Our workforce is evolving, workers’ needs are evolving, and it’s time employee benefits for remote workers to evolve too. Especially in the remote workforce, a new light has been shed on benefits that can enhance your employees’ wellbeing and happiness. As an employer, it’s time to think bigger than just health insurance.
Sure, remote work generally has its own benefits. The flexibility and lack of commute draw many employees to the idea of remote work, but what else can you offer employees that will leverage your competitive advantage as an employer?
Benefits for Them, Benefits for You
As a remote employer, it is important to realize how providing benefits to your employees can, in turn, benefit your company. Happier, healthier employees are generally more productive and can perform better work. Offering great employee benefits can also help increase organizational loyalty and minimize your turnover rate. It gives you a competitive advantage, and your offerings will appeal to candidates who are deciding where to work.
Employee benefits are also an important consideration amidst the rise of the gig-economy. Part-time, flexible contract work is a very attractive option for many individuals, and may steal traditional employees. According to a 2019 report from MetLife, almost 20% of full-time employees work some independent side-gig, and 49% of those workers intend to leave their current employer in the next five years to pursue freelance work.
As employees work remotely, they may begin to consider contract work when they realize their talents can be applied to any number of remote positions. However, great employee benefits will increase loyalty, enhance employee happiness, and keep them around for longer.
Consider these unique and creative benefits specifically for remote workers:
1. Financial Tools
Money makes the world go round, and employees feel it too. Nearly half of all employees report that financial challenges cause the most stress in their lives. By offering tools such as 401k and retirement savings plans, worker’s compensation, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs), and student loan assistance, you can help your employees become prepared for a rainy day.
2. Flexible work options
Flexible work has become more feasible by working remotely. If possible, allow your team to customize their schedule to fit their lifestyle. Of course, you can still agree on set times for meetings and other collaborations. Beyond that, allow your team flexibility and shift the focus to their productivity instead of hours worked.
3. Home office stipend
Remote work is still relatively new for a majority of the workforce. Many employees created their “home office” virtually overnight. Offer a stipend for employees to spruce up their workstations, and possibly upgrade their equipment.
4. Health and wellness
With the looming pandemic, the emphasis on health and wellness is greater than ever before. While this can include health insurance, it can also entail things like covering part of your employees’ memberships to a gym or fitness club. Or, create a healthy and fun team building exercise by bringing in an instructor to lead a virtual yoga class. You can also organize your own fitness challenges within your team, and offer prizes to the participants.
5. Career development
Professional development has become even more accessible due to the rise in technology. Offer online learning courses or professional organizations memberships for your employees to complete at their own pace, from the comfort of their home. For a cost-friendly option, introduce a mentoring program between senior and junior employees.
6. Company culture
Your company’s culture could be the make-or-break point of an employee’s decision to stay with your organization. When working remotely, it can seem harder to cultivate meaningful relationships and a positive company culture. However, there are plenty of socializing events and team building activities that can help your employees stay connected to each other (and to your company). From remote pizza parties to virtual cocktail hours, or seasonal activities, like fantasy football leagues or half-day summer Fridays, there are countless ways to build a great company culture remotely.
With employee benefits for remote workers, customization is key!
Of course, your offerings should be specific to your organization and your employees’ needs. These ideas should help get you thinking about your benefit options, and show you how a little creativity can enhance your employees’ wellbeing, performance, and organizational loyalty. Ultimately, you should ask for your employees’ feedback to gain an understanding of what they may want.
VForce is here to help you navigate the remote workforce. Contact us today for more ways you can offer unique employee benefits for your remote workers.
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