Data sharing could be the best way to support employee wellbeing
Looking after the wellbeing of your people is the cornerstone of good business practice and new research has shown that many workers are willing to share their personal health information if it leads to better support.
Deliotte’s ‘UK workers: a year in the pandemic’ survey has found that 46% of workers would share their personal health data so that their employers could improve their wellbeing at work.
The findings, based on responses from 1,248 UK workers across a number of industries, showed that one in four (26%) employees would be comfortable for their employer to monitor their personal health data, while one in three (33%) said that collecting health data from devices was acceptable.
Additionally, 36% of workers were in favour of sharing data on their stress levels with their bosses, while the same proportion (36%) would be willing to provide data on their physical health.
Will Gosling, Human Capital Consulting Leader at Deloitte, said: “At a time when a large proportion of UK workers would like to continue to spend most of their working week at home, there is a risk that those struggling with their mental or physical health will go without the help that they need.
“But out of sight should not mean out of mind and in some instances collecting data can be an effective way to ensure that employee wellbeing is being supported.
“However, employers should refrain from taking decisions that force employees to share this information.
“Where data is collected, employers must clearly communicate when they are collecting data, how it will be used and provide workers with the opportunity to opt-in to these support programmes.”
The Deliotte survey also found that not all workers would be comfortable sharing personal information.
49% of respondents said that their health data was none of their employer’s business, and 46% said it should not be monitored by their organisation, even if it led to improved wellbeing support.
However, just one in five (21%) said they did not trust their organisation to use their personal health data responsibly.
Ivana Bertoletti, Technical Director of Privacy and Ethics at Deloitte, added: “It’s clear that some workers will remain reluctant to share their personal data, even if this means that they forgo personalised wellbeing support.
“Employers must make sure they are transparent and fair with the way personal data of employees is handled.
“Most importantly, no employee should feel left behind if they are uncomfortable sharing their personal data.”
- Sharing personal health information could lead to much better outcomes in terms of employee wellbeing and support.
- Employers should be transparent and fair about how personal data is handled and should refrain from forcing employees to share their information.
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