Here’s a statistic that may not surprise you: countries in the Middle East have very high percentages of expats within their populations. But you may be surprised at how high those numbers are. In the United Arab Emirates, the number is 80%. In Qatar and Kuwait, those numbers drop slightly – to 75% and 70%, respectively. Employees from different parts of the world have different health needs. As an employer, this may or may not surprise you. But a recent study of employees who work for multinational corporations revealed some things you should know.
People from developed countries face different health concerns than ones from developing countries. Here are some of the highlights: Overall, individuals from developing countries face more health risks than individuals from developed countries. 17.9% of individuals from developing countries had more than one health risk (smoking, existing illness, etc.). That number rises to 27.3% among individuals from developed countries. While obesity and heart disease factors are much more prevalent among individuals from developed countries, both are rising quickly among individuals from developing countries.
A higher incidence of anxiety and/or depression was reported among individuals from developing countries (18.8%) than in developed countries (14%). Whether employees are local or global, there’s a proven way to reduce healthcare costs and absenteeism. A recent study demonstrated that conducting a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and supporting it with a well-being program has been shown to:
- Reduce absenteeism
- Improve presenteeism (the ability to function fully at work)
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce BMI (body mass index)
- Lower stress levels
- Increase job satisfaction
- A healthier workforce can = lower healthcare costs
It’s important to note that many of the changes listed above have been linked to reduced healthcare costs. While that may be one of the potential drivers to implement HRAs and well-being programs, more and more employers view it as duty of care.
Key takeaway #1—all of your employees could benefit from HRAs and well-being programs.
As the study included people from 120 countries, it’s clear to see that health concerns are universal—but their issues vary from region to region. If you haven’t rolled out HRAs and well-being programs across your entire employee population, you may benefit from doing so.