During the COVID-19 pandemic, many full-time employees work from home. Some love it, some hate it, and some enjoy it but also miss their office. Based on a question I posted on my LinkedIn profile, 37% prefer their home office compared to just 7% who prefer their actual office. The majority, however, prefers a combination of both.
Some people don’t have a home office setup, some get distracted by their kids, and some miss socializing with their colleagues. However, one thing is for sure. Times change. Gig economy emerges and even full-time employees now stay at home.
You, as a team leader, company owner, or C-level executive, need to support your people and make your employer brand stand out. Traditional benefits, like laptop, snacks and gym membership don’t work. So what now?
Here is a list of seven benefits to offer your virtual full- and part-time employees:
- Schedule Flexibility
Divide your teams into smaller groups and give them the flexibility to work any time they want over the day. Now that they don’t have to be at the office from 9AM to 5PM, and they don’t waste time in commuting, they may want to start at 7AM or 11AM. Or they may prefer to work four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. If your projects are time-sensitive, half your groups will be flexible from the 1st of the month till the 15th and the rest half from the 16th to the 30th.
2. Gym Equipment
Chances are that some of your employees miss their gym because of the lockdown. While you can’t offer them a home gym, you can definitely send them a couple of kettlebells and a yoga mat or something else they need and you can afford.
3. Netflix subscription/E-books
Buy them a Netflix (or any other similar service) subscription. People will get to watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, and those who have kids will get to keep their kids entertained at times. If your people prefer books, then buy them one or two e-books instead.
4. Digital Library
I have previously stressed the importance of creating a digital library for your people. You can buy online courses to help them improve current skills or even gain new ones based on their interests. Now, you can add hobby courses as well for those who may want to start writing, painting, cooking, gardening, or anything else they can try at home.
5. Online coaching
I personally don’t know a single person who hasn’t been psychologically affected by the pandemic. We’re currently approaching the second wave and several countries are already in a lockdown and others may have to endure another lockdown, according to experts. Hire coaches to support your employees on a bi-weekly basis. If you care about your people, you care about their mental well-being.
6. Virtual coffee with the founder(s) or the CEO
Schedule a virtual coffee between each employee and the founder(s) or the CEO of the company. The CEO/founders don’t commute anymore so they can spend at least 30 minutes every day talking to employees and show that they truly care. One-on-one meetings will be greatly appreciated.
How many times employees have great ideas to promote the company or to reduce costs but they don’t get to be heard? Even if they are heard, there is sometimes too much red tape or unwillingness to apply a change. It’s time to listen to your people’s ideas.
Start two contests; one for the Marketing department and one for the other departments, as marketers traditionally have more ideas to promote a company. The winners (one from Marketing one from another department) gets an extra salary. Kill two birds with one stone.