With the workforce still dealing with the aftereffects of the past few years, employee perks have never been more important. With the possibility that two out of every five workers will leave their jobs in favor of better benefits, getting your compensation package right has never been more important.
Remote workers are no exception. Even though they may require different levels of support than their on-site counterparts, perks and benefits are essential to keeping them engaged.
In this article, we’ll explore the top benefits for remote employees. Not only are these strategies effective for employee retention and productivity, but they also make sure you keep up with your competitors.
By learning how to provide great incentives to your remote employees today, you can create a successful team that is loyal and productive for years to come.
Why Do You Need to Offer Competitive Benefits and Perks for Remote Employees?
While it might be tempting to cut corners when offering benefits to remote workers, you will only end up hurting yourself and your bottom line in the long run. Not only do high-quality perks ensure you attract and retain the best talent, but they also give your staff an extra incentive to perform their best work.
A good salary is simply not enough these days; if you want to create a well-rounded and attractive compensation package, you must offer benefits that add value to your employees’ lives. This is especially true for remote workers who sometimes need a different kind of support than on-site employees.
Remote workers encounter different challenges than those in the office, including:
- Limited access to collaboration with other members of the team
- Struggling with finding a work-life balance
- Feeling disconnected from their workplace and coworkers
- Increased risk of burnout due to increased isolation
To combat these difficulties, you must craft a benefits package that alleviates these stumbling blocks for your offsite employees. If you plan on hiring offshore or nearshore remote workers—like from Latin America (LatAm)—you may want to check out our LatAm salary guide to help you consider your compensation package.
What Are the Best Benefits and Perks to Offer Remote Employees?
If you want to show your appreciation and support for remote workers and foster a positive and inclusive culture, these top benefits for remote employees will get you on your way to that goal.
1. Flexible Work Schedule
As it turns out, lack of flexibility is a deal-breaker for many modern workers. According to a recent survey from Envoy, remote employees value a flexible schedule as much, if not more, than traditional benefits like matching 401(k)s and paid time off.
Nearly two-thirds of workers cite flexible hours as something that would make them feel more empowered in the workplace.
This freedom to split their time between the home and office while also choosing which days they come into work is seen by many as just as important as the usual financial incentives.
With the rise of working nomads—people who like to combine their passion for travel with working independently—remote work offers a unique opportunity. Contract workers can easily access coworking spaces around the globe, allowing them to be productive on the job and still explore other cultures. Discounts on travel and accommodations are some creative benefits employers can use to keep these workers engaged and fulfilled in their jobs.
2. Unlimited PTO
If you’re looking to hire remote talent, an unlimited paid time off (PTO) policy is one of the best benefits and perks you can offer. Also referred to as “output-based compensation,” it’s a great way to show your remote workers that they have freedom and autonomy in their work life.
When working from home or remotely, there are different expectations for how long someone should be available for work each day. It’s about getting the job done no matter how long it takes—not clocking in hours at a desk as traditional offices do. That’s why offering unlimited PTO is such a great perk.
There are some critical points to consider when offering an unlimited PTO policy. It’s different from providing full-time employees with a ‘take what you need’ vacation. Unlimited PTO must be arranged beforehand with remote workers, which is how many companies have adopted this policy.
According to WTW’s 2022 Global Attitudes Benefits Survey, workers’ insistence on healthcare benefits and retirement plans is at a ten-year high, with over 60% citing these perks as the main reason they stay with their current place of work. Healthcare is first on the list of top benefits for remote employees.
After all, nobody plans for illness or injury. But if it happens, you want your remote team members to have access to quality healthcare services. Offering a healthcare plan that covers medical expenses, including dental and vision, can show your team members you value their well-being and are willing to invest in them. After all, a healthy employee will be a more productive team member.
Consider offering several options so employees can choose the best one for themselves and their families. Additionally, providing access to telemedicine services or other wellness benefits can give employees peace of mind knowing they can consult with qualified professionals without leaving home or taking time out of their workday.
4. Stock Options
Stock options, or employee stock options (ESOs), are a great way to incentivize remote workers. ESOs give employees the right to purchase company stock at a pre-determined price, usually lower than the market value of that stock.
This means that if an employee exercises their option and buys the stock when it reaches its highest market value, they can make a nice profit. Not only can this provide financial incentives for remote workers, but it also helps develop loyalty and commitment to the company’s success.
Such plans also often provide tax benefits since stock options income is typically taxed lower than regular income. Since employees usually have a “vesting” or waiting period before they can exercise their options, this also encourages them to stay with the company longer, bolstering worker retention.
5. Quarterly Bonuses
Quarterly bonuses are a great way to reward and motivate remote talent. This type of incentive offers employees an extra financial bonus after they’ve accomplished specific goals or met certain standards in each quarter.
Bonuses can be tied to performance, quality of work, or other individual achievements, allowing employers to recognize their remote workers for achieving the desired results. These bonuses motivate employees who might otherwise feel disconnected from their colleagues in a remote setting.
Quarterly bonuses also help retain talent by showing them that their hard work is being noticed and rewarded. Employers have the flexibility to adjust the amount depending on performance and goals.
Overall, offering quarterly bonuses is among the top benefits for remote employees, increasing employee satisfaction and productivity in the long run.
6. Learning Budget
A learning budget is a set amount of money allocated to employees for professional development over a year. These funds can be used to cover seminars, fees, or other materials related to furthering an employee’s knowledge in their field.
What kind of expenses can this fund cover? Here are some examples:
- Tuition costs for educational classes (for example, monthly subscriptions for online classes)
- Professional certifications or licenses
- Books, textbooks, digital content, or other instructional material
- Conference registration fees and travel costs associated with attending them
- Professional networking events or memberships in professional organizations
By providing a learning budget to your remote talent, you can ensure they can access the resources needed to stay on top of their industry’s latest trends and technologies.
