course, there is a possibility that wellness programs can creep into the creepy territory. For instance, it’s increasingly likely that when we work out in our own time, we use a wearable device to track our performance. Which is great for us, but how keen would you be if your boss had access to that data?
A recent study by AXA PPP Health Tech You suggests that, surprisingly, most of us would be fine with that. The survey reveals that 57% of British workers would be open to having a wearable fitness device paid for by their employer that was used to monitor their activity during working hours. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this figure rises even further if employers provide financial incentives above paying for the device itself.
It’s an apparent demand that is largely being unmet at the moment, with just 5% of respondents revealing that their current employer provides this kind of thing at the moment.
Your data is my data.
Interestingly, employees seem fairly ambivalent about sharing their health data with their employer. Over half revealed that they would be quite happy to do so, albeit with a slight caveat. The rationale behind doing so was that it would benefit the overall health and well-being of the workforce.
There is much less enthusiasm for any data being used for more performance management related things, or if one is in a country where health insurance is provided by the employer, for that data to be used to influence the services you’re provided.
Nonetheless, AXA PPP believe this is a trend that is only likely to increase.
“The increased use of health tech within the workplace could so easily be a win-win for both employer and employee. For the first time it is possible to support an individual throughout their journey from better understanding of their health to actual improvements through smart digital platforms. Furthermore, there are often staff schemes with open platforms that enable individuals to use and share information from their own personal devices, ensuring their contribution is recognized,” the say.
I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of you, the reader. Would you be prepared to fit a wearable device and share that data with your employer whilst at work? Has your employer tried to implement such a thing in the past? I’d love to hear from you, so do please share your experiences in the comments.
For more, visit adigaskell.org.