Benefits news you may have missed: July 27-31

From the rise of virtual wellness to Google’s decision to keep workers remote until next summer, here are some of the week’s top stories.
By: | July 31, 2020 • 4 min read
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Continuum’s solution for financial stress: faster pay, education: The customer care provider partnered with instant pay company Branch to give employees financial education and more frequent access to their pay. Read more here.

Google workers will stay remote until summer 2021: Google reportedly will keep its employees remote until at least July 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, becoming one of the first companies to extend remote working into the middle of next year. The tech company’s decision comes as many employers consider their reopening plans months into the coronavirus pandemic. Although some have begun bringing workers back into offices, others have embraced remote work options longer than expected, spurred by rising coronavirus numbers and employees’ hesitation and concerns over returning to physical workspaces. Read more here.

Keeping fitness in focus, despite COVID-19: While the coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on several aspects of wellbeing, notably mental and financial health, a handful of employers are making sure physical health stays in the spotlight, too. For instance, Best Buy recently moved its on-site operations to a virtual platform, while others have partnered with wellness companies so employees can live-stream fitness classes at their convenience. Read more here.

Why virtual wellness is on the rise: Wellness companies Wellbeats and Grokker, both of which offer virtual wellbeing components and partner with employers to provide them as a benefit for employees, say they have seen a big uptick in employers using their tools since the pandemic began in March. Read more here.

How Pinterest is getting its remote workers moving: The company’s luxe fitness center may be closed, but remote employees still have access to plenty of ways to stay active. Read more here.

Overwhelming number of employees lack savings: Eighty percent of hourly workers have less than $500 saved for an emergency, according to a survey of 3,000 hourly employees by instant pay company Branch. What’s more, the percentage of hourly workers who had $0 saved increased 12% from last year to 52%. Read more here.

Employees experiencing ‘alarmingly elevated’ mental health risks: New data finds that when comparing numbers from Feb. 3, before the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, and June 28, there is an increased risk among employees of 54% for depressive disorder, 49% for PTSD, 41% for general anxiety disorder and 11% for addiction. The index continues to prove that mental health impacts of coronavirus are not dying down months into the pandemic. Read more here.

HBLC speaker proposals deadline extended: The Health and Benefits Leadership Conference request for proposal deadline is being extended. Speakers now have until Aug. 3 to submit a proposal to present at the annual benefits conference, which is scheduled for April 7-9, 2021, in Las Vegas. Read more here.

The childcare crisis is here. What are you doing about it? The Mom Project founder Allison Robinson shares the support and solutions working moms need. Read more here.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.