Much has been written about remote work becoming more and more common, initially out of necessity from the pandemic, and now it is the norm. Of course, having the option for remote work, or a hybrid model can be a boon to any company seeking to attract talent. With a remote option, a company is giving their employees a tool for better work-life balance through less commuting time, the ability to be digital nomads and work anywhere on Planet Earth, and more. All these benefits, with no proven cost to productivity.
However, with the job market being employee-focused, companies will likely need more than just remote work to attract the best of the best. Blue-chip employers, such as the Royal Bank of Canada are spending $200 million to retain talent. Employers are in need of more creativity than just remote work to become a talent destination:
Employees want better health benefits
The advent of increased remote work came at the same time mental health started to get more attention. COVID-19 made everyone ask the question of what they need to be happy both inside and outside work. Hootsuite, like many companies paying more attention to what makes their employees happy, is increasing its mental health and wellness offerings. The company is boosting their mental health coverage six times, offering a wellness week off, and half-day Fridays for the summer, all of which appear to be getting positive feedback from employees.
Not every company has the resources or brand of Hootsuite – and smaller businesses may not be able to match the cost it takes to offer the same expanded benefits. Still, it is important to look at what you can do – just because you can’t offer a buffet doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a nice three-course dinner. The new job market request newfound attention to mental health benefits.
Work-Life Balance Beyond Remote Work: On-Site Childcare and more
What the above mental health benefits (a wellness week off, half-day Fridays in the summer) have in common with remote work, is that they give employees flexibility. To attract the best talent, employers have to look at other methods of giving their workers flexibility – whether those methods are applied in conjunction with remote work and mental health benefits, or delivered solo. One tremendous source of flexibility that can help workers with young children, is on-site childcare.
Finding quality daycare can be difficult, and when you finally find a location, there comes the hassle of working out when to pick up and drop off your children (all while managing commuting times). On-site childcare can ease those worries for employees, simplifying their parenting and working schedules for the benefit of employer, employee, and child. In fact, one study found that “84% of employees who had access to [on-site daycare] felt engaged at work”, about 20% higher than the average engagement rate.
Beyond childcare, employees can look at other options to increase flexibility. Flexible shifts for those who must work in person are one such option – whether they are shift workers or typically salaried employees who can now come in and start their 8-hour day at 10 am instead of 9 am. The work is still being done, but in a way that maximizes every party’s happiness.
Flexibility equals Retention
More flexibility, and creative ways to deliver the flexibility, means better retention for your company. Even something as creative as playing with when the five-day work week happens is something employers should consider. For employers able to do so, giving workers the option to come in on the days of their choosing is a strong gift of flexibility. If someone’s personal schedule is better suited for a Tuesday to Saturday week instead of a Monday to Friday week, having the option to change when their workday starts and ends can be a powerful retention tool. Never forget that 64% of employees say that flexibility makes them feel more empowered, and about half of employees believe flexible work benefits are just as important as traditional benefits. To retain talent in 2022 – get flexible!