More and more remote companies are starting to offer employee benefits packages. These are the perks remote companies are making available right now.
Until recently, remote work and employee benefits didn't seem to be a mutual thing. You would see some of the bigger remote employers offer packages that are location-locked, and smaller, startup-based roles could be hit or miss. Freelancers and part-time contractors had very little chance of getting access to some sort of employee benefits package.
But with the proliferation of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is rapidly changing. Nowadays, more and more remote job listings are including a list of employee benefits in their descriptions in order to entice higher-quality candidates. Some companies are even going above and beyond and catering their packages to the digital landscape by offering uniquely-online perks.
If you've ever wondered what benefits you may qualify for when working remotely, you've come to the right place.
In this guide, we'll be covering the basics you can expect from a remote work benefits package, and some of the unique things that differ from the traditional workplace:
Traditional Benefits Packages Versus Remote Work Benefits Packages
When working in a traditional work environment, employees are typically offered a combination of medical and health-related benefits such as life insurance, medical or dental, and pension contributions to name a few. This heavily depends on the country the company operates in, whether there are unions involved or local legislation that ensure employees receive additional benefits on top of their compensation.
Then, there are the benefits packages now being offered by more remote companies. Let's start by saying that there is some crossover here - many remote employers are offering basic insurance and medical packages or additional financial compensation if they are unable to provide those in your home country, enabling you to arrange your own. Since these are pretty standard at this point, we'll be taking a closer look at benefits that are not typical in traditional work environments.
Beyond the basics, there are a few benefits that are unique to remote work and becoming more widespread at the same time.
The first of these unique benefits is the tech or workstation allowance. Remote companies have a significant advantage over traditional employers in the sense that they have low overhead costs. They don't have to rent massive office spaces and pay expensive commercial rental leases. This is because the remote employee is using their home office and their own pc or laptop for their work.
Remote companies have, as a result, started setting aside funds to help remote workers set up their home offices. This can include covering the internet connection on a monthly basis, getting various company hardware, and even some mobile-use coverage.
Next, there are the wellness benefits. These differ from your basic healthcare packages - remote companies are increasingly paying attention to all aspects of employee happiness and health, physically and mentally. Examples of wellness benefits include subscriptions to apps like Calm or Headspace, gym vouchers, and online team yoga classes (yes, this is taken from a real listing and we want to sign up please!).
Another trend we are seeing in terms of employee perks at remote companies is access to paid subscriptions. When your office is online, so are your entertainment options. Some remote employers are starting to offer subscriptions to services like Netflix, Audible, Spotify, and more as part of their overall benefits packages.
Lastly, a big one that we have been seeing online (and loving!) is flexible, paid time off. It's a well-known fact that remote workers have a harder time disconnecting from work. Studies done as recently as 2019 found that up to 40% of remote workers had trouble unplugging from their tasks at the end of the day.
Remote companies are trying to combat this by making more open vacation policies. Unlimited vacation days, often paid, also make it easier for digital nomads to keep exploring the globe.
The Crux Of The Benefits Situation
In the past, it was commonly believed that if you wanted to have a job with benefits, you would have to take a traditional desk or on-site job. The reality is that remote companies have stepped up to the plate and have started to offer the same basic package and much more.
There are many other examples of uniquely-remote benefits that are worth looking into. Parental leave, travel opportunities, and more are establishing remote work as the preferred way to work.