The pandemic is taking a toll on so many areas; one of its most significant effects has been on workplace structure and function. There have been massive lay-offs in the past few months. However, there has been a bright side, too, at the employee’s end. Yes, we are talking about employee benefits. With the end of the year approaching, a lot of companies conduct surveys to find out what additional benefits the employees want.
In today’s article, we will be discussing the different ways the pandemic has changed the benefits employees want.
1. A Healthy Work Environment Has Become A Priority
The coronavirus pandemic has made a lot of people realize the importance of a healthy work environment. According to the Employee Benefits Trends 2020 survey, about 86% of the people stated that healthcare benefits are top of the list for them and a “must-have.” However, the people who took the survey were also of the opinion that they need to have a variety of options when they are being given healthcare benefits such as those for critical illnesses, dental coverage, etc.
There has also been an increase in demand for benefits related to COVID-19, such as an increase in the amount of sick leave for people with COVID-19, access to healthcare professionals who are available 24/7, and providing coronavirus treatment and testing.
It is also noteworthy that employees are seeking a healthier office environment in terms of cleanliness. Offices are now under strict supervision by the government to implement cleaning procedures such as disinfecting of surfaces, carpet cleaning, etc.
It is not just the physical healthcare benefits that employees are seeking. There has also been a surge in demand for mental health benefits for those employees who are under depression, anxiety, or suffering from some other mental health condition.
2. Flexible Schedules
As the coronavirus spread out in most parts of the world, offices were one of the first places to be shut down. There was a rise in remote work so that enterprises could maintain their operations as usual. While remote working was only introduced as an alternative working method to continue operations until things become normal, it became quite popular.
Remote working has surprisingly turned out to be more beneficial in terms of saving money and providing flexibility to employees. It has also been proven that employees are more productive when they are given a chance to work in a flexible environment. Considering these factors and many more, there are several technology giants such as Facebook who have already prolonged the “remote working” time-period.
This has also opened a range of opportunities for companies to test different working structures. Since the situation is still unpredictable, there can always be a certain number of employees who can work from home without affecting the overall operation.
3. Adding Perks to Offer Letters
Mass lay-offs taking place during the peak coronavirus period have made employees insecure about their jobs. This is why when people are hired again, they are extra careful about including elements in their offer letters, which would help to safeguard their jobs.
This means added benefits in their offer letters to erase the hardships which they had to face in the past couple of months. A lot of employees might be suffering from mental health issues during the quarantine period, even if they are already employed. Therefore, employers need to balance their workload in a way that does not cause them burnout.
Employers can take various steps to reduce the burden on their employees by offering mental health-related coaching, counseling, and access to professional health experts if needed. If they do not require help, then their workload can be balanced with fewer working hours or a flexible routine in which they can spread their work out to make it more manageable.
4. Virtual Community of Employees
The concept of virtual community of employees has been on the rise for the last couple of months. Especially with the pandemic hitting us hard, a lot of us have realized the importance of having skills that we can readily bring to use. This is why employees are looking for opportunities in which they can maximize their skill sets, learn from others, share knowledge, and collaborate even from remote environments.
With half of the workforce functioning from home, it makes sense to have virtual knowledge-sharing platforms like Givitas for the employees. With the help of platforms like this, employees are organized into groups and they easily exchange advice, connections and more.
It is also beneficial to provide virtual training facilities to employees who are not working on a remote basis. Remote learning not only reduces the chances of catching the coronavirus, but it also helps to make learning more useful and valuable.
5. Child Care Benefits
The need to provide employees with child care benefits has become more apparent than ever during this time. It should also be noted that the majority of companies did not provide child care benefits to their employees before the coronavirus and the shift towards providing these facilities is very recent. Most of the people would also trade these benefits for vacations, sick leaves, or retirement plans.
However, these concepts have changed with the onset of the virus. The pandemic has changed the child care benefits that employers provide. These benefits could include reducing the costs of child care for employees, or giving discounts in the locality to daycares, providing in-house daycare options, access to on-site daycare facilities.
The workplace scenario is taking a new shape with every passing day. The truth is that neither the workplace nor any other aspect of our lives has been the same after the spread of the coronavirus, and there are slim chances that it will go back to being the same. However, at our end, it is important to adapt to these changes as fast as we can to help the world return to normalcy. The above list is only an insight into what will be reshaping the future of employee benefits; there are a lot of things which will be implemented in the months or years to come. COVID-19 has left us all feeling insecure about a lot of aspects of our lives; improving employee benefits can reduce fear among people.
About the Author
Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Carpet Cleaning London.