At the time when the whole team spent 5 days per week in the same office, it was easy to treat them to a lunch or Friday beers. After two years of pandemic and several lockdowns, the work reality has changed. More and more companies have adopted a remote-first approach or follow a hybrid working model. The days where the whole team was in the same location at the same time are long gone. This shift requires a new approach, not only when it comes to HR policies. Employee perks can become a challenge and are, more than ever before, at the risk of being forgotten.
Employee perks however are important. Everybody wants to feel appreciated and recognized. It has always been the case that perks boost employee retention and increase productivity. In hybrid teams perks additionally enhance the remote work culture and can nurture happiness and fitness. Here’s some inspiration for remote working employee benefits and treats for hybrid teams:
Health & Wellness packages
If employees are working from home, chances are they’re not getting as much exercise as they should. Those who travel to coworking spaces or coffee shops are more likely to have access to Yoga and Pilates classes or gyms. Whether they make use of them is another question.
To enhance employee well-being, employers can offer subscriptions to online classes (e.g. MoveGB) or memberships for a gym in their local area. If this becomes too complex in a hybrid team because every team member has a different circumstance, there could be a monthly allowance to spent on fitness programs and home sports equipment. To ensure employees make use of this opportunity, there could be a monthly challenge with health awards. The team member who took the most classes or fitness sessions could win a prize.
Food and drinks
We all need to eat and there are lots of professionals with a secret coffee addiction. Some employees might also find it hard to eat healthy when working from home, others might find that they spend too much in coffee shops. Why not help them with a solution that suits individual team members.
Remote workers that mostly work from home might appreciate a healthy fridge fill. This could be a delivery from a supermarket to get ingredients for meals or a delivery of a ready-made, healthy meal such as the ones from DetoxKitchen.
Another great way to boost employee productivity is a coffee subscription or coffee vouchers to use in coffee shops. With a coffee subscription, employees can get ground coffee or beans delivered to their home. Providers like AlpacaCoffee even offer 15% discounts to Othership Premium members. You could probably get one for your team too.
Home office equipment
This perk almost seems to be too obvious and yet, it is often overlooked. Employees that mostly work from home need a proper home office setup. All those online classes they might take for personal fitness won’t avoid back pain if they’re working from the sofa or the kitchen table. A workstation at home should contain an ergonomic chair, a desk (ideally height adjustable) and a separate screen. In the same way that a company provides a laptop, it could provide these work essentials for home workers. Alternatively, there could be an allowance to purchase said items for a home office.
In hybrid teams there will be naturally a certain number of employees that are working from anywhere, not just their home, or that prefer to make use of a shared office or coworking space in their local area. So why not take out a coworking membership for them or give them an allowance to use towards coworking?
Othership has the right solution for every team member from private offices for small teams that would like to gather in the same location to multi-location coworking for those that are following a more nomadic lifestyle, from day passes in coworking spaces to monthly hot desking. Additionally, there are options to hire meeting rooms as required and not to forget the discounts in cafes and hotels to work from.
Bills, expenses, childcare & home cleaning
No matter where we are working from, there are certain expenses in life and employers could contribute towards these costs as a perk. This option too can be multi-faceted as every team member has different circumstances. We can only provide a few options as an inspiration, e.g.
- Cover their monthly phone and internet bill
- Pay for their Netflix subscription
- Top-up their smart meter with a certain amount each month
- Contribute towards childcare costs or pay for a babysitter every once in a while
- Pay for a cleaner to come to their house
- Provide vouchers for petrol
- And so much more
The best approach is to speak to each team member individually to find out what they’re struggling with and then see which type of perk they would benefit from the most.
One thing most people do out of concern over financial security is to take out insurance: health insurance, home insurance, disability insurance, life insurance etc. Employers are legally required to pay into a pension scheme, and it would be an easy-to-achieve perk to increase the monthly contribution. Alternatively, employers could take some off the load for insurance premiums off their employee’s shoulders. Such benefits however are taxable.
Another option are subsidized insurance plans and corporate insurance schemes. Employers can negotiate deals with insurance providers that would allow their employees to take out the same insurance for better conditions.
Training and Development
The way we work has changed dramatically for many of us. One thing that is still as important as before is career progression. Training and personal development can further the career and there have always been plenty of opportunities in real life and online. Employers can offer a training allowance and could even set some working hours per month apart for employees to study or attend courses. Managers should anyways have regular one-to-one meetings with their team members, also online, and what better opportunity to discuss personal goals and training opportunities?
Discount schemes & gamified employee recognition
Discounts have been mentioned on several occasions already and things can become complex in larger organisations with hybrid teams. To facilitate bonus schemes, there are platforms that streamline the offer across the whole company and provide access to several bonus offers to include something suitable for every team member.
Not sure what solution is right for your team? We at Othership can provide help and guidance.