Ways that coronavirus has changed benefits delivery for the good of the environment

We’ve already seen the impact less travel is having on the environment, with the pandemic forcing many organisations to re-think their entire corporate culture and adopt new ways of working. This is a perfect opportunity to develop sustainable strategies that can make a positive environmental impact.

Ways that coronavirus has changed benefits delivery for the good of the environment

For a time, coronavirus put a stop to all non-essential travel which had a huge environmental effect. We’ve seen improvements in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions could drop by 11% this year, according to analysis by Sia Partners.

However, to ensure we can continue this rapid drive for more sustainability, we need to build strategies with longevity that make ‘business-sense’.

Here is how reducing business travel for the long-term and adopting an environmentally-friendly workplace strategy, based around remote working, can benefit organisations and our people.

Video calls and conferences are as effective as face-to-face meetings

We have seen that video calls allow us to achieve the same advice outcomes and have the same impact as if you were meeting in person. Prior to coronavirus a remote meeting may have been considered second best. However, aside from the obvious social distancing advantages, we are seeing some unexpected benefits.

Seeing an expert or adviser in their home breaks down the formality of a suit in an office, helping build trust and rapport. Screen sharing allows advisers to pass the control of online tools and modellers, empowering the member to be more proactive and improve engagement. But most important is the boost to mental wellbeing. A friendly face who wants to help you achieve your goals and objectives can give a huge lift.

Embracing current and emerging technologies

We need to seize the opportunity to invest in technology to help future-proof our organisations. From artificial intelligence to bespoke interactive tools, now is the time to explore the options available to us. Due to remote working, we have seen an increase in people using websites and portals – these digital channels have always been important but now, more than ever, we need to ensure we’re maximising their potential.

Current and emerging technologies can help us grow so that we can continue making an impact in our roles and focus on our people.

Your people are crying out for effective communication

The insular nature of remote working can leave people feeling in the dark and unsure of what’s happening to their benefits. One of the best remedies is to build a strategy and plan regular communications to keep your people informed and have open lines of dialogue at all times. Without regular communication, motivation, engagement and trust can quickly fizzle out. It’s never been more important to keep in close contact and ensure you’re looking after your people as best you can.

We now know the pandemic will change how we work for the foreseeable future, maybe even forever, and it’s the businesses that take control of the future now that will be best positioned to cope with whatever is to come in these uncertain times.

Improving productivity

People’s time can be one of the most precious commodities. Remote working has created a mindset shift which has encouraged organisations to re-evaluate the ways of working. In the not so distant past, remote working would have been impossible for the majority of us, but now is the time to embrace technology and weave it into our lives to maintain a healthy work-life balance to improve your employees’ mental wellbeing.

Applying a structured remote working policy built for the future will not only have an impact on overall wellness, but also will improve productivity. As we’ve seen first-hand at Lemonade Reward, from pension advice meetings and financial wellbeing seminars – we are able to achieve the same outcomes as if were we in person and our clients are able to join at the click of a button.

Don’t get us wrong, in some instances, you can’t beat a face-to-face meeting – but in this ever-changing business landscape, we need to be agile and proactive in our approaches.

Improving your people’s wellbeing

One of the most important areas to focus on is the wellbeing of your employees and members. The short-term effects of coronavirus may mean some employees are saving money from reduced travel and could invest more into workplace savings such as ISAs or increase their pension contributions*, which would help improve financial wellness. Other people may see a boost in wellbeing from reduced stress levels from their commute which would in-turn lead to lower staff absences and improved staff retention.

Reducing travel by introducing innovative ways of remote working, will not only have a huge environmental impact, but can also help benefit employers and their people by building workplaces and company cultures that are fit for the future.

This article is provided by Lemonade Reward.

* Please note: The value of investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest.

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