To say that the business world’s approach to the workforce was changed by the pandemic would be an understatement. In a hiring landscape already affected by the War for Talent, COVID conditions slammed the corporate world into a benefits-focused reality. In order to keep employees safe, satisfied, and in key roles, it became necessary to completely rethink their entire approach to benefits offerings. Indeed, with a workforce going increasingly stir-crazy in makeshift home offices, everything changed. After two years of intermittent outbreaks and quarantines, these changes are not just here to stay – we’re honing our strategies for satisfying remote work and safe in-office work with a unique new set of benefits packages and priorities. Let’s dive into some of the essential ways the pandemic has changed what’s ahead for benefits in 2022.
Access to Online Benefits and Mobile Apps
First and foremost, access to benefits had to change significantly. Once, benefits were tough to achieve participation because sign-up windows and methods were often obscured by limited and on-site-only access. Employees needed to talk with HR to participate in the benefits available to them. Now? It became critical for the newly added benefits to be accessible both for sign-up and participation via online portals and apps.
In fact, many new benefits are 100% mobile, including mental health services, telehealth, financial wellness, and social platforms for employees. Benefits portals and dashboards are becoming more popular and, on the provider side, this is great news because it has seriously boosted both participation and engagement in the benefits offered.
Benefits in 2022 Tailor to Remote Workers
- Home Office Stipend
- Shipped Work Computers and Equipment
- Internet Bill Coverage
Next, there’s the remote benefits wave. For many businesses (and providers) these benefits are all new. Remote workers can’t access many traditional benefits and have unique needs outside your typical commuter. Among the most popular during the pandemic – and here to stay – are home office stipends, shipped equipment, and coverage of internet bills.
With so many people setting up a home office, having the funds to conduct minor home renovations, purchase furniture and equipment, and cover a high-speed internet bill are essential to being able to work at all.
Mental Health Resources
During the pandemic, mental health became a critical issue. Most people are not 100% home-bodies. Cabin fever and pandemic anxiety were at an all-time high. Employers trying to meet that need reached out for benefits that provided mental health resources to remote workers and essential workers who continued to work in high-risk conditions.
Most of the mental health resources follow the online and mobile app trend, ranging from relaxation apps to connections with telehealth medical professionals. The best are those that provide discreet, science-backed services with flexible service for both pandemic-related and personal mental health support.
Financial Wellness Resources
Many people also experienced serious financial impacts during the pandemic. Those still working had partners laid off or furloughed. More time at home meant increased bills. Illness in the family resulted in increased medical costs. Just like mental health, many employers decided to provide financial wellness support as well.
This ranged from financial coaching services to money-management apps to a revolution of private loans and subsidies outside of the banking industry.
Benefits in 2022 Include Online Events and Social Perks
Another innovation of the pandemic era was online social perks. For many professionals, office parties and the occasional box of donuts really made a difference. They built team camaraderie, uplifted morale, and provided a critical social connection for those who are otherwise isolated. When everyone was isolated, socialization became a critical perk for smart employers.
Online events saw a boom, from Zoom trivia nights to virtual cooking classes complete with shipped ingredient boxes. Today, we’re seeing this trend blossom based on the diverse tapestry of company cultures and online resources available.
Get Ready for Benefits in 2022
The pandemic has done more than change how we do business. Indeed, it has transformed the way the workforce approaches benefits as a whole. For benefits providers, it’s easy to help clients connect employees with their benefits. With a mobile benefits app, employees have access to all of their benefits with the click of a button. Whether a join link to an online event or financial wellness tips, apps like Benefits Zone collect all benefits information in a convenient and easy-to-use mobile app. Ready to help clients connect employees to benefits in 2022? Contact us to learn more.