Curious about what the top employee benefits trends projected for 2020 are? As 2019 comes to an end, workplace compensation norms – and employee demands – are continuing to shift. Workplace benefits are no longer just a nice-to-have perk; they’re seen increasingly more as an indispensable aspect of an employee’s overall workplace experience, and something that employers can’t afford not to offer. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top projected Canadian employee benefits trends for 2020.
- Benefits personalization
- Working remotely
- Flexible hours
- Telemedicine and telehealth
- Financial well-being benefits
1. Benefits personalization
The traditional model of one-size-fits-all employee benefits has been on the outs in recent years, and we will see the trend continue into 2020. The traditional one-size-fits-all benefits model typically offers balanced coverage in most commonly-used areas. And while this model is straightforward, it fails to take into consideration employees’ diverse lifestyles and individual health needs. We can all understand that a young, single employee would have different priorities and expenses than a parent of a young child, who also would not have the same needs as an older employee on the cusp of retirement. A child care benefit, for example, would likely go unused for employees with no plans of having children, just like vision care would likely not be of much use for employees who do not require glasses.
As one happy Honeybee user says, “One of the biggest things that I love about Honeybee is the flexibility of it. It’s not one-size-fits-all, because we’re not hiring people who are one-size-fits-all!”
In practice, the traditional benefits model often leaves employees with irrelevant coverage in areas they have no need for, and too little coverage in areas they do need. Going into 2020, employee benefits in Canada are now increasingly customizable to an individual degree. Whether this is done through health accounts, allowance accounts or just being able to choose their level of coverage, employees are now demanding more personalized benefits plans and customizable features.
2. Working remotely
One of the employee benefits trends we can expect to see in 2020 is more employees working from home. There are now more computer-based workers than ever before. With the ability to tune in anywhere, anytime, it’s no longer a technical necessity to be based in a specific workplace anymore for many employees. Employees are loving the ability to work remotely, and many employers have in recent years started implementing work from home policies as a benefit to their employees. Employers are catching on to the fact that the ability to work remotely serves as an appreciated high-impact work perk for employees, without incurring costs to themselves, which distincts it from other types of employee rewards, such as an end-of-year bonus or a salary increase.
Due to the appeal of a comfortable and familiar work environment, lack of commute times (and the extra free time before and after the workday), and the fact that most office workers have an employer-provided laptop these days, there will only be more employees working from home in the near future. In fact, it is projected that approximately 123 million people will be working remotely 2024/2025.
5 Nontraditional Employee Benefits Employers can Offer
Here are some creative employee benefits ideas for you.
3. Flexible hours
Much like the ability to work remotely, we can also expect to see an uptick in employees being able to work flexible hours in 2020 in Canada. Assuming an employee can complete all their required job tasks outside the default 9-5 work schedule, more employers are starting to realize that maintaining traditional working hours does not guarantee maximum employee productivity or satisfaction. For the employee, a flexible working schedule enables conveniences such as a quicker commute during off-peak hours, makes it possible to drop children off at school (or pick them up), or can allow them to attend personal appointments during the workday and simply make up for any time lost, all without having to sacrifice paid time off.
Much like a work from home policy, offering flexible work hours is a work benefit employers can easily implement without any cost to themselves. It’s a simple, effective way to bolster employee morale and satisfaction, allow employees to balance their work and personal lives (without actually sacrificing working hours), and maintain a positive workforce.
4. Telemedicine and telehealth
Do you sit in a waiting room to see a doctor? Well, soon you might not have to. In 2020, expect to see a spike in companies offering telemedicine/telehealth services for their employees. Companies such as Akira offer digital healthcare services, enabling people to video chat directly with a licensed medical professional from wherever they are, anytime. Telemedicine is a quickly emerging trend in the group benefits space, offering employees the convenience and speed of technology paired with medicine and healthcare.
Why Employers Should Offer Virtual Care
Both employees and their employers can benefit from this great perk.
Many companies have found that these programs are quickly proving their value; they offer highly accessible health services, leading to a healthier workforce. Employees no longer have to take time off or leave work early to rush to physical appointments, boosting productivity levels. In addition, the allure of access to telehealth services serves as a valuable employee recruiting and retention tool to set employers apart.
Fun fact: When surveying our clients, we found that our clients love using the Akira feature on Honeybee!
5. Financial well-being benefits
According to WorldatWork, financial well-being benefits are projected to be the next big thing in benefits in 2020. Of the companies surveyed by WorldatWork, 70% reported that they already offer financial well-being benefits, and over half of these companies reported that they will be expanding said benefits. Another 35% of employers report that they have already recently expanded them.
Employers are starting to learn that the state of employees’ personal finances, do, in fact, impact performance in the workplace. Financial strains – life events, personal debt, and healthcare costs in particular – are among the biggest stressors in the workplace for employees. Financial difficulties and poor financial management have shown to increase sick days taken, as well as decrease overall levels of employee satisfaction, leading to higher levels of turnover and employee presenteeism.
That’s why employers are now investing in financial literacy programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), RRSP matching, and even helping employees invest in their TFSAs, or pay off student loans.
Honeybee’s Allowance Accounts give employers the option to offer financial services benefits, including:
• Credit counseling
• Financial planning
• RESP, RRSP, and TFSA contributions
• Student loan repayment
• Wills and estate planning