Mankind has seen an unprecedented change in the way they have lived their lives for centuries. Our houses got converted to workstations, online classrooms, gyms and leisure spaces in no time. The pandemic has impacted us in many ways as we juggle between multiple roles in a completely new environment. The worst is, with a steady rise in the number every day, getting back to workplaces any time soon looks difficult.
While many organisations see remote working being dictated by the need for social distancing, many on the other hand, have decided to adopt it as a permanent policy. Hence the existing company benefits may not completely align with employee’s requirements in these changing situations. In the coming days, organisations will need to move past their standard employee benefit policies and tailor policies that suit the remote and dispersed staff.
Now is the appropriate time for companies to review their employee policies and draft new employee benefits to ensure that they are robust to accommodate the changes and help employees cope better with the post-Covid situation.
The stress of balancing work and personal life in a confined environment has adversely affected the physical and mental health of the working population. Flexible and remote working policies to support work-life balance can help employees manage their responsibilities better. Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a great way to encourage employees to avail confidential counselling service and support the mental wellbeing of employees at the workplace. Such services are virtual and can be accessed from anywhere, which makes it ideal for this remote working situation. Extending the EAP support to family members would also be a generous gesture as an employer.
Medical coverage has become extremely vital in the current situation and will be the top priority for employees while evaluating an employment opportunity in the coming days. A holistic company-provided health insurance plan would make employees feel secure and stay committed to their employer. Shortlisting the health insurance provider who offers telehealth services along with a few forward-thinking facilities would be of immense help to employees.
In this current situation, the standard benefits of a gym membership, subsidised daycare facilities etc. look redundant. Companies can get a little creative and customise these programs to fit the situation. Virtual gym membership, discounted online after-school classes for children are a few ideas that can be embraced by companies in this new normal scenario.
Mental and physical health is directly related to the financial well being of a person. Financial stability reduces mental stress to a considerable extent and helps employees focus better. A ‘company- arranged consultation’ with a specialist to educate employees on how to manage their assets wisely would be a significant step towards boosting their morale. Such benefits would project an employer as a real well-wisher who strives to help their workforce achieve their financial aspirations.
An organisation will stand out depending on how it reacted to the crisis and aligned its policies to support the workforce. A small act of empathy during this trying time will stay forever with the employees and go a long way in building a legacy. Further, as we move towards normalcy and the hunt for the best skills starts, a company benefits package would help attract top talent.