How HR Tech Can Best Enable the WFH Environment

Seventy-four percent of CFOs surveyed by Gartner plan to enable at least 5% of their on-site staff to work remotely post-pandemic, and as many as 41% of employees could work remotely at least part of the time. Some firms have even offered to let employees stay working from home forever. Benefits technology will be critical for these employees to have flexible and personalized options as they will have fewer touchpoints with their organization than their colleagues who return to the office. Organizations must offer a way for all staff to access their benefits at any time and from any location as a further tool to enable employees to thrive in a remote setting.

Start by determining what employees want most

There is no doubt that employees value really great benefits. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, telemedicine options and student loan repayment are among the benefits that are on the rise and could be useful in attracting and retaining top talent. Our latest research found that 82% of employees who think that their organization takes their needs into account ‘strongly agree’ that their employer-provided benefits make them feel valued, and 68% see themselves staying at their organization for the long-term.

Similarly, a recent report by Prudential found that most employees (73%) cite benefits as a “big reason” to stay at a job. Three-quarters agreed that accessing benefits through an employer is more important than ever before, and 52% said they’d be willing to take a chance on a new job if it provided better benefits. Three-quarters also said that the current environment has made them realize that benefits are a much more important part of the job.

Deploy benefits technology that best serves remote workers

The right benefits technology for this WFH era should allow benefits to be managed and administered at a global level and easily delivered to a remote, multinational workforce while maintaining employer brand and a level of global consistency. Benefits technology makes it easier for employees to engage with and select their benefits, allowing organizations to demonstrate that they value their people – wherever they are, and whatever their working set-up. This technology also allows organizations to gather invaluable employee data to determine which benefits are used and appreciated versus those that are not. Given benefit needs have changed in the last year – less gym membership, more mental health support – data is more important than ever to understand the effectiveness of your program.

By analyzing this information, employers can put together a much more cost-effective benefits package for each worker. And by personalizing those benefits, businesses can meet the needs of their employees without expending funds or resources on selections they don’t want or need.

Empower employees with personalized benefits

According to Mercer’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Study, 61% of employees trust their employer to look after their health and believe they will make decisions in their best interest. Organizations can strengthen that level of trust by offering personalized benefits that are relevant for each employee and their individual circumstances. These come in many forms, including wellness pots, that provide employees with a flexible spending fund to choose activities that improve their wellbeing.

Employers may also provide extra funds to help with in-home office equipment or items to assist with homeschooling. These benefits allow employers to give their staff the wellbeing support they need that are particular to their situations, empowering employees to help overcome any stress caused by the current climate.

Offer accessibility and flexibility for a distributed workforce

Remote working arrangements are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future and could continue indefinitely for some individuals. Organizations will need to offer benefits technology that is easy to use and understand, combined with the flexibility to change as needed. Benefits should also be accessible on any device in order to best serve their employees, no matter their location. Last but not least, businesses must consider their employees’ varying needs and provide benefits technology that is capable of delivering the level of personalization that their workers desire – and that provides deep insight on how to enhance the program.

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