Whether you are looking to attract new remote employees, keep the ones you have, or you are switching to a remote model, you might be thinking about benefits. Remote work is different than the traditional office structure where even getting a soda fountain can be seen as a big benefit. Who can say no to a Diet Mountain Dew? You need to find benefits that appeal to people where they are though, at home. They probably already have Diet Mountain Dew, so don’t try to send some through the mail. What are you supposed to do then? Well believe it or not you may have even more options than before. No, don’t send a whole soda fountain. Don’t you know soda is bad for you anyway? Let’s explore some of the top benefits asked for by remote employees.
1. Flexible Remote Hours
Don’t incorrectly assume that providing a remote work option alone is the only reason people are looking for remote work. Some people find themselves seeking remote work because they have other commitments in their lives. This could mean taking care of kids or family members, personal health conditions, or even lifestyle differences. No office CAN mean no office hours. Don’t worry, you can still schedule meetings to encourage communication, keep people on task, and talk about the important stuff like business matters and cats. (Seriously, who doesn’t love cats?)
2. Utilities and Equipment
Most developers are going to have Internet, computers, desks, and more all at home, but don’t take that for granted. A restaurant wouldn’t expect you to supply your own buns for your burger even if they were delivering to your home, would they? It’s smart to at least provide equipment for your remote workers to ensure they have something reliable to complete work on. Not to mention it will probably make your IT guys a little less nervous when it comes to security. Beyond that, consider providing a stipend or compensation for Internet/utility costs and for outfitting their home office.
3. Productivity Tools
There are a lot of productivity tools out there. Every industry is going to be a little different in what people need to use and even in what people like to use. You don’t want to require your remote workers to get these productivity tools on their own. In addition to being expected by many remote workers, giving everyone the same software is just easier to manage and troubleshoot. You don’t want people sharing important documents in notepad, do you? Unless, of course, it’s sweet ASCII art. Don’t forget a good chat tool. Where else will all the memes live?
When it comes to compensation, 35% of engineers want equity to be a part of their compensation package. Obviously, this will depend on the role of the employee as well as your company size and structure. Not only is this an attractive benefit, but it gives your employees additional buy-in to the success of your company. A happy employee is great, but do you know what’s better? A happy and dedicated employee!
This may sound obvious at first, but if you have a mixed team, with some remote workers and some non-remote workers, equality between the two groups can be a difficult thing to manage. Employees don’t want to feel like second-class citizens in your company just because they chose to or were hired to work remotely. In addition to providing an equal opportunity to advance, you should also ensure that your compensation packages including healthcare, retirement, and other benefits, all align. If you give someone a stick of gum, you better have enough for everybody.
The Big Takeaway
The lesson here is that it’s important to keep an open mind. Not only is that good life advice, but you’ll find it invaluable as you expand to a remote work model. Every industry and every company is going to be a little bit different, and many are learning as they go in this evolving landscape. Listen to your remote employees and the people you are interviewing to learn more ways to meet the needs of your remote team.
Some people still have a negative mindset when it comes to remote work. Don’t think like that. “In my day we went into an office,” is just the new “We shared our cat pictures on AIM and it was good enough.” Keeping your mind open to remote work, also keeps your mind open to other things like hiring a global team
Did we mention global teams? At Truss, it’s sort of our thing. You know those positions that you have been struggling to fill even after you listed them as remote, followed all our advice with benefits, and threw in a free soda fountain? Opening those positions up globally to places like Uzbekistan and Georgia can solve your problems, and Truss can help!