Sixty-two percent of workers now enroll online for their employee benefits, compared to only 29% in 2005, according to a new report.

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, released this finding in new study that offers generational insights regarding employee preferences related to benefit platforms. The study, “Survey Benefits & Behavior 2011: Spotlight on Enrollment Trends,” presents the findings of a telephone poll conducted among a national sample of 2,000 adults.

The report reveals that a majority of all workers (54%) indicate that a consolidated web portal would help employees appreciate the value of available benefits more effectively.

“Our research indicates a substantial shift in attitudes, needs and technology behaviors among all generations of workers,” says Elena Wu, vice president, group insurance for Guardian. “As such, employers are beginning to adapt to these changing dynamics by offering benefit packages through online interfaces that streamline the learning and evaluation process for all of their workers.” 

Given the complexity of benefits evaluation and the identification of the most appropriate offerings, employees have expressed a strong need for simplification, the study says.

A majority of workers (56%), irrespective of age or educational level, believe a single, consolidated web-based platform that integrates all of their benefits allows them to better understand and consider their insurance options, make selections and appreciate the value of benefits available to them. 

Additional key findings include:

In general, workers prefer online enrollment over an offline or a paper process.  Nine in ten workers surveyed (91%) rate their online enrollment experience as “very easy” compared to 78% of those using paper.

Employees cite the following top reasons for preferring online benefits enrollment:

  • Convenience (89%)
  • Time savings (85%)
  • Good for the environment (78%)

60 percent of both Millennial and Gen X respondents indicate that a consolidated benefits web portal would improve employees’ ability to better appreciate the value of available benefits.

The full research study can be viewed here.