Fringe Benefits and Perks

Top 7 Fringe Benefits You Can Offer to Remote Employees

Apart from the benefits' role in maintaining the remote workforce's motivation, morale, and productivity, is offering fringe benefits to remote employees a way to retain and attract top talent worldwide?
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Remote work has been in existence since the 90s 

Soon after the birth of the internet, companies like AT&T, IBM, and American Express allowed employees to telecommute. Doing so could cut expenses and improve remote workers’ productivity. 

The pandemic accelerated the remote work transition, and all evidence suggests that the trend is here to stay. More companies are adopting the hybrid model, allowing employees to work from home if they choose to.  

Others are entirely remote. 

However, the benefits of remote work can be short-lived if companies don’t take steps to maintain their remote workforce’s motivation, morale, and productivity. The best way to do so is by offering them benefits.

1) Tools & Technology

It’s challenging to imagine remote work without technology.  

It’s not possible.  

Besides the equipment mentioned earlier, remote employees also need software to maintain productivity. For example, time tracking software like Time Doctor allows them to make every second of their working hours’ count. 

It helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses and keep themselves accountable.  

Time tracking is also beneficial for processing payroll and invoicing freelancers and independent contractors.  

Overall, it’s a win-win for both businesses and employees.

2) Virtual Mental Health Support

According to a recent survey, 70% of American employees felt more stressed during the pandemic than at any other time in their professional lives. On average, they lost two hours of productivity daily due to the elevated stress level. 

The pressure of adjusting to a new work environment, juggling family and work responsibilities, and the feeling of uncertainty caused by the viral outbreak have contributed to unprecedented anxiety among remote workers. 

Thankfully, telehealth has emerged as a savior in the last two years.  

Employers can offer one-on-one teletherapy services to their remote workforce. It will help them battle their mental health difficulties, emerge victorious, and perform for the organization.

3) Home Office Setup

For others, supplying them with office equipment, such as noise-canceling headphones (a must-have for those living with family), Wi-Fi, a desk, and a laptop (presuming new hires don’t have one).

Prominent companies like Salesforce, Adobe, Twitter, and Spotify have adopted the hybrid work setting. Research suggests that about 70% of organizations are planning to go hybrid. Another study confirmed that 26.7% of American employees are working remotely. 

Clearly, a huge chunk of the working population had to quickly adapt to the changes. Unfortunately, not many had the means to do so. They didn’t have personal space and a dedicated workstation to achieve office-like productivity. 

This led to mental and physical exhaustion.  

Even after two years since the onset of the pandemic, not all remote workers have a workstation. Helping them set up their home office is one of the best benefits an employer can offer. 

Of course, the company can reimburse other employees if they have already invested in one.  

For others, supplying them with office equipment, such as noise-canceling headphones (a must-have for those living with family), Wi-Fi, a desk, and a laptop (presuming new hires don’t have one).  

The company should consider this as an investment in their long-term health and productivity.

4) Virtual Team Activities

Remote work has its benefits.  

Location independence, no daily commute, and greater flexibility are some of them. However, what most remote employees lack is communication and relationship building. 

But a lack of in-person interaction doesn’t have to stand in your way.  

Companies can organize fun, virtual team activities to keep employees engaged and competitive. Examples of virtual team-building activities include: 

  • Online lunch meetings
  • Virtual happy hour
  • Online murder mystery games
  • Virtual escape room
  • Virtual movie night
  • Online fitness club

There are hundreds of examples.  

To determine what will work best for your employees, you can send a quick email survey via Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, evaluate their responses, and select relevant team activities. This way, remote workers won’t feel isolated and will learn to collaborate with their team members.

5) Professional Development

A survey revealed that 70% of people would switch companies for better professional development opportunities. Moreover, organizations that facilitate a strong learning culture experience a higher employee retention rate. 

Before remote work was a norm, corporate training was delivered through in-person seminars and workshops. Today, companies have adopted a blended learning approach. It combines educational videos, webinars, eLearning courses, online lectures, gamification, etc. 

Thanks to this modern approach, remote team members have the flexibility to learn anywhere, at their own pace.  

The company can also offer them access to online courses for professional development. It’s important to take suggestions and feedback. Many employees would love to upskill but may simply lack time.

6) Paid Coworking Space

Not everyone working remotely wants to stay at home every day.  

After a certain point, it gets excruciatingly tiring and monotonous no matter how much they love their job. Human beings long for a sense of community and an enjoyable and productive atmosphere. 

Unfortunately, working from home does not provide that opportunity every single day.  

This is why many remote employees seek alternatives like visiting coworking spaces or taking a workation. While it’s not possible to take a workation in the mountains or at the beach every month, one can always visit a coworking space for a few days. 

However, coworking spaces require a monthly subscription fee.  

That’s where the company can help by offering them a subscription to a nearby coworking space. The environment in these places encourages focus, productivity, and a sense of community (unlike coffee shops which can sometimes be distracting). 

Besides, remote employees feel a separation between their personal and professional lives. Organizations will receive the return on investment (ROI) in the form of increased productivity.

7) Gym Membership

Employees have plenty of opportunities to take breaks and walk around when working in an office. Thanks to coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and toilet breaks, people have to get up from their desks and move their bodies a little. In the remote work scenario, employees inadvertently get chained to their desks.  

Not because they cannot take breaks. 

But because they don’t feel the need and motivation to do so.  

There are no colleagues to communicate with during coffee or lunch break. In fact, many of them eat while they work. This is not good for the body. We’ve discussed mental health before, but physical health is just as important.  

To ensure employees stay active and productive, you can provide gym membership as a fringe benefit. Another alternative is offering them virtual trainer services if they can’t go to the gym daily. For those who prefer yoga, companies can give them access to paid online yoga classes.

Final Note

Companies need to offer exciting benefits to their remote employees to maintain and attract top talent from across the world. Before the company implements any of them, it’s essential to consult the employees and understand what they prefer.

Written by ashwini Dave

SEO Expert at Time doctor

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