In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the global economy to a halt, and many office employees began to work from home. With this change, many traditional employee perks (social events, free lunches, onsite childcare, etc.) have become meaningless. To attract top-notch talent in a competitive field like tech, where talent is in short supply, employers are getting creative and thinking outside the box about the unique perks they can offer their talent and differentiate their organizations. You can provide remote employees with these 10 perks.
10 In-Demand Remote Employee Perks
1. A sense of belonging
Being integrated into a group or feeling like a critical member defines a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging is a feeling of being appreciated. It is the feeling of being valued, understood, and even worthy. Giving employees a sense of belonging is very important to us as human beings, but it also significantly impacts business. According to a recent study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, employees who feel they belong are more likely to be productive and motivated. Engagement is said to be 3.5 times higher. If that's not enough to create an environment of belonging, think about a time when you felt like you truly belonged somewhere. What does it look like to be where you belong? Have you been able to accomplish something because you felt a sense of belonging? Did feeling connected to the people around you influence your motivation to do great work? Imagine what your team could accomplish if every remote employee felt this way.
2. Team Socials
Since we all started working remotely, we interact less and less with our coworkers, chatting around the coffee maker or going out for drinks after work. With opportunities for casual interaction gone, employers have to think more creatively to energize their teams. Virtual team-building events can help build and maintain a remote solid corporate culture among employees who do not share a co-working space. These events can be a crucial venue for employees to connect and get to know each other better. It's essential to help employees have a community through purchasable perks and community-driven benefits (think Slack groups, video hangouts, hobby-based work communities, etc.). You can confront this loneliness. You want all of your employees to feel valued, meaningful, and essential. By offering perks to your remote employees, you can remind them that not being seen does not mean not being heard. Their contributions are not only significant. They are encouraged and needed to create a corporate culture entirely. You can do this yourself, or use Teamland Team Socials for Team Events.
3. Tech Gear
Make sure your employees have all the technology they need to create an optimal telecommuting environment. Offer a "remote work desk setup" stipend as a modest cost to create the perfect remote work environment, including monitors, keyboards, webcams, headphones, and microphones. InBev, a leading Belgian liquor company, sent office chairs to 400 Indian employees who transitioned to remote work after the pandemic. As a result, the employees were happier, more satisfied, and gawking at the bright green chairs in their home offices. And also, Shopify recently made headlines for providing employees with a $1,000 budget to set up remotely. Creating a productive workspace and providing employees with a small budget to purchase desks, ergonomic chairs, and other telecommuting necessities can make remote work more accessible and comfortable.
Delicious and healthy meals and snacks can turn a simple home office into a place where everyone can flourish. Offer a meal-kit plan to remote employees instead of office catering services or other perks. Or, send them a snack box with a message from their boss once a month or quarter. Another option is to provide remote teams with points that can be used for vouchers to shop for groceries and necessities. This offer will allow them to target not only snacks but also essentials. Studies have shown that happiness in the workplace skyrockets because employees have snacks at their disposal whether they eat them or not. Both employees in the office and remote workers appreciate free goodies. But for remote workers, who are often in the digital world, a small, tangible reward can provide an invaluable connection to the company and colleagues. Sending a box of branded goodies filled with tees, sippers, pens, notebooks, stress balls, etc., improves employer reputation and eNPS, increasing brand effectiveness by 44%. You can also send gift baskets, a flower bouquet for a birthday, a pizza at home, balloons and cake for a birthday, or a gift card for dinner for a work anniversary. Everyone likes to have a gift delivered to their doorstep. You can send all sorts of things to your remote employees to let them know you think of them.
5. Learning & Development
Unlike a workstation upgrade or lifestyle spending account, a remote work stipend is a monthly, quarterly, or in some cases bi-weekly program that pays your remote employees for basic expenses while working remotely. Internet bills, phone bills, and learning and development expenses are typically where remote work stipends are used. At WebFlow, where more than 70% of employees work remotely, remote work scholarships are offered. Anyone who works from home needs a solid Internet connection for long video conferences. This strong connection is especially essential for long video conferences. In technology areas that require a lot of bandwidth, the Internet is not just a perk; it is a necessity and can be expensive. If you pay for all or part of the cost of the Internet, it will pay for itself in no time and be a much-appreciated perk. Your company will also benefit from the increased knowledge of its employees, which is a win-win situation. With so many digital training and e-learning tools available, there are many ways to provide career development opportunities for employees who are working remotely.
