Benefits and Compensation, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Employer-Provided Benefits for Remote Workers

HR teams often put a lot of time and effort into creating benefit packages and perks for employees that help them remain satisfied and engaged at the workplace. But the pandemic has changed the way a lot of us are working, leading to a situation in which many benefits and employee perks simply aren’t as useful as they once were.

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This situation leaves employers questioning what types of benefits they can offer employees who continue to work remotely to ensure those employees still feel appreciated and are able to take advantage of the benefits on offer.

Here are some examples of benefits and perks that may be especially useful for remote employees:

  • Stipends or reimbursement for home office furniture or equipment, including things like printers or other devices normally found in offices that are not in every home.
  • Partial or full reimbursement for in-home childcare costs. Childcare services are often hard to come by these days, leaving parents to look for in-home options, which are not always affordable.
  • Subscriptions to online fitness activities of employees’ choosing or reimbursements for the same. This could be part of a wellness initiative.
  • Credits or reimbursement of $x per month for home delivery services to have groceries or takeout food delivered to their home.
  • Flexible working hours to allow employees to better manage their time.
  • Payments or reimbursements for online therapy or counseling.
  • Home subscription boxes that are relevant to employee needs or interests.
  • Covering costs of streaming services for entertainment. This is a small item that can have an outsize impact.
  • Payment for online physical training sessions or one-on-one sessions with a virtual trainer for employees who are interested.
  • Software for employees to prioritize well-being, such as premium meditation apps, sleep trackers, and the like.
  • Reimbursements for some or all other fitness purchases, like fitness trackers or home exercise equipment.
  • Other classes that can help employees manage the new normal and create work/life balance, like parenting classes or coverage for activities for children.
  • Pet insurance to cover pet health emergencies.
  • Having office supplies shipped to their home to make work easier and more streamlined.
  • Payment for coworking spaces when safe and available, which can give employees a break from their home environment while still being less crowded right now than coming back to the office.
  • More paid time off (PTO) and the encouragement to take time off even if employees aren’t going somewhere on vacation.
  • Online courses relevant to their career development (and permission to take these courses on company time).
  • Travel credits with major travel companies for future use.
  • Memberships to delivery services like Amazon Prime.
  • Good health insurance with affordable premiums and mental health coverage.
  • Other home services, like housecleaning or yard care.
  • Financial counseling. (Online options are particularly useful now.)
  • Paid lunch delivered to their home a certain number of times per month.

Employers can show they are still invested in employees’ well-being by doing things like these. When employees see their company is invested in their future, they’re more likely to feel trusted and a sense of loyalty to the organization.

Additionally, in these times, it’s important to be able to attract and retain talent when your organization is ready to grow again; having good employee benefits will be a key component to that.

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.