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Create a benefits plan that will work for you and your employees in the post-pandemic workplace

As more and more Americans receive Covid-19 vaccinations, the question looms large: What’s next? Within the workforce, that applies to everything from keeping people healthy and helping them recover from a stressful year to the possibility of long-term remote work. And all these questions surrounding the future of work connect in some way to employee benefits.

This is partly why nearly half of employers are planning to enhance health care benefits in the wake of Covid-19. They’re also investing in supplemental programs that directly relate to employees’ acute needs driven by the pandemic: 45% of employers expect to enhance well-being programs, 38% will enhance sick leave and 26% will enrich caregiving benefits.1

As we look forward toward moving beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, consider the following resources to help you shape your employee benefits for what may come next.

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Flexible work arrangements

Many businesses are changing their policies surrounding flexible scheduling as a response to Covid-19.2 This includes everything from flexible working hours to long-term remote work arrangements even after physical work locations have safely reopened. Businesses that were forced to work remotely have found ways of working that support many staff members, particularly the 58% of people who live with at least one person considered to be vulnerable to Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.3

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Wellness and preventative care

The pandemic put the need for health maintenance in sharp relief. Couple that with the fact that more than a third of adults in the U.S. delayed medical care due to Covid-19,4 and it’s clear why businesses may want to double down on wellness going forward.

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Telemedicine

Today, 43% of workplaces offer some form of telemedicine benefits—up from 29% in 2019. Good thing, too, as 26% of employees have come to expect telemedicine from their employer as a way to help them feel safer returning to a physical work location.2

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Supplemental coverage

Things like critical illness insurance have a new role in light of Covid-19, and employees are coming to demand it: 23% of employees expect supplemental benefit options now, including younger workers (58% of millennials are interested in supplemental coverage specifically because of Covid-19).2 If you’re considering reinforcing your supplemental coverage, you’re in good company: Almost a quarter of large employers intend to add or expand supplemental benefits.5

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Mental health benefits

As many as two-thirds of employees are having symptoms of depression, but 37% of employees haven’t done anything to cope with their symptoms.3 That’s where business leaders like you come in with benefits such as digital health solutions and employee assistance programs. Aflac offers services that can help your employees in times of stress, including behavioral health services and an EAP program with 24/7 access to licensed counselors. And many of our plans address mental and behavioral health, such as our group products for critical illness, hospital indemnity, and short-and long-term disability.

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Virtual enrollment solutions

Getting benefits enrollment right is important, and online enrollment is one way to get there—particularly as 42% of businesses planned to move to a remote or virtual office structure, with 26% saying these changes will be long-term.2 And self-service enrollment solutions are increasingly appreciated; 84% of business decision-makers who use self-service online enrollment say they find it extremely or very effective, the highest of any form of enrollment.2

To take the next step into the post-coronavirus benefits landscape, contact your Aflac benefits advisor. If you don't have one, visit Aflac.com/business and click “Request Info.”