When it comes to finding the right job, there are multiple factors to consider
People look for jobs that match their interests and skill set. Many people also inquire about the employee benefits the company offers. Here are some of the most sought-after employee benefits in 2021.
1. Flexible working hours
A flexible schedule allows employees to have more control over their time. In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 96% of the participants said they need work flexibility. More flexibility helps employees balance work with everyday responsibilities.
For working moms, this is extremely important. Having a flexible start time allows them to take care of their kids before going to work. They can then better focus on projects increasing their productivity.
Here are some of the other benefits of a flexible schedule for employees:
● It gives them the ability to meet personal obligations
● It saves them time on their commute
● It creates a sense of ownership over their schedule
● It can reduce child care costs
● It can boost employee morale
2. Opportunities for Remote Work
Besides flexible hours, some employees want to work remotely part-time or full-time. The pandemic increased the popularity of telework. With businesses shutting down, many people had to adapt to working from home — and now, many people may want to keep it that way with hybrid working arrangements or full-time remote schedules.
Telecommuting provides employees with so many benefits, such as:
● Location freedom
● Better work-life balance
● Less commute stress
● Money savings
● A customisable office
There are need-based reasons to embrace remote work as well. With the pandemic still impacting the world, some people may still feel safer working virtually. Also, for parents whose children are home more often, remote work is necessary to help accommodate care arrangements.
3. Retirement benefits
Saving for retirement is an essential financial reality, so it’s not a surprise that it tops the list of most-prized employee benefits. For instance, in the US most full-time employers offer a 401(k) plan — or, depending on the sector, 403(b) — for their employees, or a similar pension scheme in the UK, Europe or elsewhere. This is when an employee contributes some of their earnings towards an interest-earning account. The employer will then match some or all of their contributions.
However, workplaces should take the time to level up this benefit if it hasn’t been updated in a while. For instance, what’s the most common match percentage in your industry? Deciding to increase the company’s match of retirement savings to a standard like 6% can create a positive impact on employees’ compound interest. Besides the financial strains, saving up money allows employees to retire peacefully. Some financial advisors believe retirees will need about 70% of their work income to live comfortably.
4. Telehealth opportunities
Since more people work from home, online healthcare services are more convenient. It also saves employees time driving to a physical office. This convenience can encourage them to attend regular checkups and take care of any medical issues right away.
Telehealth is also more accessible during non-business hours, which can be helpful for people working a 9-5 job. For those in more remote locations, this accessibility is also important — taking time off to drive to a specialist might not be feasible for many employees. In fact, telehealth can save patients over 100 minutes of time compared to an in-person appointment.
Telehealth opportunities can also benefit those who want to improve their mental health, helping employees strike a healthier work/life balance when dealing with uncertainty. The pandemic brought to the surface feelings of fear and anxiety. Telehealth allows people to talk about their feelings from the comfort of their homes and makes it easier than ever to pursue mental health support.
Telehealth opportunities are an enticing feature of any benefits package especially in the US. While they boomed in popularity thanks to the pandemic, they’re likely here to stay due to the convenience and accessibility of virtual care.
5. Parental support
The pandemic has caused many people to begin working from home. However, for parents, this can create some pressure. They have to juggle their work responsibilities with their kids’ schedules. To help them out, many parents are looking for employer support.
To help parents with childcare, some employers have offered work-from-home arrangements. Others provide parents with resources and referrals for child care or tutoring. These accommodations can allow parents to attend to their children during school closures.
To further support parents, some employers are making changes to their paid and unpaid leave policies. Here are some of the common benefits employees are now offering:
● Emergency leave for child care
● Carryover options for workers who can’t use their vacation or paid time off
● Paid leave
● Additional holidays
● Emergency leave for elder care
What employees are looking for in 2021
Due to the pandemic, the employee’s value in a company has shifted slightly. There is a greater emphasis on having a flexible schedule and more parental support. As workers’ needs change, employers should adjust their benefits packages to help recruit top talent.
Evelyn Long is a real estate & business writer. She’s the editor-in-chief of Renovated, and her work has been published by the National Association of REALTORS, CUInsight and other industry magazines.
Image by Good Faces, Unsplash