Wellness programs help employees succeed physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and career-wise. There are plenty of options from virtual class passes, subscription video workouts, fitness trackers, and yoga and mindfulness apps. Pandemics can be stressful for everyone. Make your employees' physical and mental health a priority by giving them access to free wellness products. A healthy mind will only cooperate when a healthy body wants it to, so wellness initiatives are essential to keep employees alert, even when working on the couch. As a typical benchmark, Microsoft offers an annual membership to a fitness club to all employees in remote and in-office offices. This practice is widespread and has proven to be effective, especially for employees in remote locations. One company has partnered with a fitness-related smartphone app to provide employees with a free membership to a health center to support their physical well-being. The company also offers yoga and wellness sessions at remote locations to encourage employees to join the groups. Fun activities for remote employees also provide a healthy workout. The wellness initiative is one of the essential telecommuting perks for remote employees, as it is a real benefit that eliminates the possibility of burnout while at home.
Many of our employees are taking care of their children or elderly parents (or both). In this situation, reimbursing the cost of daycare can make life easier, but this is a significant expense that comes out of the pockets of responsible adults. Working from home, some people may also feel the pressure of having to do all the cooking, cleaning, childcare, and caregiving. Reduce these pressures so that telecommuting employees don't feel guilty when they abandon their responsibilities at home. To attract and retain the best talent, offer more perks than the usual or required minimum. Offering vacations and experiential perks will enrich your employees' lives and provide them with employee perks they can't get anywhere else. Facebook is undeniably a pioneer in family perks for children, including a $4,000 maternity grant and maternity and paternity leave for new parents. This shows that the organization cares not only about its employees, but also their families.
8. Work Length
Unlike the 9 to 5 employees who work in an office, remote workers have very little time off as their working hours are rarely set. Compared to those who work in an office, remote workers work an extra day a month. -Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University
In organizations that divide work progress into sprints, remote workers have the privilege of working one short week each month, as long as they meet deadlines. This way, they can work from home and still get better results, saving commuting time, long lunches, and chatter, which is already a lot of effort. And also, give a monthly sabbatical to remote team members who have been with you for a long time as a perk. It's the worst thing a remote employee can do to take a leave of absence, as old habits of mixing work and daily life don't go away quickly; approving a month's worth of sabbatical leave will give your eligible remote employees a big boost. Research shows that sabbaticals give employees the space to generate new ideas, gain confidence, and take on new responsibilities for the organization.
9. Treated Equally As In Office
Remote workers do not have access to the same resources that the in-office team gets. Naturally, it's not very pleasant to be expected to perform the same level of work and tackle the same level of tasks while not having access to the same tools as your colleagues. When remote employees don't get the snacks, coffee, lunch, wifi, space (desks) to work, monitors, etc. that are provided to internal employees, it looks as if they are competing, or at the very least, it can lead to a situation of resentment. An easy way to approach the inequity between dispersed team members is to set up a remote work stipend so that remote people can set up a home office, pay for high-speed wifi, or buy a second monitor.
10. Extra Bonuses
New remote work perks can help expand your company culture and support your team, streamlining and minimizing the workload for your HR/people management department. Each remote employee is very different: some live on the beach, others in the mountains, some work during the day, and others at night. The perks are ideal for remote workers because they give them more diverse, inclusive, and personal choices. at Webflow, the SF-based team is provided with catered lunches and snacks every day, while remote employees, who make up 70% of the company, have a $250/month remote work perk. This new, innovative perk eliminates the need to pick and choose telecommuting perk preferences and allows the company to say yes to everyone's needs. Through the Lifestyle Spending Account, Webflow is able to offer more perks for less money, support remote employees, and better tracking and management for HR. Airbnb provides $2,000 per year to all remote employees and Airbnb gives all remote employees $2,000 a year to travel anywhere in the world. These perks for remote employees provide them with a reason to look forward to a job that would otherwise be mundane. Also, giving incentives to remote employees can motivate them to work harder.
Some companies are further revising their benefit offerings to reflect the needs of remote workers. Because remote workers have unique needs and lifestyles, employers may need to be more flexible in their benefits offerings. For example, we reimburse employees for setting up a home office, which includes a very wide range of ergonomic IT equipment, sit-stand desks, babysitting, grocery delivery, and dog walking. In order to not only support remote workers but also to retain them, it is essential to offer innovative employee perks that address a variety of unique situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are examples of remote employee benefits?
- Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption Leave
- Employee assistance programs. Private consulting services for employees dealing with personal issues
- Short-term disability insurance
- Health Insurance
- Wellness Account
- Retirement Plans such as a Group RRSP
- Employee Share Ownership Plan
- Remote Technology Allowance
- Flexible Schedules
What benefits do employees want most in 2023?
- Paid time off
- Flexible hours
- Paid family leave
- Four-day work week
- Free food in the office
- Student loan assistance
- Pet insurance/pet friendly offices
- Fitness perks - Gyms and yoga studios have certainly struggled during the pandemic