Keeping employees happy seems increasingly harder as pre-pandemic work norms come head-to-head with new hybrid and remote models.
It has been widely reported that many people enjoy and even prefer working from home, but there is emerging evidence that remote workers are starting to get cabin fever.
A survey conducted by Indeed in August of more than 800 full-time remote workers revealed that 45% missed in-person meetings, and 73% missed socializing with their colleagues in-person. Surprisingly, 50% even missed their commutes!
For business owners and managers hoping to entice their employees back into the office, hope is not lost. There are a variety of benefits employers can offer to make going back into the office more appealing.
This article will provide tips on what perks to offer in an office that will encourage employees to return to the office.
1. Coffee and snacks
Coffee, tea, and some healthy (maybe even a few unhealthy) snacks are one of the easiest ways to show your team that you care.
According to a survey in March 2021 by Banfield Pet Hospital, one in three people say they got a new pet during the pandemic, and 57% said they’d be most happy returning to the office if they could bring their pets with them.
Implementing a pet-friendly office policy could make going back into the office more comfortable for employees and could help attract new recruits.
3. R&R rooms
Creating R&R (rest and relaxation) rooms where employees can disconnect, rest their eyes, read a book, watch videos, do yoga, or whatever else helps them unwind can help ease the transition back into the office.
4. Financial literacy programs
Host financial literacy classes at your office. Many Americans’ finances took a hard hit during the pandemic. Providing a program that teaches everything from budgeting 101 to how to obtain a business loan can be a big value-add.
5. On-site gym
Many people look forward to getting in an hour or two of gym time to stay in shape and get the blood pumping. With an onsite gym, you can make it easier for employees to achieve a better work-life balance and a healthier lifestyle.
6. Daycare benefits
Remote work has been a double-edged sword for parents. On the one hand, they can spend more quality time with their children and save on daycare costs and babysitters. On the other hand, taking care of a child while juggling work assignments and Zoom meetings is certainly no easy task. An onsite daycare or a daycare stipend can help out parents trying to get back into the office while looking out for their child’s best interests.
Taking care of aging parents and loved ones can be emotionally and mentally taxing. It takes a lot of time and energy, and options for live-in care, assisted living and nursing homes are quite costly. To put employees’ minds at ease, offer an eldercare benefit to help with these costs.
8. In-house yoga and massages
Staring at screens all day can make your workers’ muscles feel tense. Give them a way to relax with in-house yoga and massages.
9. Treadmill or standing desks
Sitting at a desk all day can cause muscle aches, back pain and a generally unhealthy lifestyle. Install treadmill or standing desks in the office to encourage employees to stand up, move around, and feel more energized.
10. Parking perks
Offer complimentary parking for employees. This perk is especially useful if your office is in a dense city center where parking is difficult and/or expensive. You can also offer free car detailing once a month or once a quarter.
11. Home buyer assistance
Since March 2020, 45% of Americans have taken on more credit card debt, and one in four Americans who have missed credit card payments said it was because they needed to pay their rent or mortgage first, according to Inside 1031’s Credit Card Debt Survey.
Offering to help employees reach this important milestone — either with mortgage assistance, homeowners insurance, or access to realtors — could tip the scales in your favor during the hiring process. For employees selling their homes, let them know about resources such as discount real estate brokers, which offer listing fees for as little as $3,000 or 1%.
12. Student loan repayment
The US is in the midst of a student debt crisis. Millions of young adults are plagued with student loans, which have impacted their ability to achieve other life milestones (such as buying a house). Offering student loan repayment benefits such as a stipend or refinancing resources can encourage millennial and Gen Z recruits to join your company.
13. Generous PTO
Whether it be for a vacation, a mental health day, or to go to the doctor, sometimes people just need a day off. Generous PTO can ensure your employees know they can take time off when they need to.
14. Flexible work hours
Working regular 9-5 hours is slowly loosening its hold as the norm. Many companies are now offering flex work hours, which allow employees to work on their time as long as they are tracking hours and getting their assignments done. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to make going into the office feel more casual, enabling your team to feel comfortable going in at their leisure as opposed to stringent hours.
15. Office parties
Remote workers miss socializing with their colleagues! Throwing office parties (for holidays, birthdays, office lunches, happy hours, etc.) can get people mingling and interacting again. Of course, make sure to follow pandemic safety precautions as necessary.
Ben Mizes is the Co-Founder and CEO at Clever Real Estate, the nation’s leading real estate education platform for home buyers, sellers, and investors.