In the usual times of daily 9-5 grind in the office, the company lunches, fitness vouchers, and corporate child care were the way to sweeten the deal for (potential) employees. Many of those benefits are largely obsolete in today’s remote world. And so, it’s time for employers to understand how have employees changed. Some of them have already started adjusting their post-pandemic benefits to retain the talent.
Senior care along with child care
When the pandemic forced parents to stay at home with their kids, it was partially very demanding. But all those quick family lunches, more togetherness, and less logistical hassles suddenly became something we don’t want to give up entirely. We’ve talked about integrating personal and work life more efficiently for ages. Now, the workplace trends suggest that leaders are listening. As Tim Allen, CEO of Care.com, summed up for HBR, their survey showed that 66% of companies said they plan to offer greater work flexibility to be more family-friendly.
Parents’ eagerness to spend more quality time with their children is to be expected. But another family-related benefit has gained importance post-pandemic: senior care. Care.com’s survey found that a staggering 89% of adult children were considering bringing their senior loved ones back from a nursing home. Around 17% care for a senior person, and around half are also responsible for a child under 18. As a result, 41% of the survey respondents want to focus on senior care benefits to make sure employees can concentrate on work without worries.
Mental health initiatives
The pandemic was a massive blow for mental health. The silver lining is that hopefully, we talk about it more and with less stigma. People need genuine human connection to give their lives meaning and purpose. Without it, they can become anxious and depressed. Add to this isolation with fear for your physical health and that of your loved ones, additional personal obligations, and then put financial distress in the mix. The stress can simply be too much to bear for many people,” explains Linda Simonsen, an emotional fitness expert, and CEO of Kleu. “In the US, the rate of depression and anxiety has quadrupled within a 12-month period. And that’s taking into account only those who have sought help. The actual statistics are likely to be far greater,” she warns.
Linda says that employers are starting to pay attention, but the solutions they offer are often band-aids. Mostly, they attempt to fix problems that have already surfaced. “However, we need to shift to preventing the problem in the first place rather than trying to fix people after they’ve broken down,” Linda says.
Post-pandemic financial literacy education as a benefit
With 63% of employees admitting that their financial stress has increased since the pandemic, it’s clear that something needs to change concerning financial literacy. Worrying about finances is a major distraction for employees, and employers need to offer a helping hand. PwC’s report on financial wellness suggests several solutions that companies can implement. One of them comes in the form of education.
As the report notes, employers have an excellent opportunity to leverage a moment when employees became more careful about their spending and fully realized how important it is to protect themselves. They may want to run financial literacy workshops or use tools to help people understand their saving and investment options.
Reimbursing work from home expenses
Offices are much emptier than before – or possibly completely closed – but employees built them in their homes. The furniture and office supplies can add significantly to the monthly budget, and some employers started recognizing it. Around 43% of them are reimbursing the office supplies (a 9% increase compared to pre-pandemic). On top of that, 34% are supporting employees when purchasing office furniture (21% increase).