Wellness matters

Employees would prefer a paid visit to a doctor instead of free bananas in the office.

Employees would prefer a paid visit to a doctor instead of free bananas in the office.

Employee benefits are an integral element of the overall remuneration system. But how often do employees themselves have the opportunity to choose what’s included in their basket of benefits? Have you asked your employees which they would prefer – health insurance or free fruit in the office?

We recently conducted a survey of the public in the Baltics in order to ascertain which benefits company employees in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania prefer. The survey data revealed that what employees want to see in their basket of benefits is a health insurance policy and additional paid vacation days, as well as the opportunity to attend free courses to improve their skills and competencies.
After the pandemic, companies are increasingly switching to a hybrid work model, thus diminishing the importance of benefits offered in the workplace, such as free fruit, a massage chair, or a rest/entertainment zone in the office. Survey respondents were asked which benefit they would prefer, if they had the opportunity to choose: reimbursement of lunch costs or paid visits to their dentist. Eighty percent chose a visit to the dentist.

Which employee benefits are most attractive to you?

  • 76% Health insurance (coverage for private healthcare, dental care, medicines, and optical expenses)
  • 57% Additional paid vacation days
  • 37% Professional training or education reimbursement
80% employees chooses a visit to dentist instead of free lunches

The survey revealed that all segments of society highly value the opportunities provided by health insurance. However, as Nellija Baliko, a health insurance product manager at If Insurance Baltic, explains: "There’s still a prevalent myth within society that health insurance is only available at big companies. But in truth, you can provide your employees with health insurance even if you have only three, five, or seven people on your team."

You can provide your employees with health insurance even if you have only three, five, or seven people on your team

In order to offer the health insurance most appropriate for each sector, If Insurance Baltic keeps track of trends in the health sector and closely studies the specific nature of work in various different fields, because this can significantly affect demand for a specific healthcare service. Choosing the health insurance for employees that best fits a company’s profile can also substitute some other benefit provided by the employer.

For example, office employees often experience considerable mental strain and sedentary working conditions, so including the services of a psychotherapist or nutrition specialist in the health insurance policy will provide more comprehensive benefits for improving employees’ health than a rest corner in the office. Another example: employees in in the manufacturing industry do physically demanding work that may involve the overuse of one muscle group. Therefore, it is absolutely vital to include a wide range of rehabilitation services in their health insurance policy, because a massage chair in the office administration zone will not be enough.

Health insurance as an investment

Providing a health insurance policy that ensures the availability of health services may well help employees perform more consistently, which in turn makes them work with greater efficiency, thus benefiting the company as a whole in the long run. Selecting the right health insurance policy can also reduce employee use of disability (sick leave) benefits.

If you would like to receive the most appropriate health insurance for your company, learn more and contact us at if.ee, if.lv, or if.lt.

The If Insurance Baltic survey was conducted by the KOG Institute in August 2023.