How Covid Affected Employee Perks And What They Will Look Like Post-Pandemic

Employers began offering more perks during the pandemic to keep workers productive and engaged, but as the threat of Covid-19 ebbs and many are eager for employees to return to the office, leaders face the challenge of figuring out what incentives truly make a difference. Some companies, as Fay has seen, are offering free lunches, happy hours and even live music to motivate workers to return to the office. Pringle has witnessed the same thing and says companies will still be using traditional perks like free snacks and Taco Tuesdays to lure people back to the office. Perks are meant to make workers more productive and want to stay at their jobs longer, but are things like free snacks meaningful enough to stop people from jumping ship?

Perks boost employee morale and productivity and show individuals that their company is committed to their well-being, Fay says. “Employers are really letting their employees know that we care about you enough to invest in resources and get access to things,” she says. “Even if you’re not in a place where you’re going to take advantage of all of them because maybe you don’t need them, it’s just still a nice statement to know that your company really cares.”

When employees are content, that shows in their work and interactions. “There’s a saying, ‘Happy employees are productive employees.’ That tends to be the case, if people feel good and supported about their organization, they tend to be happy in their jobs,” Fay says. “They’re not focusing time and energy on complaining and griping and trying to get things changed. Instead, they’re focused on doing their job and serving their customers.” Fay says this also has a positive effect on retaining and attracting talent.

Perks also help in the current competitive job market. Sign-on bonuses have become popular and while a person won’t accept a job just because they’re being offered a bonus, it is an indicator that the company wants them to work for the organization, Fay says. A Florida McDonald’s recently did this and offered $50 to anyone who came in for an interview.

With many still working from their kitchen tables during the pandemic, it’s difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Employers must be sure to lay out all the perks they offer during the hiring process, something Fay says they often forget to do. “People want to join a company that they feel is going to be supportive of them and help them advance in their career and grow,” Fay says.

The Future of Perks Post-Pandemic

As the workforce settles into a new post-pandemic standard, perks will evolve. Pringle envisions a future where employees are going to look to work from home as often as possible, something that has become the norm. A SHRM survey shows that 52% of employed Americans would choose to work from home permanently if given the option. With the push from employers to return to the office, employees are wondering about paid commuting costs.

Some workers relocated during the pandemic, which has resulted in farther commutes. Those who moved across the country are unsure if they will be required to move back or make regular trips to the office. And if so, will organizations subsidize moving costs or pay for employees’ trips to visit the office?

“Those commuting costs are ones that some employees are starting to inquire about so that could be something that might shift a little as people return to the offices more,” Fay says. “That’s going to be one of the ones we need to keep our eyes and ears open for as things move forward.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *