It’s 2022 and flexibility and hybrid work environments are here to stay. The post-pandemic workplace is a different environment that has required every industry to pivot. The challenges of a remote or hybrid workforce call for new solutions. To function today means you must be flexible, innovative, and adaptable. This includes your benefits package.
Many companies are now realizing that the current crop of benefits they have offered for years may not make as much sense as they used to. Most of the existing employee benefits are designed around physical presence in the office or at least living in the same geographic area. This simply isn’t the case anymore. Not only is your workforce no longer in the office together, but they are also often not even in the same state.
These company benefits for a remote and hybrid workforce can adapt to your team’s needs. With the help of surveys, leaders and managers can figure out the kind of benefits that matter to employees. This allows you to create a plan that works for everyone.
Here are seven areas of your company benefits that may need to be adjusted for your new remote and hybrid workforce:
1. Health Insurance:
Review and adjust your plans to accommodate a workforce from coast to coast. Your employees may not necessarily be located in the same region as the company office, which means may be forced to pay higher costs for out-of-network providers. Also, keep in mind that remote workers are more mobile and could move to another state without even letting the company know. These types of situations can affect medical insurance benefits. Review your health benefits to ensure they provide national coverage that is easy for employers to access anywhere.
2. Rethink Wellness Programs
Remember that your remote workforce is now locked in their home for most of the day. They have likely extended their working hours while losing human connection, water cooler talks, and have little to no buffer between their work and personal lives.
In ordinary times, a wellness program was a bonus to keep your employees healthy and active. Today, these programs are critical to the mental health of your team. Your wellness program should include things like meditation, physical, stress management, and personal counseling. Of course, some employees will take advantage of these, while others dismiss them and enjoy workouts to clear their heads. Using producs that allow employees to choose individual mental health care options, such as Beny, allows all employees to benefit. Consider the whole person when keeping your employees healthy, happy, and motivated.
3. Know Your Worker’s Comp Coverage
Employees who work from home still have the same workers’ compensation insurance benefits as if they worked primarily in the office. This means they can qualify for benefits if they get hurt or sick from their job while working remotely. Does this mean you’re liable if they trip over their dog and fall down the stairs? Maybe. Laws tend to see home offices no differently than office buildings or storefronts. This becomes even more complex for businesses with employees located around the country because laws and requirements vary by state. Make sure you have an insurance partner who will ensure your remote workers to classified correctly and provide adequate information to all employees about whom they should call if they get hurt and what their rights are.
4. Home office allowance
When you hire a remote worker, you may be responsible to ensure they have the tools required to do their job. This may include a desk, chair, monitors, and even employer-subsidized internet. As an employer, you still have the same obligations to your remote force as you would if they were in an office. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers keep the workplace free from ergonomic hazards. While this doesn’t mean you are required to provide every employee with ergonomically correct furniture, it is in your best interest to ensure they have a comfortable working environment.
This can be one of the best additions to your current health coverage. With services like Teladoc and Amwell, you can provide a range of options to your employee and their family to visit a doctor. Telemedicine is often more convenient and less expensive for things like dermatology, nutrition, talk therapy, psychiatry, and second opinions on existing conditions. Most telemedicine services are available 24/7, so your employees can get the care they need without losing work time traveling to a doctor’s appointment.
6. Dependent care benefits
Not only is childcare a nationwide crisis, but about 48 million Americans provide care to an adult relative or friend. This additional work is unpaid and can cost caregivers more than $7,000 a year out of pocket. To support your employees in this area, consider things like decision support tools, dependent care FSAs, and backup child care options including stipends or benefits for in-home child care.
7. Broaden Your Benefits
Some employers are completely reinventing their benefits to make sure they reflect the needs of remote workers. With a hybrid or remote workforce, you need benefits that focus on everything an employee deals with at home, including family, children, pets, and mental health. The benefits they need may be completely different from that of an employee who comes into the office eight hours a day. This may include unique benefit opportunities such as:
- Doordash lunch instead of a cafeteria or catered lunches
- Refund gym memberships instead of in-house fitness center
- Mobile mental health programs, in place of in-house employee wellness programs
The latest innovation in flexible benefits is Beny. Beny utilizes all these areas your workforce uses most and integrates them into a seamless employee benefits program. In fact, the Beny share page allows remote workers to share and rate vendors they have chosen for their benefits creating unity among coworkers. To ensure your benefits are serving your community and learn how to integrate Beny into your current benefits package, give us a call today!