Providing the right perks for your virtual workforce can enhance their creativity and productivity and show them you appreciate what they do for the company. While making sure they get a good salary is important, giving your remote workforce additional perks and benefits are a great way to provide them with tangible proof you recognize their value and care enough to reward them by improving the quality of their lives. Having to work from home can be lonely and stressful. Savvy employers know the right perks are important if they want to keep their virtual workforce engaged, excited and motivated.
Here are a few great perks employers can provide for their virtual workforce that can help them to be happier and more productive.
1. Upgrade Their Equipment And Technology
A great way to boost the morale and enhance the productivity of your virtual workforce is to provide them with a new laptop, additional monitors and high-speed internet connections that will be used to make the experience of working from home better. An annual allowance of $1,000 for technology and equipment upgrades is a perk that will actually benefit both the worker and your company. Reinvesting some of the money your company saves on rent, utilities, furniture, equipment and office supplies will pay for itself in better quality work, greater productivity and happier workers.
2. Create A Better Workspace
Remote workers are often forced to repurpose kitchen tables, nightstands, or dining room furniture into makeshift workspaces. Not having a designated workspace at home often forces virtual workers to end up sitting with the wrong posture and deal with unnecessary distractions. This can create a work environment that is a hazard to the long-term health of the worker and detrimental to productivity. Giving remote workers a one-time budget for an ergonomic chair and desk setup is necessary to create a successful at home workspace.
3. Employee Training, Learning And Development
One of the things virtual workers often miss out on is the opportunity for advanced training provided on-site in the workplace. This helps workers learn new skills, develop their potential and prepare themselves for promotions. Which in turn, leads to professional growth and makes workers feel they are progressing along a positive career path. Given that virtual workers can’t attend these in-office training programs, providing resources to participate in online webinars, courses or training programs can be an added perk for the company’s newest hires.
4. Recognition And Acknowledgement Of Special Occasions
The virtual workforce is not made up of robots. They are human beings who must take the
time every now and then to celebrate special occasions. Normally, co-workers would share these special moments with each other in the workplace. Companies should make an effort to recognize and acknowledge these moments through sending cards, hosting a virtual happy hour, or providing dinner gift certificates or other inexpensive gifts to employees who are celebrating things like their birthdays, wedding or work anniversaries, graduations or the birth of a child. These small gestures let remote workers know the company cares about them as human beings.
5. Innovative Rewards Programs
Another perk companies can leverage to engage their remote workers is to create rewards programs that give members of their virtual workforce bonuses and gifts when they meet certain benchmarks and milestones. High performing individuals and teams can be given 40 hours of paid time they can use to volunteer with a non-profit or community service organization of their choice. Paying for personal care services like grocery delivery, workout classes, a once-monthly haircut or a voucher for dry cleaning service can motivate virtual staff to work hard towards job-related goals.
6. Opportunities For Relaxation And Mental Health Breaks
Remote workers often have to endure stress from work-related issues that can be tough to step away since they are working in their home. Smart, proactive employers know creating opportunities for workers to relax and take a break enhances their mental health and is essential for them to continue to be creative and productive. Providing them with perks that help to give them some time to relax, de-stress and enjoy a mental health break like giving monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Audible, Amazon Kindle, or vouchers for a spa day, massage or hair care periodically, can make remote workers feel better mentally and physically.
7. Flexible Unpaid Time Off And Vacation Vouchers
Giving remote workers the flexibility to take unpaid time off when needed is often more valuable to them than money. Problems at home can make it impossible for remote workers to focus on their jobs. Having the flexibility to stop and address it using unpaid time off can help them to control the things going on in their personal lives. Plus, giving them vacation vouchers that cover some of the cost of taking their families to vacation destinations they may not have been able to afford on their own, is a great way to help virtual workers relax, unwind and spend a little quality time with their loved ones.
8. Periodic Gatherings And Meetups
Virtual workers don’t get the opportunity to know, spend time and develop relationships with their co-workers. This leaves them feeling lonely, disconnected and isolated. One perk companies can use for team building and developing trust among virtual workforce members is organizing and sponsoring periodic gatherings and meetups. This can be done with members of different teams or the entire staff on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. It lets workers get to know their colleagues as more than just a name and a title in the company’s directory. Plus, it helps build cohesiveness.
9. College Scholarships For Children Of Employees
Create a program where each year the company awards a scholarship to children of employees who are heading off to college. The students can earn the scholarships based on their grades, community involvement, sports, or any other outstanding achievements. The scholarships can be for as little as $1,000,00 a year and still make a difference. Just clearly list what the specific criteria is the student must meet in order to qualify for the scholarship and allow each of your remote workers a chance at the scholarship. Showing your employees that you care about them and their family’s well being is a great way to retain and attract talent.
10. Generous Caregiver And Parental Leave
Employees really appreciate it when their employer understands that as a new parent or a person who is caring for an aging parent or sick child, they may need the option to ask for emergency leave should the situation warrant it. Generous Maternity and Paternity leave are always a plus, but in emergency situations it is great to know that your employer provides flexibility for remote workers to make up the time off-hours or that you have a dedicated back-up in your role to cover you while you’re out. This type of emergency working arrangement can enable virtual workers to provide the help and support their loved one needs without cutting down on their productivity.
Keep Your Remote Workers Happy
A recent survey found 79% of American workers, particularly younger ones, prefer more perks and benefits than a small pay raise. Good perks are a cost-effective and smart way to keep your virtual workers relaxed, engaged and in an excellent frame of mind. When workers know their employers care about them enough to provide them with additional benefits and perks to do their job at no cost to them, they tend perform better, be happier, more productive and willing to remain with their company longer. Giving your virtual workforce good perks is an investment that pays valuable dividends.