How it works
A trip to the dentist during work time can be painful for both patient and employer alike, often resulting in a half day out of the office and therefore lost productivity for the company. But global financial services firm Citi does not have to worry, as its employees have access to a fully-equipped Bupa Wellness health centre on the 36th floor of its Canary Wharf tower in London. It means staff can be back at their desks two minutes after undergoing treatment. Complete with views of the River Thames, and a spa-like feel with its sleek, modern decor, the treatment centre houses 20 health practitioners and 12 consulting rooms. Offered as part of the company's private medical insurance package, services include a GP, dentist, physiotherapy, sports masseuse and chiropodist. Most services can be paid for through appropriate insurances.
All of the organisation's 11,000-strong workforce have access to the health centre, as well as a bespoke service geared towards helping long-term sick employees return to work. There is a dedicated rest room too, mainly used by pregnant employees. Citi's PMI covers IVF, all chronic conditions, as well as treatment for HIV/AIDS. As a result, medical history is completely disregarded for all new joiners. Members of staff benefit from the convenience and time saved from having access to a centre in the same building, as well as from educational offerings, such as posture clinics. Health assessments can also be arranged and there is a health line dedicated to Citi employees.
What it delivers
Workers feel more engaged and healthier, and are more productive as a result. The company gains from increased attendance, not only because staff take fewer days off sick, but also they spend less time away from work attending appointments. In fact, Citi has estimated that the total number of working hours saved a year by having an on-site health centre could be up to 20,358 hours. Looking at visits to GPs and nurses alone, Citi has calculated that, based on an average employee wage of £30 an hour, the firm saved £245,960 last year.
THE HR VIEW - ROBERT GREEN, is benefits manager EMEA.
Green says the benefits are less to do with cold, hard business figures, and more to do with improving the health of Citi's staff. "We don't measure it all scientifically to ensure we recoup the investment," he says. "It's more important for us to look after the health and wellbeing of our employees, and be the employer of choice in the market. People want to work here because we invest in health and wellbeing. It's important to us." But Green does not deny it helps the bottom line, especially when it comes to the number of working hours saved. "We will easily break even in the first year," says Green. "Having an on-site health centre saves a considerable amount of time." And it helps retain talent too. "We have a 98% return rate for all employees who go on maternity leave - that's a reflection of how much people want to come back here." Although Citi may have a market-leading health centre, it still believes more can be done. "Our PMI cover cannot be beaten in the market, and most of our services are used 100%," says Green.
THE EMPLOYEE'S VIEW - MARK TWEEDIE is a global transaction services client manager at Citi.
He has worked for the company for nine years, including two years in the States where private medical insurance was a necessity. "In a way, I was spoilt early on and have now come to expect it," says Tweedie. Not that he is complacent. He has benefited from the services of the GP, dentist and physiotherapist. "The health centre saves a huge amount of time," he says. "Without it, I would have had to have time off, but now I can go upstairs for treatment and be back at my desk 30 minutes later." The health benefits are obvious too. "My wellbeing is being catered for without having to be absent from work. It's a great convenience to have." Although he had to pay a consultation fee to see the GP, the charge was worth it. "The convenience far outweighs cost considerations," he says. And how does it make Tweedie feel towards his employer? "It's a good thing Citi is doing," he says. "It's a judicious step that works on both sides."