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30 Apr 2021
by Tim Brook

How to adapt your reward strategy to reflect new ways of working

Some four in 10 employees are expected to work from home on a regular basis post Covid-19, according to the CIPD’s Embedding new ways of working (2020) research. That’s roughly twice as many as pre-pandemic. So, chances are, a large percentage of your workforce will now require different forms of support.

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Aon’s Benefits & Trends Survey 2021 shows more than 90% of UK employers think employees’ expectations of the workplace are changing as a result of Covid.

Here, we explore some of the best ways to ensure your reward strategy is primed for the ‘new normal’.

A greater emphasis on digital solutions and communication

With lots more people working off site, having a well-resourced digital channel to offer and communicate benefits will become even more key to an effective reward strategy.

Perhaps that’s one reason a resounding 86% of respondents to Aon’s survey said more priority had been placed on benefits communication due to Covid-19.

At EQ, we believe the best way to do this is to provide a Total Reward platform, where your people can access all the different benefits available – from wellbeing apps to help them manage their mental health, to virtual GP appointments and even discount schemes.

The most recent REBA survey on the impact of Covid-19 on pay and benefits suggests that many employers agree, with 15.9% of respondents saying a global benefits approach is now under review – at least partly due to new company policies that allow more employees to work remotely.

A shift in the type of benefits workers appreciate

Over time, remote workers can easily feel disconnected. So, it’s vital to ensure they have access to benefits that demonstrate they are valued members of the team.

Little wonder then, that REBA’s research indicates that employee wellbeing and the need to re-engage the workforce are key themes for 2021, with one in five businesses planning to restructure reward packages and review spending on benefits due to changing working practices.

Examples of benefits likely to appeal to those working more remotely include help with bills, such as home insurance and utilities, which may well increase due to employees spending more time at home and having more expensive equipment in their homes. Maybe also employer-sponsored broadband contracts that offer home workers the bandwidth they need to do their jobs effectively.

At a higher level, having a clear Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is also an increasingly important part of ensuring both existing members of staff and new joiners appreciate what’s on offer.

A potential new source of benefits funding

The good news for companies keen to embrace remote working on a larger scale is that having to maintain less office space might help to unlock significant savings.

According to a Accenture’s global study, Covid-19: Building new ways of working (2020), a typical employer can expect to save $11,000 per year for every person who works remotely 50% of the time.

So, why not divert a percentage of the money saved to realign your benefits strategy to your workforce’s changing requirements?

The signs are that many employers are already doing so, with half (51%) of UK companies increasing the quantity of laptops and computers available to those working remotely, according to the CIPD.

A holistic approach to the cost/benefit analysis

That said, it’s important to analyse all of this carefully and not to get swayed by headline cost savings promises.

The question of whether or not to go down a more permanent remote working route – in whole or part – shouldn’t be based solely on the potential cost savings associated with the redundant office space.

To do that overlooks a lot of potential costs that could well arise from homeworking, in terms of not only having in place a robust, digital infrastructure to support it but also, perhaps even more importantly, ensuring employee wellbeing; an essential prerequisite for motivation, engagement, collaboration and innovation – all things that could very well take a long-term hit.

EQ has designed a data analysis tool to help HR put all of this into hard facts and figures – the language the boardroom understands – to ensure that senior leadership receive a more holistic cost/benefit analysis.

The author is Tim Brook, head of engagement & platforms at EQ HR Solutions.

This article is provided by EQ HR Solutions.

In partnership with Equiniti

Hi we are EQ; some may know us as Equiniti! We provide specialist reward, benefits and payroll solutions.

Contact us today

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