New-Age Benefits: Innovative Ways for Employers to Support Employees

Life in the fast-paced digital era is not as simple as it used to be. Workplace-related stress is at an all-time high, reports the American Institute of Stress. 75% of employees believe that the previous generation had less stress than they do. Work hours have increased. Health problems, general unhappiness, and burnout are common problems. 

Employers aren’t unaware of their workers’ plights. Many are instituting benefit programs to directly help employees out. While the idea of employee benefit programs isn’t new, the contents of modern-day programs are: They aren’t just focused on employee training and job satisfaction but also their mental health, work-life balance, and life satisfaction.

If you’d like to help your employees out or provide a more supportive work environment, you can draw inspiration from these examples and do something similar yourself:  

Nap rooms for a quick pick-me-up

We’ve all felt drowsy and low on energy at work at one time or another. A power nap is just what the human body needs on such occasions to feel revitalized and refreshed. But you can’t exactly sleep at work, right? At Hootsuite, you aren’t just allowed to doze, but they actively encourage you to take 20-minute naps in their specially-built napping room. It has a log-cabin design with natural lighting that immediately puts employees at ease.   

Pool, volleyball court, and rock-climbing

Employees need to be physically healthy to perform well. Chesapeake Energy goes above and beyond to support employee health. It’s built a gigantic 72,000 square foot fitness center with a volleyball court, a rock-climbing wall, a walking track, and a full-fledged swimming pool. It also provides physical therapy, nutrition counseling, and more.

Babysitter stipends and other childcare support

Looking after kids was never easy. The pandemic made balancing family obligations with work duties even harder for employees. Schools shut down, which meant kids were at home and the parents were responsible for their care. Many employers are stepping up and offering direct assistance, says CNBC. Some examples are providing a babysitter stipend, daycare assistance, and homeschooling and tuition assistance. 

Unlimited free food

Good food is essential for morale – and Twitter understands this better than most. It offers three catered meals every day for employees based out of the main New York office, so employees never go hungry at work. The food is high-quality, nutritious, and varied. Employees can choose from multiple breakfast and lunch options. The company even has chefs that cook custom meals.

Supporting employees’ upskilling and training

Employees must constantly up-skill to stay relevant, as technology and work methodologies are advancing rapidly. Employers are supporting them by offering training programs, educational counseling, and paying for higher education. For example, employers are helping employees to pursue a master’s degree in a relevant field like technology or business administration to pick up valuable skills like communication, leadership, management, and proficiency with computer technology. Online programs are convenient options because employees can flexibly manage work, family, and school.

Mental health benefits

Mental health has always been an uncomfortable topic but it’s something that needs addressing. Workers – including high-level executives – are flagging mentally. Many feel angry, fatigued, and depressed. The pandemic only made the situation worse. Employers are offering mental health benefits and perks to help. Some top examples are paid mental health days, free counseling, a more inclusive culture, wellbeing coaching, and access to mental health resources like meditation apps.

Remote work options

Hybrid and remote work options – where employees are allowed to work from home some or all days of the week – are quickly becoming the new normal. Not only do they save employees a long commute to the office every day, but they can also reduce stress and make them more productive. Furthermore, it’s beneficial for their work-life balance. Big companies like Apple, Shopify, Slack, and Microsoft all offer remote work options.

4-day work week

Some companies have begun rolling out 4-day work weeks. For many employees, 2 days of rest on the weekend isn’t enough to take care of all their obligations and still relax and unwind properly. With 4-day work weeks, companies are putting employees first, giving them the rest they need, and also benefiting their work-life balance. But doesn’t the company lose money and productivity? Surprisingly, companies who have implemented the 4-hour workweek have witnessed an increase in productivity by as much as 40 percent – and high morale besides.

Conclusion

Happy employees are productive employees, as Indeed can confirm. Investing in your employees’ well-being can prove to be beneficial for your whole organization. It creates a healthier work environment for everyone. Also, it makes employees more loyal and better able to serve customers, which makes customers happy and more willing to do business with you.

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