Adapting your Benefits to the Changing Workplace

Adapting your Benefits to the Changing Workplace

Coronavirus has caused a shift from office cubicles to remote work, and experts believe it’s here to stay. Many companies are adapting to this changing workplace by going hybrid or fully remote. But is it enough to keep employees from packing up and finding work elsewhere?

Changing your benefits package to accommodate this flexible work model gives your employees another reason to stay. Do it with Specialty Accounts — the swiss-army knife of the benefits world!

  • They can be designed to cover a wide variety of expenses
  • YOU set the limits regarding eligibility, how the account is funded, whether funds roll over, etc.
  • Enable a maximum spend per person over a certain period (e.g., 1 month) to control your costs

Employees experiencing the changing workplace will love these ideas:

Cover the Essentials

The internet is required to do most, if not all, remote jobs. When you reimburse for this expense, you help to ensure that possibility.

You could either reimburse for the full bill regardless of price or set the maximum reimbursement amount to the standard cost in your area for a basic plan (e.g., $50).

Other “essential” job-related expenses you could cover include electricity (your employees’ bills have probably gone up since working from home!) and office supplies.

Design an Alternate Commuter Benefit Program

Commuter benefits become less of a staple benefit if employees aren’t commuting in every day (though keeping them around and switching to a flexible benefits provider can be beneficial if you’re switching to a hybrid work model). But, there are plenty of other computing-related expenses you can cover with a Specialty Account!

Here are some ideas for specialty account plans that are outside the scope of a pre-tax commuter benefit plan:

  • Reimburse for the cost of gas to/from work
  • Create a generalized micro-commute/last-mile program
  • Design a walk/bike to work incentive
  • Reimburse for bicycle sharing programs

Wellness –> Wellbeing

Wellness Accounts are one of the most popular Specialty Account designs, and for a good reason: a healthy workforce = reduced medical costs. But have you ever considered expanding the concept to be more than your standard gym/fitness reimbursement? Turn it into a general “wellbeing” account instead to 

For example, you could cover:

  • Subscriptions to fitness apps (Apple Fitness, Headspace, MyFitnessPal, etc.)
  • Mental health services, including mental health/therapy apps
  • Weight-loss meal delivery kits (e.g., Nutrisystem)

And speaking of meal delivery kits…

Meal Services

Who doesn’t love FREE FOOD?

One perk of having everyone in the office is that it’s easy to treat your employees to something delicious. Whether it’s early-morning breakfast, some sweet treats, or a full catered lunch, it’s a great way to show employees you care.

With meal delivery services, employees can choose what they want to eat. So, Stan can get a large anchovy pizza without stinking up the office, Laura can get lactose-free food alternatives, and Miranda can get a healthy lunch to help her lose those last 5 pounds before her wedding. And you don’t have to worry about food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Here are some ideas:

  • Reimburse for meal-kit services (HelloFresh, Blue Apron, etc.) for one or more companies
  • Cover the costs of one or more food delivery platforms (DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc.)
  • Create a “small business” food plan to encourage employees to shop local
  • Provide a general meal-delivery credit each month for all the above

It’s Easier Than You Think to Adapt to the Changing Workplace.

Need Help Administering Your Account(s)? We’ve got you covered. Check out our flyer to learn why BRI is the right choice to give your employees the benefits and value they want most.

More information on Specialty Accounts: