Working From Home Works – Now Add Personalized Benefits to the Mix

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Employees value jobs that provide career fulfillment and understand the importance of a work-life balance. Working from home has provided just that for many individuals – so why take it away? In fact, combining it with personalized employee benefits would significantly enhance the employee experience, says Chris Bruce, MD and co-founder, Thomsons Online Benefits.

Remote working grewOpens a new window by 44% in the U.S. in the last five years – and now more Americans than ever before are working remotely amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This provides employers with an opportunity to consider the future role of remote working, rather than just a temporary measure in response to the virus.

According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, more than 50% of companies do notOpens a new window have a work-from-home policy. But by 2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers, and up to 40 million people could make remote work an ongoing part of their job.

With so many individuals moving away from traditional worksites, employers must consider the needs of those who work from home. To attract and retain the best talent, employers should explore how to improve employee engagement and loyalty, even when workers aren’t in a traditional office environment. Offering personalized employee benefits can do just that.

Flexible Work Is a Priority for Job Seekers

Flexible work continues to be an attractive lure for job seekers. According to a reportOpens a new window by the International Workplace Group, 80% of U.S. workers would choose a job that offered flexibility over one that did not. Our researchOpens a new window found that 80% of HR decision-makers recognized this and feel that flexible working arrangements are key for improved talent retention.

Not surprisingly, remote work remains the most popular of all flexible working options. This is especially true for those who live in rural environments. Nearly one-third of rural workers (32%) would be willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut for a remote opportunity, while 18% would either work more hours or give up their health benefits.

There are also generational differences to consider. Another studyOpens a new window found that remote work is most important to millennials, with more than 40% prioritizing flexibility when evaluating job opportunities.

Learn More: Which Work-From-Home Tips Actually Work?Opens a new window

Attract and Retain the Best Remote Workers With Personalized Benefits

With all these statistics in mind, organizations must look at how to better meet the needs of their employees, regardless of where they are located. Personalized benefits are a great way to achieve this, empowering everyone to make the best choices to meet their own needs.

Employee wellness pots

Employers can start by offering wellness pots, which are a great alternative to the one-size-fits-all approach to traditional benefits. Wellness pots allow employees to choose how to spend supplemental funds that have been allocated specifically for wellness benefits. This provides greater variety and choice, giving staff the chance to enroll in yoga or mindfulness programs or another unique offering.

It’s all about giving employees the freedom to select benefits that are personally valuable to them. This ensures that the benefits will be used and appreciated by everyone in the company. In these uncertain times, these wellness pots are more important than ever, allowing employees to choose what works best for them. The pots can also be flexed to cover additional equipment needed for working or exercising from home, or for subscriptions to much-needed mental well-being apps.

Universal leave

Universal leave is another way to offer employees a personalized option to enjoy their time off. Unlike event-specific PTO (such as a wedding, honeymoon, birth of a child, etc.), a universal option would give each employee the power to choose how and when to take a break. Whether celebrating an anniversary, celebrating a child’s first birthday, or taking time to reconnect with a friend, universal PTO is all about choice.

Learn More: How to Successfully Choose and Implement Unlimited PTOOpens a new window

Flexibility and Personalization Strengthen the Employer-Employee Relationship

Flexible work remains an attractive option for employees, who value employers who trust them to complete their hours of work around more personalized schedules. Employees may need to go to the doctor, or care for family or friends, and would appreciate being able to start earlier or later to accommodate those needs. Maybe they have signed up for a weekly counseling session and would like to adjust their hours accordingly to ensure they can make it on time. These uncertain times have shown that many employees can thrive in a work-from-home environment.

By being flexible, employers can fulfill these needs without compromising on the hours an employee works. It allows organizations to strengthen their relationship with their employees, fostering a greater bond that will increase employee morale and loyalty.

And by combining flexible work arrangements with personalized benefits, organizations can better meet the needs of their staff. Doing so will pay huge dividends, attracting and retaining the best talent while improving existing employees’ engagement, productivity, and loyalty.

Do you think there is any need to return the office when your job can be done from home? Let us know your thoughts on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window .