The definition of employee benefits is changing post-COVID. Here’s what you need to know to retain your employees amidst these changing times.
As our places and styles of work change, employee benefits need to change accordingly. All through 2020, companies have had to operate virtually, and some have even decided to never go back to working from the office ever again. Around 30% of people across the world work fully remotely as of last year.
Today, most employees consider benefit plans a crucial part of their compensation. According to a survey conducted by Prudential Group Insurance, the percentage of employees who value their benefit plans has gone up from 67% to 77% in the past year. With that in mind, let’s look at some benefits that employees might need in the post-pandemic world.
Paid time off (PTO)
One of the core concerns emerging from the pandemic is employee burnout. While the new hybrid and work-from-home models might seem to provide more flexibility to employees, they also throw work-life balance up for a toss. Almost half of the people returning to in-office jobs post-pandemic foresee that it will have a negative impact on their mental health.
As a response to this concern, companies have been encouraging their employees to take time off for their mental well-being. Top companies, like Nike, LinkedIn, Bumble and HootSuite, have all given workers time off to disconnect and de-stress.
Wellness benefits for the remote workforce
Even before the pandemic, there were a lot of workplaces that offered health club memberships or access to the company’s gym to their employees. However, the new work-from-home and hybrid work models have made it impossible for employees to access such resources.
Such work models make it pertinent to rethink how health and wellness resources can be provided to employees. Shifting in-person health clubs or gym memberships over to the digital realm can help companies provide wellness benefits for their remote workers. To this effect, exercise equipment company Peloton has begun offering a corporate wellness program. Companies like Samsung and Wayfair have been first in line to join this program.
Incorporating time for caregiving into employees’ schedules
The pandemic has turned a large chunk of the workforce into caregivers, be it for children or the elderly. This has made the task of balancing work and personal life even harder. According to a study conducted by the Integrated Benefits Institute, caregiving employees are more likely to need a leave but not take it when compared to their non-caregiving co-workers. This means that even though we expect caregivers to take leave, they often end up being the ones shying away from it.
With the pandemic adding to people’s caregiving burdens, employers need to consider how they can ease the additional responsibilities that employees now have. The U.S.-based recruitment firm, Robert Half, says that post-COVID, 43% of employers have begun offering additional family leave to their employees and 37% now provide childcare assistance programs.
Employees are a key asset to any company. It is thus important to reassess employment benefits to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. A mentally and physically fit team will not only be more efficient but will also be more capable of handling future challenges that their company might face.
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