8 Benefits Remote Companies Should Offer Their Employees
by Thom Brown
Many companies offer significant benefits to their employees, from health insurance to retirement funds. However, companies hiring a remote workforce need to consider the specific needs of their employees. You need to find ways to get the most out of your team when you can’t meet them face-to-face. With that in mind, here are eight unique benefits that we offer at Anyplace that remote companies can consider. Any combination of these can lead to a happier, more fulfilled, and more productive workforce.
Mental Health Days
Most employers offer days off for physical illnesses but they rarely offer the same benefit for mental health problems. This doesn’t make much sense, since mental health is as important – if not more important – than physical health. For remote workers, paid days off to recover mentally can be hugely important. They can often overwork themselves, making them vulnerable to burnout.
Around one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. That’s a huge proportion of the workforce. Even those who aren’t diagnosed, though, need time to focus on mental wellbeing. Everyone experiences stress, grief, breakups, and periods of emotional turmoil. Being able to take a day off to focus on self-care without worrying about lost pay can keep remote workers happy and productive.
Many remote workers choose this lifestyle because it allows them to travel. Why stay at home in a boring city when you work in amazing countries like India or Italy? This traveling lifestyle gives remote workers a creative boost, helping them stay fulfilled and motivated at work. By offering even small travel bonuses, you can help them maintain this happy work-life balance.
You could offer flight vouchers or, if you’re more environmentally-minded, railcards and bus passes. Alternatively, you could pay for an entire vacation once a year. This gives your employees a reason to stay loyal to your company year after year, knowing that they’re building towards a trip that other companies are unlikely to offer.
Most companies will offer their workers some kind of insurance, especially when it comes to healthcare. However, travel insurance is one benefit that even remote companies have been slow to offer. If you know that a proportion of your workforce regularly travels, then it makes sense to ensure that they’re covered should anything go wrong.
It’s not only the worker who suffers if their laptop is lost, stolen, or broken. If they can’t work, then it can affect the whole business. By making sure their property is protected as they travel, you avoid this risk. Many digital nomads fail to insure themselves so consider taking on this responsibility as their employer.
Fit and healthy workers are productive workers. One study found that working out during office hours led to a staggering 72% increase in time management and workload completion. Most remote work is done sitting down but by getting up and moving, workers are actually able to complete a lot more across the day.
Encourage your staff to take exercise breaks with a free gym membership. Not everyone will take up the offer but those that do are bound to see an increase in both job satisfaction and work rate. Beyond this, you could buy all new staff members a standing desk to decrease the time they spend sitting down.
Coworking Space Passes
Not all remote workers will have adequate office space in their homes. Many of your staff members will be working from a bed or a dining room table. This can work for limited periods of time but after a while, you’ll notice a significant drop-off in results. A dedicated workspace allows employees to get into the zone so that their brain is in gear for work.
Coworking spaces are the perfect solution for this. However, many remote workers won’t want to cough up the sometimes hundreds of dollars a month needed to access one. Take responsibility as an employer of a remote workforce. Buy your workers annual passes so that they always have access to a suitable work environment.
Unlimited Coffee Vouchers
Taken in moderation, there’s no doubt that coffee offers a productivity boost. Starting the day with a hot cup of joe improves both energy levels and concentration so that workers can get through all their tasks. So why not supply them with the caffeine fix they need?
Another advantage of offering vouchers to a coffee shop is that it gets your workers out of the house. It gives them a reason to pop into a local cafe rather than work from home. A change of environment can help them leave behind distractions and enter a more creative mindset.
Home Office Budget
It’s highly beneficial to both the employer and employee for a remote worker to have an amazing home office. A worker’s environment plays a pivotal role when it comes to productivity, and having a great workspace setup is key to achieving deep work. Employers provide gear when you work in an office, and it should be no different when an employee is remote. There should be a budget for home office needs – the initial cost of setting up an office and an ongoing monthly stipend for any additional gear, hardware or software that will make working remotely more productive.
If you enjoy traveling while working remotely, Anyplace Select apartments are catered specifically to those who need an amazing home office in any city. Each Select apartment comes with a fully-equipped workspace with a widescreen monitor, mouse, keyboard, green screen, docking station, gigabit WiFi, and more – all you need to do is bring your laptop and plug in.
For all its benefits, one downside of being a remote worker is the potential to become lonely. If a location-independent employee lives alone, then they could go days without ever interacting with another human being. Over time, social isolation increases blood pressure, weakens the immune system, can cause anxiety, and leads to cognitive decline. All these symptoms don’t make for a productive worker.
As a way of lowering the risk of social isolation, organize community events for your workers. Help them engage in cultural activities and charity work. This will give them a chance to form social connections and fulfill this fundamental human need that many remote workers are lacking.
In this new age of remote work, many companies are going above and beyond to prioritize the well-being of their workers. Just because your employees are in a different timezone, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect their needs. These seven benefits will be a small cost to the business but will result in a loyal and motivated workforce that is optimized for productivity. Start finding unique ways to add these benefits to your business and watch the quality of your workforce improve.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.