More than three-quarters (77%) of employees admit their productivity has declined because of the health symptoms they have experienced while they wait for a medical appointment.
However, many employees continue to miss appointments they have made, according to Unum, which found almost one in three appointments had been cancelled or missed because of work pressures. Sixty per cent of workers said they found taking time out of work for a medical appointment stressful.
Almost two-thirds of workers who missed a medical appointment said their health had deteriorated as a result.
“It’s extremely concerning that so many employees are struggling to fit in medical appointments. Prioritising work over health only creates a far bigger problem further down the line, often leading to a condition worsening and reduced productivity,” said Unum UK chief executive Peter O’Donnell.
“Ensuring employees know they are supported in looking after their health obviously is more important than ever as we all battle the global Covid-19 pandemic. In just a few weeks UK businesses have embraced change on a level that would normally take years – home working has become the norm for many and we’re relying on technology and digital advancements in ways we haven’t before.
“Encouraging employees to use services such as remote GPs for concerns that don’t relate to Covid-19 can be invaluable when NHS medical services are under so much strain,” he added.
To that end, Unum last year launched a remote GP appointment service, Help@hand, which can be accessed by more than 40,000 employees.