At the start of the 2000s, remote work was unheard of. The typical person worked from nine to five in an office that they would commute to. Fast forward to the start of 2020, and remote work has become the norm. In fact, an annual study shows that 74 percent of respondents believe remote work is the new normal. Business owners know that salary alone is not going to attract the best talent that’s out there. While you might assume giving your employees the option to work remotely is the best benefit you could offer, with this being the norm, there’s more competition than ever.
What they really want
Not only has the competition increased, but you want your employees to be happy. While it is a great benefit to offer your employees remote work options, you still want them to feel fulfilled and balanced so they can deliver the work you need to continue your company’s success. Here are some of the top benefits remote employees look for.
1. Parental perks
Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. This generation ranges from 23 to38 years old, which means they are at the point in their lives when they are considering building a family or continuing to grow their family.
With this being said, millennials have found (just like any other parent has) that being a mom or dad is hard and expensive work. That is why millennials so appreciate offering parental perks as a benefit in addition to their salary and remote work options in the workforce.
Facebook, for example, offers its employees five thousand dollars in “baby cash” to employees who are new parents, in addition to parental leave.
Also, consider why your employees are working remotely in the first place. Many remote workers are parents who are trying to balance raising their children while supporting their families. Parental perks are a great way to take some weight off their shoulders as your employees are working from home.
2. Shorter work weeks
At first, many companies were skeptical of remote options. After all, employees are working with no supervision. However, as companies have begun to trust their employees and reward them with the opportunity to work remotely, studies have found that employees actually work longer hours. Surprisingly, these employees are happy to work longer hours because they can work where ever they are most comfortable and be the most productive.
Keeping your employees well rested will help to boost productivity. If they are working longer hours, it will make sense to award them with a shorter workweek. Many companies have “Summer Fridays.” Summer Fridays allow your team to take a personal. After seeing just how successful Summer Fridays were, some companies even cut back to a four-day workweek after seeing higher productivity levels.
3. Paid time off
When employees are offered a remote position, it’s easy to forget to award them with paid time off (PTO). PTO days are used for vacation, sick time, and personal time where employees can use it to their discretion. When employees work remotely, we might assume they get enough personal time, or that they can easily bring their work with them to the beach, but is this really fair? After all, studies have shown that employees are working longer hours when they work remotely, so shouldn’t they be rewarded a personal day, too? Or if your team member is ill and simply just needs a day to rest or visit the doctor, they should have the ability to take the day for themselves without worry.
4. Lifestyle spending accounts
Have you ever wanted to reward a team member but didn’t have a way? Sure, you could give them a bonus, but what if you don’t have the funds (or if you do, don’t want to be taxed)? Or, you could always reward them with a gym membership, right? Well, what if they don’t exercise? Finding a benefit that your entire team will enjoy has always been tricky, but not any longer, thanks to lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs).
Similar to a flexible spending account, an LSA is an employer-funded account that is dedicated to employee perks. These perks can include yoga classes, a gym membership, a lunch outing with peers…whatever it is that you believe will make your team happier, and ultimately, more productive at work. LSAs are an excellent benefit for any employee, but they’re especially great for remote workers.
When an employee works remotely, there are fewer chances to recognize them for their hard work. Perhaps your employee worked long hours one week or achieved a big goal; to reward them, you can simply increase the funds in their LSA.
LSAs don’t have to be gym memberships or lunch money. They can be whatever you feel is something that would boost productivity and contribute to a happier lifestyle. Does your employee need help saving money for a vacation? An LSA can help with that. Does your employee need help covering daycare costs? An LSA can help with that too. LSAs are an excellent benefit for everyone.
5. Contributing to their home office
When something breaks or is needed in a business office, generally, the employee reports it to management. What happens when your employee is fully remote and needs to purchase an item for his or her office space? Offering financial assistance when it comes to contributing to a home office is a tremendous and necessary perk to offer employees!
A lifestyle spending account can also cover home office fees. If your employee needs a new computer or cell phone to complete his or her work, the costs can be paid for with their LSA.
Work2Live: making your remote team happy
Whether you are thinking about a remote team, or already have one in place, consider offering these benefits to attract and retain the best talent. It’s been proven time after time that happier employees deliver the best work.