The pandemic has changed the way many businesses across the UK function. Employers and employees have had to adapt dramatically to new ways of working, and this in turn has led to changes in the attitudes, wants and needs of top talent across various sectors. One major change has been in the expectations of employees around what benefits they want, or expect, from potential new employers. 

Here are 4 workplace benefits that are on the rise heading into 2022, in the post-lockdown workplace: 

1) Childcare and family benefits

The many changes and challenges associated with the pandemic were felt acutely by working parents. The rise of remote work, closure of schools and subsequent adoption of remote learning, combined with the difficulty of physically isolating within family units, all created an added burden for working families. 
The combination of these issues has since brought about conversations about family and childcare benefits to the forefront for many employers, working professionals and HR representatives. 

The growing interest in family and childcare benefits throughout 2020 was noted by family benefits company Cleo. In 2020, Cleo saw a 167% increase in membership as the need for employee programs that support families and working parents spiked during the pandemic. 

Businesses can look to support working parents in a number of ways. These include expanding eligible expenses for care, creating strong support networks, or offering more flexible working for those caring for young children. 

2) Home office expenses

Employers are also investing in support services for remote workers as they set up their home offices. Allowing employees to expense purchases for equipment and resources such as desks, chairs and second screens is becoming increasingly common as the UK shifts towards a permanently flexible working world. 

Given the unprecedented and changeable nature of the pandemic’s effects, it has taken some time for home working regulations to come into full effect as many businesses found themselves in a limbo, not knowing when things would return to normal. But as we move forward, flexible working is here for many companies, making it more important than ever for employees have the tools they need to complete their job effectively both at home and in the office. 

3) Mental health support

The many challenges of Covid-19 have certainly had significant impacts on the mental health of many workers, and also made clear the need for companies to provide comprehensive mental health benefits.

What are experts saying: 

Employee wellbeing should be a key component of any organisation’s strategy. More than ever, wellbeing is increasingly important – it’s no longer just providing your employees with a basket of fruit and access to a gym. Businesses should be encouraging and supporting employees to reflect on their own wellbeing in everything they do, and that includes their physical, mental, financial, and social health. 

By promoting healthier habits and continuous small changes to their lives, businesses can really help staff make informed, balanced and positive lifestyle choices.

It doesn’t have to impact the budget either; following the pandemic many benefit providers now offer free additional employee wellbeing services as an added value benefit - have a chat with your account manager or check their website. 

Key take-aways are that one size does not fit all, and a programme should be variable and designed to reach everyone, and it’s also crucial for the information to be easily accessible for all.

-    Gail Wilson, Global Mobility & Benefits Manager, PageGroup Gail Wilson

4) Remote work and flexible schedules

While many have historically been skeptical about how remote working would impact productivity and company workflow, the past year has proven that most workers can execute their jobs just as well as, if not better, while working from home. There are plenty of key business benefits of flexible working too, including an increase in productivity, reduce stress and burnout, a better work-life balance for all employees and better job satisfaction. 

This is something we looked at in length in our recent eBook, Talent Trends: 10 key insights on the post-lockdown workplace. Download this free eBook for expert insights into:

  • How workers feel about flexible working
  • How far top candidates are willing to travel for a new job
  • What role the office play for teams moving forward 
  • What skills workers need to navigate the ‘new normal’ 

Looking to hire? 

If you’re looking to hire top talent into your business, Michael Page can help you find the perfect candidate for the role.  By utilising the latest recruitment technology, we connect leading businesses with top quality candidates. Get in touch to speak to one of our expert consultants today. 

Join over 80,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.