Benefits Offered to Employees: Focusing on Flexibility 
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Benefits Offered to Employees: Focusing on Flexibility 

Woman's headshot with blurred background By Jessica Chronchio June 9, 2022

Categories: Company Culture HR Hangout Mobile Workforce

The benefits a company offers mean a lot to their employees. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a demonstration of how much they care. The benefits offered to employees can foster increased engagement or lead to higher turnover. What should a company consider a best-in-practice benefits package? What benefits offered to employees will impact the company in the most positive way? 

What is an employee benefit? 

An employee benefit is anything the company provides its workers with in addition to their typical wages or salary. Companies can consider many things a “benefit” to their employees: a water bottle with the company logo on it, a chance at tickets to a game, etc. However, most potential employees won’t take a job without some very basic benefits. 

Basic Benefits Offered to Employees 

There are several basic benefits a large number of companies offer their employees. Those include: 

  • Health Insurance: Being sick is expensive. According to a 2021 survey, almost 155 million Americans are covered by employer-sponsored insurance. 
  • Disability: Being injured or disabled is also expensive. Companies may also provide their employees with short term disability, long term disability or both. 
  • Safety Programs: This is more than fire drills and CPR. Employees who drive are at much greater risk of accident on the roads. Employers can help prevent this with comprehensive safety programs. 
  • Paid Time Off: Work may take up a lot of the day, but it shouldn’t be a person’s entire life. PTO is both a basic and essential benefit. 
  • Professional Development: A clear career path can mean a lot to employees. This might look like company-covered online or in-person courses and workshops, conventions or even higher education. 
  • Retirement Benefits: Planning for the future is important. A large number of employers offer their employees 401k programs with a match option. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but, across regions and industries, these are the main benefits offered to employees. And they’ve been around for quite some time. So why is it that all of a sudden these benefits are not enough? 

The Future of Work 

Before 2019, these basic benefits worked for employees all across the country. Then the pandemic struck. Supply chains froze. Demand slowed way down. Many people lost their jobs. And, at the same time, everyone who could work from home had to work from home. And as maddening as it was to be stuck in the same place day in and day out, often sharing internet and home office spaces with family, employees learned something important. It wasn’t under ideal circumstances, but they could do their job remotely. And they liked the flexibility working from home afforded them. 

Fast forward to the present day. Some employers have a completely remote workforce. Others offer a hybrid option, and some have decided to call all their employees back into the office. You can guess which companies are seeing the highest turnover rates during the Great Resignation. And that’s where the secret to the best benefits offered to employees is: flexibility. Employees want more control over their days. So what benefits can a company offer its employees that maximize flexibility? 

Flexibility Through Vehicle Programs 

An employee is more than their life at work. More often than not, the vehicle they own is suited to that life. Employers providing a fleet vehicle are paying more to put their driving employees in a vehicle they don’t want. Other vehicle programs may reimburse employees for the business use of their personal vehicles, but inaccurately. Car allowance and mileage reimbursement programs are common, and flawed, approaches to this. 

With a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) program, employees receive reimbursements for both the fixed and variable costs of vehicle ownership. That allows them the flexibility of a life with the vehicle of their choice and guarantees accuracy of the reimbursement amount they receive. While it may not look like a benefit in the conventional sense, what matters is how your employees receive it and how it works for your company. 

Flexibility Through Device Programs 

You’d be hard pressed to find an employee without a smart phone. And for a large portion of the workforce, a smart phone is essential to their role. Many companies provide employees with a device. That company-provided device can be a sticking point. But not all device programs require that employees receive company phones. In fact, it’s another area where businesses can offer employees flexibility.   

With a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, companies enable employees to use their personal devices for business purposes. No more carrying two phones, no learning a new operating system. With the right program, employers simply reimburse their employees for the business use of their device.  

Flexibility Through Remote Work 

As we said above, employees know they can perform the duties of their job remotely. That makes a return to the office much harder to stomach. When employees work from home, they have the flexibility to get work done without sacrificing certain aspects of their life outside of work. For many companies, an entirely remote workforce may not seem possible. And for many employees, returning to the office seems similarly inconceivable. Fortunately, there’s another option.  

With a hybrid remote program, employees work in the office for a set amount of days and work the rest of their week remotely. Using this method, they can set their schedule with their department or team to capitalize on projects that benefit from being in-person. With the right program, employers reimburse employees for the business use of their home internet and other assets while working from home. 

The New Wave of Benefits Offered to Employees 

The workforce has changed a great deal since 2019. Basic benefits may not have shifted, but employees now know the value of flexibility, a flexibility they didn’t have before the pandemic. As the talent pool grows and experienced employees begin to feel constrained, benefits can make all the difference. Employers may not have as many options as employees do, but they do have options. Reach out to us to find out how you can provide benefits that offer flexibility to your employees today. 

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