Undoubtedly, the workplace dynamics in today’s age have already shifted to the “remote work” era. Thanks to advancements in information, communication, and technology, employees can now work productively no matter their geographical position, given that they have a reliable and stable internet connection. Instead of investing in an office with desks, doors, vending machines, coffeemakers, and whatnot, more and more companies today opt to hire employees from around the globe. This way, they can allow them to work wherever they want, for so long that they get their tasks done on or before the agreed deadlines.
Of course, as with every other workplace situation, the remote working system has its drawbacks. For example, some people claim that a centralized workplace is needed to ensure collaboration and maximum production. The company’s cohesion and coherence may also be limited, given that discussions and suggestions are aired only online. These are certainly valid reasons. However, in a future workforce report by Upwork, 38 percent of hiring managers predict their staffs will be predominantly composed of remote teams in the next decade.
Companies now lean on to a remote work model because office costs can be expensive, especially in business hubs like New York City or the San Francisco Bay Area. The talent pool is also virtually limitless as employees come from all over the world. Although the benefits of remote working go way beyond just these, you get the idea that the goal of a remote business is cultivating efficiency and convenience. Nonetheless, it is still the company’s call to opt for a remote workforce or remain in a more centralized, local working-in-an-office type of situation.
Because work-from-home is such a popular term today, many companies have rambled in determining what kinds of benefits they should offer their remote employees. Here are six benefits, perks, and privileges remote companies can consider offering to their workers:
1. Working Space Technology and Supplies
One remote work benefit your company can offer is working supplies. Remote workers are entirely dependent on their gadgets to accomplish their work responsibilities. Providing your remote employees with a laptop, an iPad, or any device deemed helpful for them as they work from home will boost their morale and let them know that their company looks after them and values them. If your company does not have enough finances to provide these gadgets, perhaps a stipend for employees so they could purchase these items on their own will already be appreciated and cherished.
2. Health and Wellness Allowances
Harvard Business Review considers health and wellness as the most desirable perks for remote workers. A healthy employee is a productive employee, which mostly rewards the remote business and probably even boosts its revenue. However, because employees live in many different countries, health insurance packages can be difficult to manage. What your company can do is allocate a monthly allowance solely designated for health and wellness purposes.
Knowing that their company looks after their wellness is one reliable way to boost a company's remote employees’ morale.
3. Rewards Programs
One question many employers ask is “How do you reward a remote team that performs well in a certain duration of time?”
Of course, all employees in a company are entitled to the standard perks and benefits. However, some employees could deliver an elite performance in one week, for example, and you can reward them for this. With this, you motivate them to work harder and smarter, and therefore advance your company in terms of work done and eventually revenue.
Small gifts like a desk clock, paperweight, laptop accessories, or tumblers are recognized and appreciated by high-performing employees.
4. Monthly Subscriptions
Working in a lonely and depressing situation will take a toll on your employees. This is not in the list of benefits of remote working. Still, as a responsible employer, you can ease this dilemma by issuing subscriptions in entertainment media as a remote working benefit. Providing them with subscriptions to entertainment hubs like Netflix, Amazon Kindle, Audible, Disney Plus, and others can be a reason for them to want to stay in your company. Additionally, these subscriptions do not cost that much, relative to the other mentioned perks and benefits.
5. Insurance Plans
An insurance plan has become one of the priorities of modern-day working professionals. Not only are insurance plans a perk that should be offered as a benefit for workers working remotely, but it is also one of the standard benefits for any employee in any company. Aside from letting them know that their company is concerned about them, it will also provide them with a sense of financial security, which is, without a doubt, essential in today’s age. However, this benefit can easily be taken advantage of by employees. Some of them may end up purchasing several insurance plans to secure their assets to save their family’s future, which will cost you more than your employees could manage. This can be patched up by letting your employer facilitate these subsidized insurance plans.
6. Paid and Unpaid Time Off
As previously mentioned, the work-from-home atmosphere has taken a huge toll on remote employees. One way to alleviate this dilemma is to provide them with paid and unpaid time off. It is essential to be flexible about leaves and absence from work, so telling them that they have an option for an unpaid time out is tantamount to telling them that they should prioritize their health and family over their work tasks.
Your people play an essential role in the success of your company. Letting them know that their company appreciates, recognizes, and looks after them, their health, family, and future is a responsibility every company should make. These perks and benefits are only material possessions. Far more important than these perks and benefits is the intangible assurance that you genuinely care for them. (READ: How to pay out your remote employees?)
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Despite the pandemic situation, it does not change that the workplace should always be a team business—the employees perform their roles and responsibilities. At the same time, the management they work for takes good care of them. These mentioned benefits, perks, and privileges are just material possessions. It may cost your company a small amount of money, but the impact on the employees goes far beyond just cultivating loyalty. These assure them that their company is always on the lookout for their wellbeing, even in the middle of a pandemic. This, in turn, breeds quality performance from your employees and eventually, increases your revenue—a benefit your company receives by managing remote teams effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a team of employees work remotely?
Yes, a team can function remotely. In an article by Meghan Richards from Eternity Marketing, she enumerates tips for employees to work remotely on a team, proving that given the right mindset and habits, a team can work far from each other while still performing their roles efficiently. Tips included in the mentioned article include:
- Set up a workspace that works for you.
- Communicate effectively.
- Establish healthy boundaries.
- Embrace online meetings.
- Record your meetings.
Some benefits of working as a team are building trust toward your colleagues, developing conflict-resolution skills, and improving on healthy risk-taking. All of these can be done remotely. (READ: The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely)
What are the top remote companies today?
According to Forbes, the ten best remote companies of 2020 are:
- Working Solutions
- Kelly Services
- EF - Education First
What are the benefits of working remotely for employers?
Remote work benefits the employer in so many ways. The most significant ones are:
- Cheaper costs. The remote work setup cuts expenses like transportation allowance, coffee allowance, office maintenance, and several other things. This makes employers and the company, in general, save more money, which can be instead used to invest in a health and wellness program that looks after every member of a company’s workforce.
- Improved work and life balance. Better work-life balance is not a benefit only employees can have. It is also one of the management benefits while the workplace dynamics are in a remote work setup. Plus, everyone can now perform their household chores while also delivering their responsibilities at work.
- Limitless talent. The possibility of hiring anyone in the world is another way on how your company can benefit when you allow your employees to work remotely. The remote work set-up widens the talent present in a company by having multiple employees across the globe.
Why is remote work important today?
Basically, because of the pandemic situation, most, if not all remote workers do not have a choice but to shift to a remote work setup, so frankly speaking, it is now the only way of doing business and/or performing the assigned responsibilities at work. But more than just fulfilling roles in a company, remote work has also become a bridge for employees to spend more time with their families and develop stronger bonds with them. Overall, remote work is essential because this is the only way employees can earn money, but it also helps them become better family people.
What benefits do employees want?
Jeff Pita from Forbes states that the most essential employee benefits companies should give more focus on are:
- Good pay;
- Work-life balance;
- Organizational transparency;
- Great leadership;
- Job training; and
- Paid time off.
What are the four major types of employee benefits?
The four major types of employee benefits are medical insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, and disability insurance.
What is meant by salary?
Salary is a predetermined and fixed amount of compensation paid to an employee by a company in exchange for their services or work performed. This is commonly paid in fixed intervals. For example, an employee can receive monthly payments for one-twelfth of the agreed-upon annual salary.