Tuesday, June 18, 2024

5 Unconventional Perks Businesses are Offering Remote Workers

 Have you ever been offered something truly unexpected as part of a remote work benefits package? Now that the work world has experienced seismic shifts, remote companies are providing some interesting perks!

Forward-thinking companies that are actively competing to attract and retain top talent are offering unconventional perks tailored to the virtual work experience. 

Focus on Wellbeing

Needless to say, well-being is a serious focus amongst employees, and it has been exacerbated since Covid. 

Generally, companies which operate five days a week in the office provide hybrid conditions as a perk, but what does a business that is already fully remote offer?

Mental Health App Subscriptions

On the surface level, it may seem either daunting or rudimentary to offer mental health subscriptions to some individuals. But knowing you have access to mental health professionals to address issues like stress, burnout, and anxiety is undoubtedly a positive.

This perk is great for remote workers as they are more prone to isolation and loneliness.

Subsidised Gym Memberships

Encouraging physical activity reduces stress, boosts energy, and is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Companies can partner with gym chains (offering virtual options) or provide access to platforms with a variety of on-demand fitness classes.

Wellness Allowance

Some remote businesses are adopting a broader approach regarding wellbeing, by gifting the perk of an allowance. Whether it’s spent on ergonomic home office equipment or noise-cancelling headphones is the prerogative of the employee.

Investing in your teams’ health speaks volumes about the company’s genuine care for the workforce. With only 33% of current workers thriving in their wellbeing, such perks are always welcomed.

Experience Perks

We mentioned how remote work can lead to isolation, and it’s challenging to form camaraderie in a team with minimal physical interactions.

 Companies that understand this work to create fun perks that combat this issue.

Company Funded Team Building

These could range from virtual escape rooms to online cooking classes or even improv comedy workshops. However, some businesses are taking it a step further by arranging these activities in person.

Every company’s access to resources varies, but aiming to do such team-building activities once a month or so will go a long way. 

Solo Experience

Some remote companies that are big on ensuring job satisfaction offer one random experience per year. This can range from skydiving to hot air balloons or an activity that they know will appeal to you.

Gift Boxes For Holidays

A thoughtful and curated box of goodies delivered directly to employee homes on holiday adds a bit of surprise and delight to the remote work experience. 

They don’t have to be grandiose, but a humble care package with a personal note from your manager during Easter or Christmas will genuinely make someone feel appreciated.

An Enhanced Home Office

Now that your home has amalgamated into a place of comfort and work, it’s important to take steps to facilitate a productive home office. 

Remote companies already save a significant amount of capital on upfront costs such as furniture, electricity, office space, and more; so why not invest in your team?

Internet Service Upgrades

Reliable, high-speed internet is the lifeline for remote workers. Some companies partner with providers to upgrade all employee home connections, ensuring a smooth work experience.

This perk ensures not only reduced internet frustration but greater productivity for the company. On top of this, employees will appreciate the company covering their internet bill as a significant perk.

Although not a large number, a study found that below-average internet degraded earnings-weighted productivity by 3%.

Home Office Upgrade

Let employees personalise their space! Some remote workers struggle with a monotonous office setup that only has the absolute necessities.

A few companies offer their employees a small monthly allowance to cover items like plants, inspiring artwork, or tech accessories that make their desks look lively. Your physical workspace design truly matters, and perhaps even more so in a remote environment.

Unsure on how to spice up your home office? Check out the Top 20 Best Desk Accessories for The Office.

Prioritising Flexibility

Flexibility is arguably the largest buzzword in the workforce as of 2024, but every company defines it differently.

The policies and perks vary, often resulting in businesses mimicking the equivalent of ‘greenwashing’ but for flexibility instead.

However, some companies are taking it wholly seriously.

Unlimited PTO/Annual leave

This unconventional perk isn’t common even amongst remote companies, but it does exist. When managed responsibly and awarded to the right employees, it can demonstrate trust while removing unnecessary stress around time off.

Being a relatively rare perk, the instances of abusing it are very minimal as most people greatly value it.

Result-oriented Work

The 9-5 is a bastion of the traditional office environment and is a framework that most companies follow. But with flexibility thrown into the mix, a new perk has risen that focuses on outcomes rather than time logged.

Did you accomplish your daily goals? Were critical tasks completed?

These are the barometers used to promote greater ownership over work and autonomy. So whether you clock off at 3 PM instead of 5 PM, it doesn’t matter so long as everything is complete and on track.

Access to Coworking Spaces

Remote companies attract many talent who enjoy saying goodbye to the commute and working from home. But businesses recognise that some employees will crave the occasional office-like setting!

This unconventional perk of coworking memberships gives employees access to a professional workspace with all the amenities of a traditional office. However, unlike a regular office, in a coworking space you can sit wherever you like and leave at anytime.

Overall, flexibility has consistently ranked as the top desire for remote workers and even those who work in an office five days a week.

Supporting Working Parents

It’s certainly easier to manage the life of parenthood when working from home, but perks that support this are greatly appreciated.

Childcare is a major challenge, and some remote companies are attracting top talent by offering perks that hit home the hardest.

Childcare Reimbursement

Whether it’s in full or partial, this helps families cover unexpected childcare gaps. Many bosses assume that working remotely means childcare isn’t needed; this can’t be further from the truth.

Working from home still implies that you are working, busy, and may be unable to tend to your child. The childcare industry is an expensive service and reimbursement perks are a phenomenal method for assisting your employees.

After all, up to 72% of working parents are stressed based on disruptions and uncertainty about school and childcare schedules.

Kid-friendly Work Hours

This perk has also been adopted by non-remote companies since it significantly reduces the stress of strict work hours. Recognising that school starts and ends at set times, a few companies allow flexibility around their standard hours to ease the burden of drop-offs, pick-ups, and extracurricular commitments.

Subscription Boxes

A subscription box with educational and engaging activities for children can be a game changer. It keeps them entertained and learning while parents are busy in meetings or focused on important tasks.

Staying Competitive

Those who want to remain competitive in attracting and retaining the best remote talent understand that the old standards no longer apply. 

By offering unconventional perks tailored to the unique needs of remote workers, these companies are demonstrating a commitment to employee wellbeing, flexibility, and fostering a sense of belonging—even in a virtual world.
Get ahead of the curve and read our Top 10 Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs.
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