There are a wide range of remote worker benefits for both employees and employers. Working remotely, which often means working from home (and can include working from coworking spaces or anywhere else in the world as a digital nomad) – is itself seen as a major perk by many employees. But there are also a range of other benefits that employers can offer to attract and retain top talent.
Below we look at some of the benefits of remote work for employees, and the benefits this freedom can bring to employers. These include increased productivity, cost savings, better work-life balance, and enhanced profits – and even tax benefits for remote workers.
Given the rapid rise in remote work around the world, there’s now a need for many employers to rethink the benefits that they offer to help them specifically attract and retain remote staff around the world. This includes competitive salaries, flexible working arrangements, health care insurance plans that cover staff anywhere in the world, and generous leave days.
Benefits of remote work for employees
There are many remote worker benefits for employees, such as more flexibility, saving time and money on commuting, and having a better work-life balance.
Enhanced work-life balance
When employees are able to work from home, they don’t have to spend hours commuting into an office. This can save a considerable amount of time each day, which employees can use to enhance their work-life balance. Instead of spending 3 hours commuting, they can spend time with their families, fit in an early morning exercise session, have a relaxing lunch break or even a midday nap if needed.
Having a healthy work-life balance is something that many employees crave, so being able to offer that to remote teams can help to boost morale, productivity, happiness and can instil a sense of loyalty towards the company.
Freedom and flexibility
Remote workers oftentimes have quite a bit of flexibility in how they structure their days. This means they may now have time to fetch their kids from school during the day, or schedule a doctor’s appointment. Employees value freedom and flexibility as it contributes to a healthier work-life balance and can help employees value their work benefits and perks.
Work from anywhere
It goes without saying that remote workers are able to work from anywhere. For many people, this means working from home. But it also gives you the freedom to work from a nearby coffee shop, a museum, or even a different country as a digital nomad or while on holiday.
This helps employees save time on commuting, save money on transport costs and means they can work in an environment in which they feel comfortable.
Save time on commuting
Many office jobs require hours of daily commuting time, which is why so many people have opted to work from home and remotely. These hours can be used on purposeful activities, catching up on sleep or even being more productive at work.
Spend more time with family
Many office-based employees find it a huge struggle to manage a work-life balance and to get enough time to see their families. That’s why cutting out your commute by working from home, remotely, is such an attractive benefit.
It provides you with the opportunity to spend more quality time with your family – whether it’s lifting kids from school, or being there to make them dinner and put them to bed at night.
More time for wellness activities
If you work remotely, you may have more time on your hands for wellness activities like sports and mindfulness. This can enhance overall wellness, happiness and reduce stress levels.
Many companies provide their remote staff with dedicated wellness perks like gym memberships or access to wellness and meditation apps like Headspace, to help ensure that employees spend enough time relaxing and staying healthy.
Tax benefits for remote workers
There can also be tax benefits for people working from home or remotely. There are several remote work schemes around the world that will pay you to relocate there, and you may also be able to claim certain expenses as tax deductions. These include things like your office space within your home, your internet costs and other office and stationery costs.
You may even be able to relocate to a country with a lower tax rate as a digital nomad or remote worker, which can help save you money.
Increased happiness and morale
Many employees are delighted to work from home because of the freedom and flexibility it provides, and the chance for a better work-life balance. This can help to boost staff morale and can lead to increased happiness, particularly when employees are offered other additional benefits like leave days, incentive bonuses and medical plans.
Benefits of remote work for employers
There are many remote worker benefits for employees – and there are also a range of benefits of remote work for employers too.
When employees are able to work from home, remotely, they can save time on commutes, coffee breaks and general office distractions. Meetings are often more succinct and purposeful and as employees are happier with their work-life balance, productivity often increases.
A recent study by Nicholas Bloom at Stanford University shows that productivity of remote workers increases, compared with traditional office-based jobs, and that remote staff also generally have fewer sick days. However, this is not automatic and will depend on a range of factors like how often managers have check-ins with staff, what benefits and support staff receive and the ability to have a work-life balance.
Saves money on lower overhead costs
When companies have fewer staff members working from the office, that reduces the amount of office space they need to hire, as well as the number of workstations and computers. Some companies that are fully remote can do away with traditional office costs altogether. That can translate into huge financial savings.
Of course, many companies with remote staff do still spend some money supporting their staff to set up home offices, paying costs towards computers, internet and stationery. But with reduced overhead costs, this can still mean massive cost savings.
