The year 2020 saw considerable changes in the workplace. More people are working remotely, and this has caused employee benefits programs to be re-evaluated in a major way.
In a very short time, employee values have evolved dramatically as a result of the pandemic's impact, as well as concerns about childcare, re-evaluating living circumstances, and other issues.
The Changing Role of Benefits
For some businesses, this means expanding some benefits programs while making others less of a priority. In a Care.com survey of 500 human-resource executives in the U.S. conducted in December 2020 and January 2021, 66% said they plan to offer more flexibility, with 63% planning to increase child-care benefits and 41% planning to expand senior-care offerings.
At the same time, some benefits that were important pre-Covid, including commuter benefits, on-site meals and on-site child care, are becoming less important, the survey found. (source: tig.com)
Employees now are hyper concerned about workplace safety. This includes social distancing, temperature checks, less desk sharing, and alternating office hours.
Employers need to be ready to redefine what employee benefits are and how to implement them in a productive way for all employees. Many of these we might consider non-traditional benefits.
Benefits Changes That Employer Should Consider
Convenience and Adaptability Are Key Factors
Employers can provide their employees with the benefits of both remote and in-office work locations by providing flexible working choices and health insurance options. This would include more provider options closer to employees' homes.
Health Plan Networks
Employers may need to reconsider a policy that rewards employees for choosing the health care providers near their remote workplaces. Remote employees, particularly those living in or relocating to more rural locations with fewer health care providers, may face access issues.
Re-Think How You Manage Open Enrollment
Before making enrollment decisions, remote workers may require more time and opportunity to obtain and examine information.
Without side-by-side learning and collaboration, apprenticeship models are more difficult. This may lengthen the onboarding process and stifle career advancement. Training will have to be redesigned to fit the new work process.
Invest in the Right Technology
Technology can help remote employees collaborate with colleagues in the office by facilitating virtual collaboration. Incorrectly configured tools and technologies, on the other hand, might generate frustration and even security concerns.
Technology underpins the hybrid workplace, from collaboration and meeting room reservation applications to high-speed internet connections and AV equipment.
Equipment and Space
It can be challenging to set up staff to work from home. For maximum efficiency, you'll need the correct laptops, desks, and internet connectivity. Many companies offer money for remolding home offices. You also may want to offer flexible in-office work hours.
Personal taxes are being scrutinized by local governments in order to maintain tax income - employees may be liable for more taxes than they anticipate.
It may be that businesses will institute regional compensation plans for the same job. For example, if you have the same job performed by people in different states, the compensation may be different depending on the cost of living in each region.
Employee Multi-State Filings
Out-of-state employees may need to file personal income tax returns in multiple states.
Employers will need to be aware of how employment laws may impact them for workers who live out of state. Employment laws tend to vary by state, and these could have a negative impact on your risk management program.
For many people, a hybrid work strategy could be the happy medium. Employees have more freedom in terms of where and how they work under this paradigm. Employees will have more work-life balance, business executives will save money on office expenses, and they will be able to attract and retain more talent with a hybrid approach.
Hybrid workforce models present new, cost-effective solutions for businesses to enhance employee engagement and productivity when used wisely. Contact our team today to discover more about how your organization may successfully use a hybrid workforce strategy.
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency Helps Can Help Meet Your Needs and Those of Your Employees
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency can help your company provide a competitive, attractive benefits package without breaking the bank. We have the region’s largest and most experienced team of Employee Benefits professionals as well as access to plans from all the leading providers, including some that are exclusive to Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency.
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