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5 Lifestyle Benefits for Employees: Enhancing Remote and Global Workplaces

Remote work is a hot topic. Some companies are all for it and some are back in the office 5 days a week. No matter how you shake it, distributed work has surged, making it necessary for companies to reconsider how to treat each employee fairly, no matter where they work.

#Work-Life Balance
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HR Departments are under more pressure now than ever before to build an inclusive company culture that better serves their people while keeping costs low. We all know traditional health insurance benefits like medical, dental, vision, and retirement planning are table stakes these days when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Employees are expecting more from their employers, and companies need to know how to respond. When it comes to employee benefits, flexibility is key. Offering lifestyle benefits for employees is pivotal for:

  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Promoting satisfaction
  • Fostering productivity
  • Creating a strong company culture
  • Boosting your employer brand

Here are five employee lifestyle benefits tailored for remote and global workplaces:

1. Learning and Development Opportunities 📚

Gone are the days of entirely in-person workshops and lunch and learns. Remote employees thrive with accessible learning resources. Companies can provide virtual training sessions and online platforms, promoting skill enhancement and career progression. Prioritizing learning and development underscores commitment to employee growth. Examples of these opportunities include:

  • Virtual training sessions on new technologies or industry-specific skills.
  • Access to online courses and educational resources through online platforms.
  • Team building workshops and webinars hosted by industry experts on topics relevant to soft skills and career development.

2. Student Loan Repayment Assistance 💸

Addressing student loan debt is paramount, particularly for younger employees. It is becoming more and more apparent that in order to keep up with competitors, some sort of student loan support is becoming more crucial in today’s workforce. In 2019, only 8% of employers offered student loan repayment. In 2023, that number has grown to 34%, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Employers can offer repayment assistance programs, easing financial burdens and enhancing employee wellbeing. This resonates with millennials and Gen Z, crucial for talent retention. Here are a couple ways to offer this type of program:

  • Direct financial contributions towards employees' student loan payments.
  • Employer-sponsored repayment plans with contributions matched by the company.
  • Partnership with third-party providers offering student loan refinancing options or debt counseling services.

3. Flexible Benefits Packages 💼:

Wellbeing means something different to everyone! Think about it: There are 5 generations in the workforce today. How is it possible to choose a cookie-cutter benefits package that will be meaningful to every single employee? Spoiler: It’s not. In order to recognize diverse employee needs, flexible benefits packages are imperative. Options like customizable lifestyle spending accounts, remote work arrangements, and well-being stipends cater to varied lifestyles. Flexibility showcases inclusivity and fosters a supportive work environment. Examples include:

  • Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) that are additional to an employee’s yearly salary. Employers can fund an employee’s lifestyle spending account for use on everyday needs that aren’t covered by traditional benefits. Note: the funds spent from these accounts are considered taxable income and will be itemized on the employee’s paycheck with applicable taxes withheld.
  • Remote work arrangements that enable employees to choose their preferred work location, whether it's from home or a coworking space.
  • Wellbeing stipends, allowing employees to allocate funds according to their priorities.

4. Parental Support Programs 👨‍👩‍👦

Balancing work and family is challenging, especially for parents. Companies can implement parental support programs, including childcare assistance and extended parental leave policies. Prioritizing family-friendly initiatives attracts and retains top talent.

  • Subsidized childcare services or assistance with childcare expenses, such as daycare vouchers or discounts.
  • Extended parental leave policies that go beyond statutory requirements, providing additional time off for bonding with a new child.
  • Access to parenting resources, such as online support groups, workshops on parenting skills, and guidance on work-life balance for working parents.

5. Mental Health and Wellbeing Initiatives 😌

Employee mental health is a priority, especially in remote settings. Mental health counseling, mindfulness workshops, and work-life balance initiatives foster a positive work culture. Investing in employee well-being boosts morale and productivity. Here are some ways to invest in employees’ wellbeing:

  • Offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) with confidential counseling services and mental health support.
  • Provide fringe benefits like mindfulness and stress management workshops aimed at helping employees develop coping strategies and resilience.
  • Plan initiatives promoting work-life balance, such as flexible work hours and designated mental health days, and encourage regular breaks and vacations.

The takeaway

Enhancing remote and global workplaces with tailored lifestyle benefits is crucial for employee satisfaction and organizational success. While implementing these programs may seem daunting, companies like Fringe offer lifestyle benefits, customizable solutions for learning and development, student loan repayment, parental support, and well-being initiatives.

By putting in place programs like those listed in this article, companies can create a thriving workplace culture that prioritizes employee engagement and well-being and drives business success. 🌟

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