New research released Thursday from Guardian Life shows that 62% of workers now enroll online for their employee benefits, compared to only 29% in 2005. In the past year alone, the use of online benefits enrollment increased by 8 percentage points, which represents a significant shift in how employees learn about, evaluate and interact with their benefits programs.

While Millennials generally are perceived as the generation that would overwhelmingly prefer to evaluate benefit offerings through online platforms, the survey of 2,000 adults of all ages reveals that 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. 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," says Elena Wu, vice president of group insurance for Guardian.

Given the complexity of benefits evaluation and the identification of the most appropriate offerings, employees have expressed a strong need for simplification. Fifty-six percent of workers, irrespective of age or educational level, believe a single, consolidated web-based platform that integrates all of their benefits allows them to better comprehend and consider their insurance options, make selections and appreciate the value of benefits available to them.

"Understanding the most appropriate benefit mix is critically important for workers when making such significant decisions," says Wu.

 Additional key findings include:

91% of workers surveyed rate their online enrollment experience as "very easy" compared to 78% of those using paper.

Employees cite the top reasons for preferring online benefits enrollment as convenience (89%), time savings (85%) and good for the environment (78%).

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

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