The business world has become increasingly digital for decades now. Thanks to project management tools, video conferencing, chat platforms, and more, business no longer needs to be conducted under a single roof. Companies can now meet, collaborate, communicate, and get work done from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.
In the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, remote work has become not just a luxury, but a necessity for businesses around the country. Companies have abandoned their perk-filled offices, and many of them plan to stay this way. This dramatic change has many businesses questioning one single thing: what do benefits look like for employees who work from home?
If you’ve found yourself pondering the same question, we’re here to help. Read on to learn about some employee support benefits to consider giving to your team while they work from home.
Health is top of mind for people around the globe right now. According to a nationwide Gallup poll, 60% of Americans reported feeling worried about their health in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, up 21% from pre-pandemic times.
If you run an established company with a handful of full-time employees, chances are that you already offer health insurance to your full-time staff. If so, consider upgrading the health insurance that you offer your employees to help soothe worries and give them a bit more peace of mind.
Here are some modifications to your health insurance plans that you may consider offering:
If you don’t already offer coverage to employees’ dependents, consider extending your coverage to include them, too.
Increase the amount you pay toward your employees’ premiums to relieve some of the financial burdens on them.
Grandfather all covered employees into the next coverage period without needing to meet a certain threshold of hours worked; this can enable employees who need to take time off to do so without fearing losing their health coverage.
Chances are, most of your employees never expected to work full time from home. As such, their homes may not be set up with a designated office space. They may find themselves working 8 hours a day from their kitchen table, or bouncing from couch to kitchen to bed to keep comfortable. It’s not optimal for comfort or productivity.
Help them establish a space in their home that’s appropriate for a full day’s work by providing a home office setup stipend. Provide enough for a desk, chair, secondary monitor, keyboard, and mousepad. You may also consider offering an ongoing stipend for internet, as many of your employees may be forced to upgrade their internet speed to enable them to complete work.
In addition to coronavirus-related health concerns, full-time remote employees currently face a wealth of new wellness concerns, too. Without an office to commute to and coworkers to co-mingle with, many employees face challenges with both physical and mental wellness. Employees risk increases in feelings of isolation, sedentary lifestyles, and stress and anxieties.
The good news is, there is a wealth of corporate wellness software that tackles just this issue. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill calorie-counting and exercise-tracking apps. These softwares offer holistic wellness services, including exercise, nutrition, mental health services, financial guidance, and more. Not only can these services help your employees lead happier, more fulfilling lives, but they can also reduce healthcare costs for you.
Did you offer employees lunch prior to the pandemic? Many employees rely on work-provided lunches when building their budgets, and the pandemic has caused a nationwide decline in income. In fact, according to a TransUnion survey, 58% of those surveyed reported that their finances have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Why stop providing free lunch now?
There are a number of different ways to continue providing lunch to your employees, including:
Offer meal services designed specifically for work from home employees
Provide a regular gift card to a meal delivery app or home meal service
Give a weekly stipend to cover what you used too pay per employee for lunch
Work is just one of the many things that have been changed by the coronavirus pandemic. For parents, perhaps one of the most substantial and complex complications created in the past year is the closure of schools, daycares, and other childcare facilities. Many parents are now faced with paying out of pocket for one-on-one childcare or managing both work and childcare at the same time.
If you have a significant number of parents at your company, it may be nice to offer a stipend to cover childcare during the pandemic. That will allow your employees to focus their full attention on work, eliminating distractions and increasing productivity.
Moving forward, this type of benefit can also open your doors to hiring highly skilled employees who struggle with accepting a full-time position due to childcare needs.
Whether it’s pandemic times or not, education should always be a central feature of your employee benefits offerings. Ongoing learning and education are valuable for so many different reasons. A comprehensive education offering attracts employees who are interested in bettering themselves and growing their skills. That’s not only good for them but for you, too. Ongoing education enables your employees to become experts and thought leaders in your industry.
A thorough education package includes the following elements:
Personal and professional development courses
Industry-specific education and training
Tickets and incentives for attending industry-related conferences
Ongoing peer education via “lunch and learns” and other on-the-clock learning opportunities
The professional world may look totally different than in the past. But, just because times have changed, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the perks and benefits that make your company and employees stand out. Consider the above benefits to maintain a happy, healthy, and successful workforce. Who knows—your employees may be happier than they ever have been!
About Author: Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.