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Working Remotely: There’s More to a Benefits Package than Healthcare

Offering a comprehensive benefits package is one of the best ways to attract your industry’s top talent. In fact, many job seekers–especially those with highly sought after skills–have said that it is the benefits package that plays most heavily into their decision whether or not to seek employment with a company. Sometimes the benefits package is even more important than the offered salary!

Unfortunately, many employers–especially new small business owners–limit their benefits packages to the most basic health care options allowed. Trust us when we tell you that offering vision and dental coverage does not qualify your benefits packages as “extensive.” If you want to offer a really great benefits package, consider the following options:

Working remotely
Allowing your employees to work remotely even part of the time is one of the best benefits you can offer to your team. Working remotely is one of those benefits that helps both you and your employee. Your employee gets to work from a space that she finds the most comfortable. It allows him to work from home when his kids are sick or if the weather is bad. It also allows you to run your business from a smaller office space and, in many cases, allows you to reduce the salary you offer to compensate for the costs the employee would have incurred getting to and from work. Remote working also allows you to employ people from outside your local area, which is one of the keys to company and brand expansion.

Automatic Payments
Handing out paper checks and forcing your employees to deposit those checks at the bank manually and on their own time is so yesterday. Actually, it’s more like last century. Sure your employees might work with banks that allow them to deposit checks remotely via phone apps but why not eliminate that step? Offering automatic payments and electronic deposits is the best way to pay your employees (if they want to be paid that way).

One of the best aspects of automatic payments is that your employees funds are available at midnight on their pay date. They don’t have to try and make it to a bank before closing time to get their money. also points out that offering automatic payments is cheaper than traditional payments and you free up your payroll department to focus on more than just the cutting and handing out of checks.

Unlimited Sick and Vacation Time
Most companies offer two weeks of paid vacation time and two weeks of paid sick leave. If an employee needs more time off than that, they can still take it, but they’ll have to sacrifice part of their paychecks to do so. This seems pretty basic: by limiting paid time off, you don’t have to worry about people taking advantage of the system and only working as hard as is absolutely required to keep their jobs. Really, though, it can reduce productivity: employees would rather work while sick and spread germs or work while distracted with family issues than lose money. Offering unlimited vacation and sick time is a great way to counter balance that. It streamlines your payroll and taxes and most studies haven proven that while there are usually a couple of slackers who will take advantage of the benefit, most use it only when they need it because they don’t want to risk losing it.

Employee-Match Retirement Accounts
This is a benefit element that has been around for a long time but is still worth mentioning because not enough employers offer it. It is common to help employees set up retirement accounts like 401(k)s and then, adjust their payroll so that their contributions are taken out automatically. A better solution to offer is a “matching” program in which you match their retirement contributions to help their accounts grow quicker. It’s a good compromise between offering a full pension and offering only the basics of a retirement plan.

These are just a few basic benefits that you should consider offering to your employees. What are some of the benefits your employees have asked of you?

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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