As the Omicron variant surges, businesses nationwide have scrambled to meet customer demands despite increasing employee burnout. Could the answer be as simple as ensuring workers are happy, healthy and heard?

Depression and anxiety symptoms have nearly tripled since the start of the pandemic, leading to an unmotivated and generally unhealthy workforce. More than half of these people haven’t sought out necessary treatment, as mental health care is often stigmatized, inaccessible and expensive.

That’s where teletherapy comes in. Teletherapy, or virtual talk therapy, is a critical addition to any employee healthcare plan, and it serves as a win-win for both businesses and employees. This type of therapy is widely proven to alleviate mental health concerns, and it has also become a preferred method of accessing care. In fact, a 2021 study by Mckinsey and Co. found that half of all teletherapy visits are now being conducted virtually. Companies can maximize productivity, minimize burnout and reduce employee turnover, while employees benefit from accessing affordable, confidential help at home or wherever they choose.

With thousands of new Omicron cases being confirmed each day and more Americans prioritizing their mental health than ever before, teletherapy benefits could be the key to helping many businesses thrive in tumultuous times.

The Advantages of Teletherapy for Employees

The virtual model puts mental health care at patients’ fingertips through virtual talk therapy. All patients need is a phone, tablet or computer, making it an ideal setup for remote and in-person staff alike. With unpredictable office schedules that are constantly evolving to fit COVID-19 guidelines, employees can now speak to a licensed therapist without the hassle of visiting a brick-and-mortar office. Here are just a few benefits of teletherapy for employees:

  • Patients can access treatment on their schedules. This is especially helpful for those with small children, physical disabilities, unpredictable work schedules or transportation obstacles.
  • Patients do not need to request time off work or commute to appointments, which saves employee and company time.
  • Teletherapy gives patients the opportunity to access care privately and confidentially.
  • Many patients now prefer virtual therapy to traditional talk therapy, as they find it comfortable and convenient.
  • According to the American Psychological Association (APA), teletherapy has proven to be just as, if not more, effective than traditional talk therapy in terms of patient satisfaction, retention rates and accurate diagnoses.

The Advantages of Teletherapy for Employers

So, why does this matter for businesses? The World Health Organization reported that mental health problems, namely anxiety and depression, are directly linked to a 35% reduction in employee productivity, which contributed to an economic loss of nearly $1 trillion in 2020. In a time when employees are stuck at home and losing steam, it’s especially important to invest in their well-being.

Pandemic aside, prioritizing benefits has proven to help companies recruit — and keep — better talent. One 2021 study by Glassdoor found that roughly 60% of people consider strong benefits to be a major factor when deciding whether to accept a job offer.

What’s more, although the majority of employers now offer mental health benefits, most of these companies struggle with cost and access issues. Teletherapy can put companies ahead of the curve by providing a clear solution for overcoming these financial and logistical barriers.

Having spent two years isolated and uncertain, it’s understandable that so many workers today feel drained, depressed and anxious. However, employee burnout was prevalent long before the pandemic, and will likely continue after it ends. The APA reports that 3 in 4 people showing noticeable signs of improvement from talk therapy, and accessible, virtual mental health treatment offers an important solution for both employees and businesses in resolving this ongoing occupational phenomenon.

Learn more about MeMD’s teletherapy solutions.

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