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Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The post-covid world comes with a new set of workplace perks — and expectations

The pandemic is shifting workplace perks towards an individualized, health-attuned culture and away from traditional perks designed to keep employees productive by keeping them at the office, the Financial Times says.

Central to this shift is recognizing younger and older employees have different needs:

Younger employees are looking for support with finances and personal development, argues Manchester University organizational psychology professor Cary Cooper. For these age groups, using traditional perks to get employees to work on-site from the office and boost their productivity is not an effective strategy, says Flex author Annie Auerbach. In the post-pandemic world, these “stay here tactics” — like having ping pong tables and gyms in-house — will make way to a more empathetic managerial vision that is grounded in the understanding that staff members have a life outside their jobs, Auerbach says.

What’s wrong with the job hopping generation? A 2020 report by Gallup found that 21% of millennials changed jobs in the last year, which was three times the number for non-millennials. “The reason they are going from one employer to another is because they are not getting what they are looking for,” says Cooper.

Over 60% of employers are placing more emphasis on perks that promote physical and mental wellbeing, according to UK job rating site Glassdoor. These include apps, private healthcare, and online therapy. The study found that almost nine in ten would be more likely to apply for a job at a company that took care of its employees.

Some companies are tweaking perks to factor in debt relief: Google announced it will match student loan repayments up to USD 2,500 a month from starting this year.

Providing flexible hours is not an advantage. It’s a disadvantage not to: “Companies that don’t have flexibility benefits as standard will really lose out,” says tech consultancy Unleashed CEO Anouk Agussol, arguing that the freedom of choosing when to work weighs a lot more now than it did before the pandemic.

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