Last week we took a look at how benefits in 2022 changed and contributed by the new normal in the business world. Last time, we focused on the benefits developed to support the millions of remote workers. As workplaces reopen, we’ve seen a new phase of benefits evolution regarding hybrid work, flexibility, and perks focused solely on viral safety in and out of the workplace.

Join us as we pick up with the new flexibility of remote and hybrid schedules.

Flexible Scheduling and Hybrid Choice

One thing discovered during remote work was that not everyone does their best work between 9 AM and 6 PM. Some people are morning people, some afternoon, and night owls notoriously finish projects while the rest of the team sleeps. This led to a major push for flexible scheduling, with massive data to back the demand, and smart employers are now offering flexibility as a perk to show they have adapted to what was learned as the new normal.

As workplaces reopen, flexibility is also reflected in a choice of hybrid scheduling as well. Employers are building hybrid workflows to provide the benefit of choice to employees. Thus, fitting their preferences into the new hybrid system.

Private Offices and Outdoor Workspaces

Private offices have become a serious consideration. Open office plans and hot-desking are less safe than they used to be. Now, employees are acutely aware that shared airspace is a risk when working in the office. Many employers are rebuilding roles to include private offices or access to booked private spaces when their teams come to work on-site.

An interesting variation of this approach is the cultivation of outdoor workspaces on the office grounds. Because airspace is safer outdoors, and workspaces more widely spaced, many professionals see access to outdoor workspaces as a serious perk. This puts new pressure on landscaping crews. It also provides for new expressions of brand personality and artistry on company grounds.

In-Office Viral Safety Measures as Perks for Benefits in 2022

In-office viral safety measures are also critical and can take the form of an office-wide benefits package. We’ve seen everything from sanitizer pumps emplaced on walls to advanced face recognition security systems to ensure no one is wearing a mask below the nose. For safety-conscious employees, these protections are vital.

High-tech viral safety perks include CO2 monitors in enclosed spaces that monitor air cycling efficiency by detecting accumulated exhalations. IR cameras can be used to quickly check if arriving employees are fevered based on skin temperature. On a more mechanical level, companies are installing antimicrobial surfaces like copper railings and counter-coatings. Some are innovating self-sanitizing spritzers in key areas.

These perks have the benefit of being technologically interesting – critical for some company cultures – as well as enhancing employee viral safety in the office.

Company Vaccination Access and Quarantine Policies

Vaccination and quarantine support have become essential with new variants and vaccination re-ups. Employers who provide vaccination access and boosters are far more likely to maintain a vaccinated in-office team. At the same time, quarantine support is essential for employers who want to maintain professionals who may become sick or have a relative who catches one of the ever-evolving COVID variants.

Quarantine support has developed into a serious benefits offering, ranging from simple paid time off to a system of care packages and additional telehealth access.

Adapting to the New Landscape of Benefits in 2022

Perhaps the biggest change brought to employee benefits, however, is that more people are interested and participating. What used to be a shrug-off issue for most has become a point of critical interest. Employees are asking about remote office stipends and vaccination booster schedules instead of accepting the healthcare access and gym memberships as given.

On the provider side, we are seeing a major uptick in benefits participation, especially when using digital benefits tool. We stand to see even greater benefits engagement as packages adapt to the needs of today’s companies and professionals. Contact us to learn more.