Happiness-boosting benefits your employees want this year

No one can forget 2020 happened. A year ago, most brands thought remote work wasn’t an option for them, then March came, and they wanted to believe work from home is only a temporary solution. But as the year came close to an end, they started to understand the pandemic changed the work environment for a prolonged period. However, some companies consider the option of returning to the offices once the staff gets the vaccine. 

Workplaces have to adapt to the changing times that require social distancing. Brands can no longer expect to dominate the marketplace for the most wanted employers if they don’t broaden the range of benefits they offer to their employees. A long list of benefits isn’t just a tool for attracting new talent, but also for boosting employees’ performance and peace of mind and retaining staff. 

The beginning of the year is a time of reflection for companies when they look back at the past months’ events and forward to the future. Even if it’s challenging to predict what 2021 will bring, it’s a great moment to adjust operations and adopt new staffing strategies. 

Gen Z employees need new types of work benefits

In 2021 more Gen Z experts will join the workforce, and they demand personalized perks from their employers. This is the age group used to customize everything, from their clothes to the hairstyle they sport and cars they drive. If you want to hire and retain Gen Zers, you must be ready to add to your list of benefits the ones they’re looking for. 


Remote work and flexibility

The pandemic has caused a massive shift in when, where, and how people work. Millions of employees were sent home in spring 2020, where they remained for the following months. Remote work has proved more successful than many companies expected, and they’ve been pleased with the option of collaborating with experts worldwide. Remote work allowed many companies to access talent outside their country’s borders. As the pandemic persists in 2021, remote work and flexibility is a perk every employee is looking for. We expect to see the model continue even in the post-pandemic time with employees asking employers for the option to choose if they want to work remotely or come to the office. This shift will also trigger changes in many other benefits. The workers who decide to continue to work remotely will no longer have access to on-site perks like free lunches, gyms, and snacks, so they’ll ask their employers to customize the benefits to meet their new lifestyle.

Mental health benefits

Prior to the virus outbreak, one-third of large companies (with over 5000 employees) planned to offer on-site counseling in 2020. The number of employers that considered this option was higher than in 2019 when only one-quarter of businesses planned to provide mental health benefits. With employees working remotely, many of those companies had to switch to online counseling. 

Not all employees face the same needs, but with a virus outbreak threatening the world, more and more people find mental health benefits essential. Also, not all professions pose the same risk for developing a mental health issue. Veterinarians are at a higher risk of suicide than the other professions, and lawyers are four times more likely to have depression than people working in different industries. Tech experts are more likely to suffer from substance-abuse disorders. In the present times, it’s vital to offer health benefits with an online component to workers. 

Pet insurance

Organizations hiring younger experts (in their 20s or 30s) won’t be surprised to find out that they want their employers to offer pet insurance. For this generation, pets are like children, and they expect the companies they work to treat them accordingly. Workers without children think pet insurance is similar to offering insurance for their families. 

The shift to working remotely also triggered a book in pet adoptions, and the Shelter Animals Count states that 89% of the homeless pets living in shelters left the premises by the end of June. The American pet products Association expects Americans to spend $99 billion on their pets in the following months for veterinary care and food. Pet insurance benefits would cover vet checks and regular treatments. 

Monthly parking

As some workers come back to the offices now that the vaccine program is in place, they once again face an old issue they struggled with before the pandemic forced them to work from home, they have no available spots to park their vehicles. To encourage employees to come back to the office, companies can provide them with free parking close to the business premises. Companies can collaborate with organizations that offer monthly parking Austin based to ensure their workers don’t waste time driving around to find an available parking spot. Also, by booking parking spots close to the office, employers protect their staff from getting in touch with other people who may carry the virus. Parking providers offer interactive maps for employers to pick the location that better fits their needs. 

COVID-19 vaccine support

With multiple COVID-19 vaccines approved and starting to be provided to the general population, companies should encourage their staff to get the vaccine to protect themselves from the virus. They can also collaborate with the authorities to help them distribute the vaccine to ensure that the biggest part of the population receives the essential shots by the end of the year. Although vaccination facilitates the return to offices, many people are skeptical and hesitant about the vaccine because they lack information. 

However, surveys show that 50% of Americans want to get the vaccine, but they don’t know how to proceed. Organizations (viewed as the best ally in getting the Americans vaccinated) can significantly distribute the shots. As vaccines are available for the general public, employers must look for ways to provide their workers with the shots and covering the associated costs. 

The last months have been full of challenges for businesses and workers, but organizations should look for the uncovered opportunities they can take advantage of to attract and retain talent. 


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