The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way companies and employees work. According to a Gallup poll, in September of 2021, 45% of full-time U.S. employees worked remotely either all or part of the workweek. For many employees, working remotely has been one of the few perks of the pandemic. But the pandemic has certainly taken its toll. At the beginning of 2022, nearly 70 million Americans resolved to improve their mental health this year. These workforce changes and personal priorities have not only shaped how employees work and live, they’re driving benefits trends.
Benefits packages have always been a great way to attract and retain the best talent that an industry has to offer, which is why it’s important for employers to understand what current and potential team members want. Employees want new offerings that work in today’s world, which include more flexibility, mental health options, and family-focused benefits. And employers are taking note. A recent report revealed that 66% plan to offer greater work flexibility, 63% plan to increase child care benefits, and 41% plan to increase elder care benefits.
So what do these benefits trends look like?
Employees want flexibility, and not just in where they work. They want flexible work hours and schedules so they can manage family, physical, and mental health needs. This is a swift departure from the standard 9-5, but a flexible, results-based schedule is actually a good thing: Deloitte found that 94% of employees believe they can benefit from a flexible work schedule. While this requires new levels of trust between employer and employee, it has the potential to improve both performance and morale.
The Human Connection
The first year of the pandemic shined a spotlight on app-based mental health tools and technologies. Therapists and other providers were available by simply downloading an app, which was an incredible offering during uncertain times. Telehealth and app-based resources will continue to play a critical role in mental health and wellbeing, but employees are increasingly craving in-person connections. Employers must find new ways to create these connections, such as hosting forums where people can ask questions, connect with other people, and hear how others are tackling similar issues.
Flexible work schedules and remote working environments mean that employees are no longer taking advantage of perks, such as on-site child care. Instead, employees are placing greater emphasis on nonstandard, family-focused benefits, such as in-home elder care or child care, that allow them to care for themselves and their families. In response, an estimated 61% of HR leaders say they are deprioritizing on-site benefits in favor of more flexible care options.
Is your benefits package on-trend? Connect with your Newfront Benefits Consultant to learn more.
The information provided is of a general nature and an educational resource. It is not intended to provide advice or address the situation of any particular individual or entity. Any recipient shall be responsible for the use to which it puts this document. Newfront shall have no liability for the information provided. While care has been taken to produce this document, Newfront does not warrant, represent or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy, or fitness with respect to the information contained in this document. The information provided does not reflect new circumstances, or additional regulatory and legal changes. The issues addressed may have legal, financial, and health implications, and we recommend you speak to your legal, financial, and health advisors before acting on any of the information provided.
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