Remote and flexible working is set to continue post COVID-19. There will be no return to the old normal.
Workers will expect their employers to adapt employee benefits and perks to meet their needs, wherever and however they work. Employers will need to bake home office and technology benefits into their planning for 2021.
Benefits plans are traditionally built with an office mindset. These will need to be revisited. Employees are remote working for the long haul. They are looking to their employers to invest in the technology and office equipment they need to do their job as if they were in the office. Remote teams have moved beyond any make do and mend home working cultures that kept businesses open as the crisis broke.
What are employee expectations on home working and technology benefits?
Employees want to continue with remote working and feel strongly about their employers making any cost of living adjustments to their salary. Research by Owl Labs discovered that 51% of respondents would begin looking for another job if their employers made changes to their salary based on new working costs.
There are some useful insights from the Owl Labs study on employee expectations on tech and kit too.
- 74% of employees believe that their company should pay for, or provide, work equipment such as laptops, printers and screens.
- 50% think that their company should contribute to WiFi and phone bills and 48% believe their company should contribute to electricity bills.
In the early months of the big remote working experiment, poor quality video meetings, frequent disconnects from corporate networks, slow file downloads and long response times when loading apps were the biggest causes of IT issues, according to research by Riverbed. This is not sustainable. Going remote is not as simple as plugging in a laptop.
Making sure that your team has fast, secure network connectivity and the right equipment can make all the difference to your employees who are no longer working with a centralised support network. Research by Coworking Insights found that 57.14% of employees say software and technology have a positive impact on increasing productivity.
Don’t lose your best talent
Small businesses are at risk of losing their best talent due to frustrations with technology and remote working, according to research by Ricoh Europe. Three in 10 employees said they were struggling to stay motivated because of technical difficulties. Meanwhile, almost half of respondents (48%) were reliant on their own technology because their employer did not provide equipment.
Employees set up an office space where they could when the crisis broke. Some employees had separate home offices. Some set up at the kitchen table. Not all employees will have a tech set up and a workspace with chairs, desks and lighting that is safe and good for their well-being. Should you invest in helping employees design a workspace that is safe, inspiring and productive? Are home working and technology benefits part of your planning for 2021? Where should you prioritise budget? We’re here if you need our help.