As businesses across the country prepare to go back to the office, there may be some adjustments you need to make to ensure that your hybrid teams are happy no matter where they’re based.
Have you considered the impact your employee benefits packages could have on employee retention, particularly if your business is now operating on a hybrid model? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is a model that combines both home working and time in the office. Different companies have different hybrid working models, with some opting for set days for all of their staff to come into the office, whilst others will draw up a rota, so there’s never more than a set number of people in the office at any one time. Other businesses leave it up to their staff to decide their working patterns.
Many companies switched to working from home during the pandemic, which proved to be loved by some and hated by others. Many people have found themselves more productive when working from home, with one study finding that remote working increases motivation by 63%, work engagement by 75% and organisational commitment by 68%.
On the other hand, many office workers are looking forward to the return of the social aspect of office life, with 45% of US staff stating that they missed in-person meetings with their colleagues. A further 46% confirmed that they missed all those conversations you have with colleagues about non-work related matters.
Missing out on those in-person chats has also left a lot of employees feeling like they’re missing out on opportunities to learn from colleagues – something that’s hit Gen Z employees particularly hard. A study by Accenture found that 74% of this demographic are looking for more opportunities for face-to-face collaboration with colleagues.
On balance, it seems that hybrid working is the solution. You can’t please everyone, but a hybrid model caters to staff who prefer home working and those who are desperate to get back into the office. And it seems that a large majority of workers agree, with the study by Accenture finding that 83% prefer a hybrid working model.
Do you need to reconsider your employee benefits for a hybrid working model?
Hybrid working is a great model for most businesses. You can save on the cost of office space if you won’t have all of your workforce in the office at the same time, whilst catering to your employees’ various wants and needs about where and when they work.
But when some people are working from home, and others are in the office more often, a one-size-fits-all employee benefits package will not cut it anymore. After navigating the pandemic, there’s one more challenge for your company: planning a benefits package that suits all of your staff, no matter where they work, what role they’re in, or what stage of their career they’re in.
What is the importance of benefits for employee retention?
A wide variety of factors contribute to your company’s employee retention rates. From job satisfaction to an open, trusting relationship between employees of all levels and senior management, each employee is motivated by different things.
One thing is for sure, though – the benefits you offer can make or break a staff member’s decision on whether to stay in their current role or leave your company for another position. A survey by Work Human found that 66% of employees were waiting to review their company’s new benefits package before deciding whether to change roles.
What are the best employee benefits for hybrid workers?
There’s no doubt, then, that a good benefits package can help to retain your staff – as well as find new ones. But what benefits are best when you offer a hybrid working model?
Flexibility beyond locations
Whilst hybrid working, by its nature, ensures that employees can come into the office when they like, you may want to consider extending this flexibility from where employees work to when they can work. A standard 9-5 doesn’t work for every employee, and everyone is productive at different times of the day. What’s more, some staff might prefer to start their day later to accommodate the school drop-off in the morning or finish earlier to fit in a hobby after work.
Food and drink perks for home workers
Many businesses offer complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits for their staff and often treat the team to lunch or pizzas after work on a Friday evening. But what about staff who work from home or aren’t in the office when you’re providing a staff lunch? It’s crucial not to alienate those staff members by ensuring you offer the same benefits to all staff regardless of their location. You could switch in-office food and coffee for gift cards that allow your staff to treat themselves on the company.
Health and wellness support
Supporting your employees holistically means that they can bring their best selves to work. Traditionally, many offices have offered subsidised gym membership as a perk for employees – but if the membership is for the gym closest to the office, and most of your staff don’t come into the office every day, is this still a good benefit?
Instead, you might want to consider digital health offerings, like a subscription to an online yoga platform, a meditation app, or online counselling – a service that 35% of employees have rated as highly or extremely valuable. Alternatively, if your employees prefer in-person fitness classes, you could offer a contribution to a gym of their choice in the location of their choice.
Reconsider season tickets
Pre-pandemic, you may have offered a season ticket to employees who commuted by train, bus or tube, or a discounted parking space for those who drove to work. You may also have offered the Cycle to Work scheme, a salary sacrifice scheme that allows employees to buy a new bike and equipment for cycling to work.
However, these benefits may not be relevant or necessary for staff who work from home or only come into the office for part of the week. Is there another benefit that might better suit your staff instead? You could put out a staff survey to find out what they’d prefer, or set aside a pot for each employee to spend as they please.
How to put together your employee benefits package?
Ready to reshape your employee benefits to offer a package that fits your new hybrid working model? Here are the key things to consider:
- Consult your employees to find out what benefits they’d like – after all, they’re the ones that will be using them!
- Consider how the perks on offer are inclusive for all of your workers.
- Don’t feel that you have to offer the same benefits package to all your employees. You can provide different things to different groups depending on their circumstances.
And of course, as well as the other benefits you’re offering your staff, you’ll want a great office space that makes all of your staff feel at home. Remember to make it clear to all of your employees that they’re welcome to come into the office whenever they like. With high-speed internet, breakout areas, photocopying and admin support, a serviced office space from Easy Offices offers everything your staff need for a productive day in the office.