Is your business having a hard time attracting new talent? You’re not alone!
In a competitive labor market, businesses often look to HR to boost their benefits package to attract and retain talent, but hybrid work has thrown a wrench into many of the traditional go-to benefits.
Just a few years ago things like on-site gyms, free snacks and coffee in the office, company-wide retreats, weekly employee outings and team bonding events were a big draw to employees. But the pandemic changed everything. With the workforce now seeking out fully remote or hybrid positions and dispersed across home offices, in-office perks and in-person get-togethers don’t make sense.
In the new hybrid environment – where Zoom meetings, home offices and asynchronous schedules have become mainstays – businesses need to rethink their benefits package to align with the needs of remote and hybrid workers.
We’ve compiled some ideas your employees will love.
Provide an alternative to the home office
Just because employees elect to work from home most of the time doesn’t mean they don’t miss the office environment, particularly for important video conferences or heads-down periods of work. Indeed, more than 60% of employees are willing to pay to use on-demand office space.
Purchase a corporate membership to co-working or on-demand, flexible workspaces close to where your employees live. You can also offer a stipend for your remote employees to select from the growing number of workspace providers, such as WeWork, Gather, Daybase and Alley, based on the availability and features they need. Hotels are also capitalizing on the demand for temporary work space, with brands like Accor and Worklounge offering corporate subscription models for remote workers to use hotel lounges as workspaces.
Help your employees elevate their workspace
While some employees want the option to go into a co-working space, others would prefer to invest in elevating their own workspace at home. Businesses can offer stipends to encourage employees to invest in setups that make their home office more comfortable and productive.
Direct your employees to items like footrests, ergonomic keyboards, desk chairs that alleviate back tension and standing desks. These items can help offset the risk of ergonomic-related injuries which account for more than half of illnesses reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as other common workplace disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. You can also send a branded laptop stand as a welcome gift to new remote employees.
Support your employees’ health and wellness
In lieu of leasing an office with an on-site gym, offer employees health and wellness benefits that suit their remote lifestyle. Kick off the new year by sending your employees fitness trackers so they can track their steps at home or participate in a remote office fitness challenge. You can also cover the cost of at-home, on-demand fitness apps such as Fitbit Coach, Adidas Training and Strava.
Don’t forget about employee wellness. There are a wide range of apps that support positive habits and well-being. Mental health programs like Modern Health offer access to a full spectrum of resources, including digital courses, meditations and a network of certified coaches and licensed therapists.
Reexamine your health insurance plan
Many employees decided to move during the pandemic with the ability to work remotely, which may have changed your company’s health insurance needs. Make sure your health insurance plan is appropriate for your current workforce footprint. You may need to look for plans with coverage across multiple states.
If your current plan doesn’t provide your remote employees the coverage and flexibility they need, talk to your insurance representative about other options or shop around for a new provider. Businesses may also consider alternative options, such as health insurance stipends, Health Reimbursement Arrangements or remote health insurance.
Take advantage of on-demand delivery services
With remote employees and the expansive landscape of on-demand, delivery services, employers have an opportunity to provide at-home perks like never before possible. While it may only represent an occasional benefit (think grocery delivery from Instacart once a month or $200 gift card to Care.com to hire a housekeeper or babysitter when you need a break), it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from other employers.
There’s no shortage of services to choose from. You can offer remote employees gift cards as a one-time reward or annual memberships as a permanent benefit. Businesses can also use delivery services for remote team building activities. Consider having Panera Bread or Dunkin Donuts delivered to everyone’s home office in advance of your Friday morning meeting to add a little excitement and variety to the work week.
Honor their volunteer time
With less time spent commuting and more time close to home in their communities, remote employees may want to take advantage of the opportunity to be more involved in local volunteering. Offer time-off to employees to volunteer for the causes that matter to them. You can also encourage them to share that volunteer experience on a company Slack channel to inspire colleagues to do the same.
Support employees’ long-term success
One of the best ways businesses can demonstrate their commitment to their employees is to invest in their professional development. More than 80% of employees think workers will need to expand their skill set within the next year to remain competitive. Businesses can support that interest by providing remote learning and coaching opportunities.
Companies like Deloitte and Google have invested in mentorship programs, which are easy to convert to a remote setting. You can also help your employees make the most of their asynchronous schedule with tuition reimbursement, which is already offered by over half of employers.
Keep your eyes open for new opportunities
There are seemingly endless options for businesses of any size to provide benefits that catch the attention of prospective employees and show current employees that they’re appreciated. All business owners, HR leaders and managers need to do is look around and listen.
If your star employee is constantly muting their Zoom to mask a barking dog in the background, talk to them about a coworking stipend or a dog walking allowance. If your remote team feels burnt out and disconnected, host a virtual lunch party and pay for everyone to have their favorite lunch spot delivered.
Whether they’re big or small, investing in the changes and benefits that your employees love will boost your business’s culture, skillset, productivity and well-being.