Studies show that remote work is growing in the US. As of September 20211, forty-five percent of full-time workers in the US work remotely at least part-time:
- 25% of workers are completely remote
- 41% of white-collar workers are completely remote
This Gallup poll also suggests that a majority of workers want to stay remote.
These workers cite reducing commute time, improving their wellbeing, flexibility, and fewer distractions as reasons for wanting to remain at home.
However, remote workers do run into challenges, so it is up to you, their employer, to offer the necessary benefits to feel productive and like part of the company.
Here are the top five benefits remote workers want.
1. Health Benefits
Both remote and in-house employees want good healthcare. However, the need goes beyond basic health.
Remote workers, especially those who found themselves at home because of changes at the office rather than by their own choice, may have trouble adjusting.
Additionally, those who find themselves at home may also discover that they are no longer getting enough exercise or eating properly.
So, in addition to health, companies need to also think about wellness. This can include such things as:
- Mental health benefits
- Gym membership
- Food delivery subscriptions
- Membership to stress reduction apps
- Weight loss memberships
- Steps tracker
2. Belonging and Recognition
Remote workers often report that they no longer feel like part of the company. They miss interactions with other employees and miss the recognition of a job well done.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can keep remote workers connected and recognized by:
- Setting up channels in messaging software for water cooler type interactions and achievements
- Spotlighting remote employees via a weekly newsletter or virtual interview
- Stating achievements during virtual meetings
- When possible, offering in-person team-building events
- Providing space for employees to answer a question of the day or to post a photo
3. Home Office Set Up
Employees at home are expected to produce the same results as when they worked in the office.
However, this can be difficult if the remote employee’s home office does not have the proper equipment.
One study2 found that 71% of remote workers have been improvising to make their home office work, and almost half say their employers have not contributed financially to help them create a workable space.
Remote workers want their employer to provide a quality workspace, even at home.
Consider the following:
- Ergonomic chair
- Keyboard and mouse
- Fast WiFi
- Sufficient lighting
- Office supplies
- Storage – filing cabinets, bookshelves, etc
4. Continued Education
A recent survey from Gartner3 found that 7 out of 10 employees don’t believe they’ve mastered the skills needed for their current jobs and don’t feel confident about moving up in the company.
It’s no surprise, then, that 87% of millennials4 see professional development as very important.
There are a few different ways to offer professional development to remote employees.
- In-house online training provided in person or online
- Offer a stipend for employees to use for training and career development
- Offer time for taking online courses
- Pay for virtual conference attendance
Companies need to remember that professional development is a win-win situation for everyone.
Employees will get the education they want, and your company will get motivated, connected, fulfilled, and loyal employers.
5. Financial Wellness
Financially stressed employees are not good for a company. Not only does productivity decrease, but absenteeism and presenteeism increase.
Plus, financially stressed employees are far more likely to switch employers. Remote workers are no different.
Internal data from one Enrich Financial Wellness customer5 found that using the program decreased the number of stressed employees by 23%.
However, when offering financial wellness to remote employees, you need to ensure that the program you provide is inclusive.
This means that you will need to:
- Provide ways to communicate with and about the program for employees that work remotely
- Offer personalized programs that address employee needs and deliver them in ways that make sense for remote employees
- Offer gamification elements allowing remote workers to participate in points, badges, countdowns, and challenges from a distance
Although employees have faced a few hurdles when adjusting to remote work, offering the benefits they need and want will help them adapt.
You can learn more about Enrich, a financial wellness program that easily adapts to companies with remote and hybrid employees by scheduling a demo with us today.
1 - https://news.gallup.com/poll/355907/remote-work-persisting-trending-permanent.aspx
2 - https://craftjack.com/toolbox/remote-work-from-home-statistics-2021/
3 - https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-09-06-gartner-says-only-20-percent-of-employees-have-the-skills-needed-for-both-their-current-role-and-their-future-career
4 - https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236477/millennials-work-life.aspx
5 - https://www.enrich.org/financial-wellness-behavior-change-data-study