Today’s workforce is quite different than about a decade ago. This change can be attributed to the introduction of remote workers in the workforce. In this modern age of the blended workforce, it is essential for you to treat every employee equally. This includes those workers who are working remotely. According to statistics released by the New York Times, “43% of American workers were engaged in some remote work in the year 2016.” This goes to show the importance of remote workers in today’s workforce.
But, most of the time it has been observed that remote workers do not get the staff benefits as full-time employees. This makes them feel like second class citizens which is not a good thing for modern HR professionals. Every time you give staff benefits to the people who are working physically in your office, you are sending an indirect signal to your remote workers in other locations that they are not as highly valued. This makes it all the more important for you to design staff benefits by truly considering all the workforce including the remote workers.
Although managing teamwork online can be a very difficult proposition the benefits of having a remote team cannot be undermined. We will talk about the different challenges that you can face while managing remote teams sometime later in our future blog. Right now, it is about time to change your perspective while designing staff benefits for the organization and think about the rewards that you will be giving to your remote workers first.
While the staff benefits that we have included below are for the remote workers some of them can even be offered to the full-time employees. The key is to ensure that you try to empathize with the remote workers and understand what makes them tick while taking the final decision:
1. Offer an annual technology allowance
Even remote workers would require tools to get their job done. The best way to make a huge difference in their job is by offering them an annual technology allowance that can be used to purchase a better headphone, a new app, an extra monitor or a laptop upgrade. Although you might think about these things as boring, they are extremely critical for getting the best out of remote workers. Give them an option of selecting the best pieces of equipment. This way you can ensure that the remote workers get job satisfaction and make them strive hard to maximize their outputs for the organization.
2. Offer home service perks
It is essential to ensure that the remote workers are able to concentrate on their job during the work hours. For that, you need to provide services that will ensure your remote workers have a smooth time working at home. It can be providing services for cleaning, gardening, or even a food or meal delivery service.
3. Offer workspace allowance
Remote workers want the right chair and desk to work. Offices refurbish furniture from time-to-time. The next time you upgrade the office furniture provide workplace allowance to your remote workers so that they can upgrade their home office. There will be certain remote workers who might want a standing desk or even a treadmill desk. Give them an option to use the workspace allowance for a membership of a co-working space or towards a shared office.
4. Put aside a health budget for remote workers
It is always critical to keep your employees healthy for better productivity and positive results. The same thing should apply to the remote workers. Although, you might consider health insurance to be boring it is still an invaluable asset, especially for those remote workers who have a family.
You can give a health budget to your remote workers in such a way that they can spend that amount on gym memberships, yoga classes, setting up a home gym, enrolling in a meditation course or getting new running shoes.
5. Invest in their learning & development
Most of the employees working in your organization are looking for growth and expansion. The best way to ensure that is by expanding their skills that can better their performance. There are lots of online training courses available nowadays. The best way is to encourage your remote workers to take advantage of these.
You can even take membership of these courses by giving access to everyone in your remote team. Alternatively, you can set a budget that your remote team can invest in selecting the online courses of their interest. This way you can reward them and encourage them to learn and grow in their professional lives.
6. Give special treats
Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to receive something personal that will make you remember for a very long time? The same thing is applicable to the remote workers. Send them vouchers of a nearby restaurant, for an online store or for a massage or facial. As an alternative, you can arrange for a surprise delivery of a cake, pizza or a bunch of flowers to your team member’s house.
7. Give extra vacation days
It is a great idea to sometimes give a break to your remote teams from work so that they can concentrate on other facets of their life. The best way to do that is by offering extra vacation days. Holiday allowance is a great way to showcase that you care about your remote workers. It can even go a long way in ensuring that it enhances your employer brand when the remote workers tell this to their friends and colleagues. Offer the remote workers a subscription to a travel lounge or a pre-check authority to make their vacation a pleasant experience.
8. Offer positive recognition
Tangible rewards are great when it comes to rewarding staff benefits to your remote workers, but sometimes positive recognition can also do wonders when it comes to lifting the morals of the employees. The best way to use this staff benefit is by recognizing a team member on a monthly basis by taking their interview and featuring them on your blog, intranet or newsletter. Although, employees do not usually ask for it, public recognition can be a great incentive as a staff benefit.