Attract and retain top talent from around the world
When companies aren’t restricted by the geographical area of their employees, they can hire staff from anywhere in the world. Hiring remotely means that companies can attract the top talent and brightest minds from around the globe.
And offering remote work and various other benefits, means that these companies may also be in a better position to retain these top talent. That in itself can help to reduce costs associated with re-hiring and replacing staff, as is commonplace in companies with high staff turnovers.
Some studies have shown that when staff members are able to work remotely, they spend fewer days being absent. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example – an employee who has Covid can easily keep working from home if they are asymptomatic, while many office-based employees were unable to do this.
And with more time for fitness, wellness and a work-life balance, hopefully, employees working remotely are able to be healthier and less prone to illness.
As companies can reduce their overhead costs by hiring remote teams, they can save money and be more profitable. This can also mean they have more resources to hire additional staff and scale the business, which can also lead to increased profits.
Helps companies adapt to technological advances
Companies that are able to offer flexible working arrangements, remote work, and attractive benefits can attract and retain top talent.
And when these staff members are all working remotely, using the latest technologies to collaborate and innovate, they are able to adapt to changes and advances in technologies which makes them more resilient to future shocks and prepared for the future of work.
Rethinking employee benefits for remote workers who are permanently employed
When many of your staff are working remotely, it’s necessary to carefully plan the benefits that you offer your remote staff to help ensure that they are happy and that you can retain your staff.
There are many ways to find out what staff really want in terms of benefits and companies frequently send out employee surveys and host workshops to this effect. Some of the most popular benefits that employees are looking for include flexibility, generous holiday and leave days, and comprehensive healthcare plans – as well as market-related salaries.
Many companies with remote staff also offer additional benefits like stipends towards home office costs and wellness packages that may include gym memberships or access to meditation and wellness programs.
Many companies are finding themselves having to rethink employee benefits for remote workers who are permanent employees. These include the following considerations.
Healthcare plans for anywhere in the world
Companies should consider reviewing their healthcare plan benefits for remote staff. If you have staff living in different areas, or different countries, you need to have a way of offering staff the same comprehensive healthcare packages that are available in their different locations.
One way of doing this is to contact local providers in each country, but this could lead to administrative and logistical challenges. And it may not suit employees who frequently change locations.
Many employers are now turning to global healthcare providers like SafetyWing, which offers comprehensive healthcare packages for staff in over 175 countries. SafetyWing’s Remote Health offers a convenient way for companies to provide their staff with health insurance, no matter where they live. Having a company plan for staff health insurance means that you pay the same price per member and you can easily arrange coverage for remote staff, digital nomads or even freelancers.
Employers can easily add additional members to their plans and can also add on extra healthcare benefits too.
Offering a generous and standard number of leave days to staff, as well as a number of paid sick days, is another way of attracting and retaining staff.
While it’s important to consider different laws in different countries around leave days and public holidays, it’s also important to have a standard policy so that all staff members feel they are treated fairly and equally.
Most people want flexibility from their jobs – that includes being able to start and finish at different times, or being able to take a few hours off for a doctor’s appointment or special event. In some instances, companies may even switch to a shortened 4-day work week.
In the past, many employers have been hesitant to allow too much flexibility for fear that staff may not perform optimally. But it seems that many companies that offer flexibility are better able to retain and attract staff – and the staff members are happier and more loyal as a result.
One of the major perks of any job is having a good salary. When recruiting staff, if you offer a competitive and market-related salary you are better placed to attract good talent, especially if you offer other perks and benefits too.
When hiring remote staff around the world, there are different thoughts about what a competitive salary is – whether it should be related to local salaries or international pay scales. Each company will need to explore which works best for them and their staff members and will need to take account of local costs of living.
Work from home stipend
Many companies that hire remote staff, realise that they are saving costs on having to supply computer equipment and access to a range of business services like telephones, internet and printing.
That’s why many companies offer a stipend to remote workers to help cover the cost of them running a home office. This can be an attractive benefit for many employees and can also help to enhance their productivity so that they can afford the right tools and resources.
Final thoughts on providing the right benefits to attract and retain remote employees
With an increasing number of companies employing hybrid or full-remote staff, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to rethink their remote worker benefits. This can help companies to attract and retain top talent and can also help companies to stay competitive, reduce their overheads and administrative burdens by being more streamlined and strategic, and can help create a better company culture.