February 8th, 2022

5 Employee Benefits Remote Employees Want

Traditional employee benefits like healthcare insurance and retirement planning are valuable to all employees. Other perks—like office drinks and snacks, commuting assistance, and free lunches—are more applicable to employees going into an office each day. With more remote employees, it’s time employers evaluate the benefits and perks they offer their team. 

There are a variety of low-cost perks and employee benefits employers can offer. Discounts on travel, gym memberships, tuition reimbursement, learning credits, student loan assistance, are relevant to any type of employee. 

But there are other employee benefits organizations with primarily remote workers can offer their workers that take into account the unique challenges and experiences of remote working. And these kinds of benefits can provide a competitive edge to recruiting and retaining remote workers. So they’re worth considering.

Why Employee Benefits are Important for Remote Employees

There are many positives to remote work. Employees have more control and flexibility over their daily lives. But a company can still impact their employees’ day even when they’re working from home. 

You do what you can to support your employees in an office—so too should you support them at home. There are many ways employers can make their remote employees’ day better or easier—namely, by helping them overcome the challenges of remote work: 

  • Technology
  • Social isolation
  • Distractions
  • Burnout 

The following employee benefits specifically address the challenges of working from home. These perks also come with benefits to the employer, such as improved productivity, better retention, and a positive remote work culture. So if you’re considering remote workers in any capacity, assess your benefits and consider these options in your offering. 

5 Employee Benefits to Offer Remote Employees 

1. Office Supply Stipend 

Remote work is only possible because of the technology we have. It’s essential to have an adequate workspace, computer, monitors, internet, and desk. If your workforce is entirely or primarily remote, you should provide them with the tools needed to be productive at home. 

If you really want to support and attract remote workers—provide an office supply stipend. Employees can use the money to purchase things like notebooks, planners, pens, headphones, or other equipment they’d find personally useful beyond the necessary tools. 

2. Mental Health and Sick Days

Every employee has felt the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health. But now that we’re through the worst, remote employees are still struggling. 

65% of remote workers report working more hours at home than when they worked in an office. And because remote workers are at home, many continue working through the day when they don’t feel well. Sadly, this leads to higher levels of burnout among remote employees.  

Employers shouldn’t expect remote workers to push through physical or mental illness because they’re home. As a result, providing mental health days and sick days for remote workers can be just as important—if not more important—than their in-office counterparts. Encouraging employees to disconnect at certain hours of the day and take frequent breaks is also helpful to combat remote work stress.  

3. Lunch Reimbursement 

One of the more enjoyable perks of being in an office can be catered lunches or free office snacks and drinks. It’s not an expensive benefit, but it does a lot to bring people together, promote the company culture, and keep employees fueled. And since social isolation is a challenge of remote work, this benefit becomes even more critical. 

With employees working from home, it can be hard to get together. Virtual happy hours are one way to do this—but those should be employee-led. Companies can bring people together by hosting a virtual lunch break now and then. Have employees get their favorite lunch delivered to their door and cover their cost! This break shouldn’t be about work but should be a chance for employees to catch up and enjoy a meal together. 

4. Pet Insurance 

More workers being at home means more pets hanging out at home! Data from the ASPCA showed one in five households acquired a cat or dog since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Employers can promote pets by providing pet insurance options for their employees at home. This benefit shows you value your employees and their loved ones—including the furry ones. 

Though remote workers have to contend with many distractions, pets are a good distraction. Pets are proven to be great companions for remote workers. They help overcome loneliness and improve mental health by getting workers to take breaks—like when the dog needs a walk or the cat decides to walk across the keyboard.

5. Childcare Assistance 

The flexibility of remote work allows parents to be more involved with their children and take care of them more easily. But having them home all the time can be a major distraction. Making it easier to find and pay for childcare maintains remote work productivity and shows you support working parents. 

In some metro areas, reserving childcare can be extremely expensive and challenging. If employers have remote employees clustered in specific locations, they can pool their buying power to get discounts on child care from select providers or national daycare centers. Or employers can provide a monthly stipend to offset the cost of child care. 

Employers with remote employees have to do a lot of things differently. What employee benefits or perks they offer their team is one-way businesses can be truly competitive in hiring remote workers. If you want to learn more about remote work and its challenges and opportunities, download the guide below.

Download Our Guide: Understanding Today's Remote Work Reality

Learn more about the shifting workplace dynamic and how your business can adapt to a more geographically distributed workforce.

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