Attracting and Retaining Remote Employees

By: Matt Deighton November 25, 2020

Walk into a typical SF tech company 1-year ago and it was pretty clear what the company thought its employees wanted. A drink fridge, bulk snack foods, ping pong table, game room and lunch Fridays. The landscape is changing as more companies are allowing employees to work remotely, and it’s more obvious that younger employees want flexibility
over free fiber bars. 

The best benefits are ones that help the employee and fall in line with the mission of the company. It should be a way to retain talent and foster loyalty. Here are six main ideas that you should consider when evaluating the benefits you offer to your remote employees.

Reimburse Mobile Phones and Internet:

All remote employees are using their internet for work, and many WFH employees are using their own cell phones. It’s a cost that the employees would have if they worked from home or not, but the fact is that the company is requiring it. Because of that, you should be covering the cost. This will also allow the employee to upgrade internet services and create a better working environment for the employee. Covering the entire phone and internet bill can make a valuable employee think twice before talking to
that recruiter.

Home Network Security:

Offering a home cyber protection plan will ease the minds of parents while their kids play and do school work on the internet. A secure home network lowers the risk of viruses, malware, and even ransomware ruining your year.

Total home network security also plugs a hole to a potential cyber attack on the company. When an employee works from the office, firewalls keep the company safe. Home networks are much less protected. Even with a VPN, if a device on the home network is compromised, the VPN can now give direct access through the company’s firewall. This added benefit may help the employer as much as the employee. Protect your employees and your company becomes safer.

Identity Theft Monitoring:

The FTC has estimated that an individual will spend 200 hours and about six months to recover from a single incident of identity theft. Their focus and productivity struggles when their anxiety is increased due to the stresses of identity theft. This is a benefit that helps give employees a piece of mind and allows them to stay focused on the job. Protecting your employees is a great way to build loyalty.

Gym Memberships:

With many offices now having in-house gyms, remote employees are left out. Consider covering a membership to a local gym, or a stipend for at home gym equipment. Exercise has been proven to make you feel happier, reduce health risks, and improve brain functions.

Tech Support Hotline:

The technology tax is real. It wastes the first 10 minutes of every large call. One study found that the average worker loses 22 minutes a day because of IT problems, or about 91 hours a year. Some employees spend extra time working around problems that could be easily solved. Offering tech support helps them with all of their devices, but also creates the added benefit of increasing workplace productivity.

Travel and Off-sites:

Studies show that remote employees can suffer when they feel isolated and distant. Bring in remote employees during large company gatherings, or organize off-site team meetings where they can socialize and bond with employees. This will help teams work better together, help the employee feel more bonded with the company and lower feelings of isolation which can occur when working from home for long periods of time.

Other Considerations:

  • A yearly stipend to add supplies and personalization to their workspaces.
  • Buy WFH employees lunch during large company meetings when in-person employees are being fed.
  • Supplement daycare costs so employees can have a quieter workspace.
  • Send employees branded swag to help them feel more connected to the company.
  • Provide them with a tech support hotline, they can use it to keep work equipment up and running as well as all their personal devices.
  • Buy employees ergonomic office chairs. Chairs are normally provided and a good chair can decrease work fatigue when sitting for 7+ hours a day.

With many companies considering offering a remote employee option, we need to take a serious look at what that looks like for both the employees and the company. Retaining top talent will look different than it did 10 years ago, which looked different than 50 years ago. Work looks different now, and so should the company’s benefits.

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