This perk is significant for remote employees because it allows them to gain knowledge and grow professionally, often without leaving their home office. Remote workers appreciate employers who invest in their continued education and professional development, as it helps them become better professionals and more valuable employees.
7. Home Office Budget
Having the proper equipment and a place to work with a good Wi-Fi signal is paramount to success as a remote worker. Offering a home office budget can help offset some of these costs for your off-site employees. Here are some of the things that can be covered:
- Computer (desktop, laptop, tablet)
- Home internet connection and Wi-Fi setup
- Software licenses and subscriptions
- Desk, chair, and other furniture
- Telephone headset or webcam for video calls
- Office supplies
The advantages of offering a home office budget are numerous. Your employees will have access to the tools they need to complete their work, regardless of the location. With the right tools, they will be more productive and effective in their job, benefiting your bottom line.
Additionally, offering your remote workers a home office budget shows your appreciation for their efforts. It makes them feel like they are working with a team that values their contribution.
Last, you can save money in the long run since providing these tools upfront will often lead to a smoother workflow and fewer interruptions due to technical issues.
8. Annual Travel/Vacation Stipend
With the focus on mental health and work-life balance in recent years, it’s common knowledge that vacations are necessary for every worker’s physical and psychological well-being. Indeed, some employees rate them as the second highest perk behind healthcare.
A vacation stipend is a set amount of money an employer provides their employee to use for travel and leisure activities during their time off. Workers can use this to cover transportation, hotel stays, meals, or other vacation-related expenses.
Vacation stipends give employees more freedom to enjoy their vacations without worrying about finances. Other benefits of stipends for employees and employers include:
- Increased productivity and creativity when they return to work
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved morale, leading to higher job satisfaction
- More energy and enthusiasm for their jobs
- Better overall health and well-being
Remote employees can be more susceptible to burnout and anxiety due to the nature of their work, and vacation time can be a great way to recharge their social batteries.
By providing a travel/vacation stipend, you’re showing your employees that you value their mental and physical health, which can lead to improved loyalty and commitment. It also shows that you recognize the importance of taking time off—both for your remote workers and the organization’s overall success.
9. Mental Health Support
With over 50 million people in the US with mental illness in 2020, the need for mental health support, particularly in the workplace, has never been higher. Working remotely can come with its own unique challenges and stressors, so having the proper mental health support in place is vital to keeping your team happy and productive and is a great remote employee perk to include.
Here are some of the top benefits for remote employees to help them stay mentally sound:
- Mental health training. Provide online training sessions or seminars on stress management, emotional intelligence, communication skills, and other related topics.
- Employee assistance programs (EAPs). Offer employees access to a confidential counseling program that provides short-term counseling and referral services for personal issues.
- Telemedicine. Give remote employees access to virtual healthcare providers to get help at home.
- Online support groups. Provide online forums and discussion boards where remote workers can connect, share experiences, or find support.
By offering these benefits, you’ll show appreciation for your remote workers and provide them with a safe and comfortable environment to grow.
10. 401(k) or Similar
One of the best options for employers is to offer their remote workers access to a 401(K) or similar retirement plan. A 401(K) is an employer-sponsored savings plan allowing employees to set aside part of their pre-tax earnings into an account that grows over time with interest.
Typically, employers will match employee contributions up to a certain percentage—making it an incredibly attractive perk. However, this type of benefit mainly applies if your remote workers are based in the United States; other countries may have different retirement plans in place.
If you have remote workers based in other countries, there are still options that you can provide. For example, many European countries offer a Riester pension plan, while Canada has Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) matching, and Australia has superannuation.
Each of these will differ slightly from country to country, so make sure that you do your research before offering them as benefits. By providing remote workers with access to a 401(K) or similar retirement plan, employers can ensure their staff feels secure about their future—no matter where they are based.
Many workers hesitate to take on a remote job if they have young children at home. Finding someone to look after them can be difficult and expensive. Offering childcare benefits or assistance with finding childcare can be a great way to make remote work more appealing.
Consider offering parental leave for those expecting new additions to the family. This will help ensure your employees feel supported and give them peace of mind that their job is secure during this time.
You may also want to extend benefits to family members, such as educational assistance programs or subsidized insurance plans, which could be a major plus for those with children.
In addition to providing tangible benefits to your remote workers, knowing that their employer is willing to go the extra mile for them will undoubtedly make your talent feel appreciated and valued.
12. Internet and/or Cellphone Budget
If you’re looking to attract remote talent, one of the best benefits you can offer is an internet or cellphone budget. An internet connection with reliable access is crucial for any remote worker.
An internet or cellphone budget is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure remote employees can stay connected to do their jobs. This perk can be anything from a small monthly stipend to cover their internet or cellphone bill to a full reimbursement plan for any technology-related expenses.
Offering a budget for internet and cellphone costs helps ensure your remote team has the resources they need—giving them peace of mind to focus on the job.
It’s clear that offering top benefits for remote employees is essential to attracting and retaining the best talent. Providing the right compensation package can help you stand out from other employers, show that you value and appreciate your remote workers, and give you a competitive edge.
Of course, before you can offer the attractive perks and benefits that will help you retain the best talent, you need to find them. When you hire with Near, you can access a 360° solution for hiring top LatAm talent. From identifying candidates and onboarding them to providing them with the necessary benefits and perks, we have all the tools you need to make sure your remote team is taken care of.
Interview for free with Near to take advantage of these benefits today and build a talented, successful, and happy remote team.