How COVID-19 Will Change the Future of Work and Benefits

One of the keys to creating the right working environment is keeping up to date with the latest working trends and how the world of work is changing.

Adaptability is more important than ever before, as is the need to understand what employees now want from their role and their working environment and how their needs have changed.

Here we’ll look into how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world of work and benefits and how you can adapt.

Remote working

As part of CIPD research, employers predict that 37% of employees will be working from home full-time following the crisis. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that just under 50% of working adults are currently working from home.

Prior to the pandemic, the adoption of flexible working practices by businesses had risen by 12.35% between 2012 and 2016 according to ONS. Remote working was perhaps already on the rise; however, its adoption has since accelerated rapidly.

With the benefits gained by businesses brought by remote working, it could be here to stay following the pandemic.

Opportunities and challenges of remote working

Among the many benefits of remote working there’s the reduced cost of rent or maintenance of workspace. Instead the workplace can be used either on a part-time basis or for meetings for example.

The reduced need for parking space around the workplace is particularly beneficial for those based in cities where space is at a premium.

Employees also save on the cost of their commute making their pay go further, while there’s the added time-saving benefit too.

Many employees also save on childcare costs too such as childminders during half-term for example.

While there are many more benefits to remote working for both businesses and employees, there are also a number of drawbacks to consider.

Not all businesses have the capacity to work remotely full-time in their particular field or industry. Remote working can sometimes lead to staff feeling isolated too, while the lack of face-to-face collaboration can sometimes prove to be a stumbling block.

To summarise on remote working, while many may return to the workplace full-time, what we’re likely to see is that most businesses will adopt at least a part-time flexible or remote working approach.

The main challenge for businesses will be how they can avoid isolating employees. The mental wellbeing of staff must be a top priority and remote working should still be social and collaborative where possible.

A focus on greener working practices

Another benefit of remote working has been the reduced carbon emission levels and generally lower levels of pollution.

According to data from ONS in 2017, 68% of UK workers travelled to work by car. If 10% of all working adults in the UK worked from home full-time following the pandemic, there would be roughly 2.2 million less commuting vehicles on the road each day.

Councils and governments are always looking for ways to reduce emissions. While in lockdown, the UK Government introduced new investment in cycling which has seen demand for the Bike to Work Scheme soar.

With reduced pollution levels while remote working is encouraged, many businesses may be wary of the increase in emissions that a return to work would cause. This could mean that schemes like the Car Salary Sacrifice Scheme could prove to be hugely popular with an onus on electric vehicles to help staff reduce the carbon emissions from their commute.

Financial wellbeing focus

The pandemic has hit many hard and the position the economy finds itself in following Coronavirus will most probably lead to many looking for ways to save and improve their finances.

Financial wellbeing is key to overall mental wellbeing and happiness. For employers, those who can offer support in the form of financial wellbeing benefits will most likely have an advantage when it comes to recruitment while retention will also be improved.

An effective employee discounts platform will also be paramount in helping pay go further for employees.

Financial education and financial planning advice, both of which can be offered through an employee benefits platform, will also be hugely important.

Health and wellbeing benefits

The current focus for many on physical and mental wellbeing is likely to last long beyond the current pandemic. As such, employees will be looking to their employer for options when it comes to both preventative and problem-solving measures.

Gym discounts, health assessments and the Employee Assistance Programme will continue to be vital in helping employees boost their immune system, take care of their physical wellbeing and stay on top of their mental wellbeing too.

At caboodle, we have one of the widest ranges of employee benefit schemes you’ll find anywhere, including the schemes mentioned here plus loads more! Read our supplier profile page for more info or head over to our website.