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How to update your benefits scheme to match the latest employee benefits trends

Are you considering sticking with the same employee benefits for your business? Well, think again. While your staff might be satisfied with your current employee benefits schemes, this might not be the case post-pandemic. Employee benefits are an ever-evolving landscape that shifts with the needs of your workforce. Now, shaken up by the COVID-19 pandemic, workers are demanding more health benefits than ever. In this Pacific Prime UK article, we’ll go through the latest employee benefits trends and tips on refreshing your plan.

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What are the employee benefits trends in 2021 and beyond?

Most would agree that investing in benefits that your staff don’t use or value is a waste of time. However, the right perks – both big and small – are a key recruitment tool in attracting the best talent to your company.

Here are our top five employee benefit trends that will take the world by storm in the years to come. To learn more, download our Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2021 now!

1. Hybrid work model

In the era of remote working, traditional benefits such as transit, gym, and food subsidies may not be as appealing. For employees, it improves their work-life-balance, while employers benefit from lower overhead costs and increased staff retention.

Tip: use technology to regularly facilitate dialogues between managers and employees to get a sense of whether your benefits plan is meeting their needs.

2. Mental health benefits

Unfortunately, the rise of remote working coincides with a jump in demand for mental health benefits. 70% of employers have seen an increase in the utilization of Employee Assistant Programs and telehealth. This makes it all the more important to have in place similar benefits to retain your staff.

Social distancing and remote working have exacerbated mental health issues, especially in areas most hard‐hit by the pandemic (e.g. the US, the UK) and fast‐paced cities where psychological conditions have already been relatively prevalent pre‐COVID (e.g. Hong Kong, Dubai). As a result, we’ve seen a marked increase in the utilisation of mental health services across the major employee benefits markets. – Stephen and Jess, Pacific Prime’s Global Marketing Director and Content and Communications Manager

3. Holistic view of employee wellbeing

The previously one-dimensional view of ‘employee wellbeing’ has been refreshed. Instead, it now encompasses four pillars of health: physical, mental, financial, and social. An IBM survey also shows that employees now place more emphasis on benefits with a health and wellbeing aspect. Some even change jobs for it

Besides physical health, financial wellbeing is a major concern during and post-pandemic. A survey by the Mental Health Foundation survey revealed that a third of adults in the UK are worried about their finances. This, in turn, hurts their mental health and productivity.

Tip: Provide both short-term and long-term benefits to boost your workers’ holistic wellbeing. For instance, this could be a one-time financial planning seminar or long-term guidance.

4. Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion goals

Diversity is one of the top employee benefits trends for a number of reasons. Not only does It provide a safe space for all, it boosts staff morale, productivity, and lowers the number of sick days. For tips on building a diverse and inclusive workspace, check out these slides.

5. Flexible benefits, one of the major employee benefits trends in 2021

The future of employee benefits will be a “flexible and digitalized one”, according to our very own Marketing Director and Manager. With the influx of Gen Z entering the workforce, they will likely have different benefit demands as well. Enter flexible benefits, the solution to a one-size-fits-all program.

According to William Russell’s survey, employees find the most value in the following benefits and job perks:

  • Health insurance and wellbeing, such as a comprehensive international health insurance plan for your international employees. Life and income protection are also popular areas of coverage for all workers.
  • Childcare support for those with family. 
  • Workstation and tech support, which is particularly relevant for remote working, one of the major employee benefits trends in 2021.
  • Remote working or flex schedule is here to stay.

Tips on matching remote and flexible working benefits in the post-COVID era

To get started, here are several tips to keep your program up-to-date with the latest employee benefits trends. Remember: some benefits may add invisible value without appearing on a pay slip. Holistic wellbeing and diversity are such examples. Nevertheless, they are valuable in alleviating a lot of the daily stress your workers go through.

1. Provide your employees with cost-effective and readily available customer products

Virtual doctor’s consultation and mental health chatbots are a few popular products.

2. Offer preventive health and wellbeing benefits

Organizations are increasingly interested in these benefits. William Russell saw a 15% increase in enquiries about these benefits in 2020 alone.

3. Include new types of employee benefits fit for the age of remote working

Digital provision of services is a staple of this age, along with long-term care, and old benefits that have been re‐purposed for the new reality.

Contact Pacific Prime UK to keep up with the 2021 employee benefits trends

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to review your benefits offerings. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the same benefits would work post-pandemic. Most businesses would agree that balancing the rewards and costs is the trickiest part of an employee benefits plan design. For more insights on the latest employee benefits trends, check out our free Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2021.

Pacific Prime UK is happy to tailor design a best-fit plan to match your needs and budget. With more than two decades of experience in the industry, we provide comprehensive corporate health insurance in the UK.

Contact our team of corporate specialists for a free review and plan comparison today!

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime United Kingdom
Serena Fung is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, a global insurance brokerage and employee specialist serving over 1.5 million clients in 15 offices across the world. With 2+ years of experience writing about the subject, she aims to demystify the world of insurance for readers with the latest updates, guides and articles on the blog.

Serena earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. As such, she is an avid advocate of mental health and is fascinated by all things psychology (especially if it’s cognitive psychology!).

Her previous work experience includes teaching toddlers to read, writing for a travel/wellness online magazine, and then a business news blog. These combined experiences give her the skills and insights she needs to explain complex ideas in a succinct way. Being the daughter of an immigrant and a traveler herself, she is passionate about educating expats and digital nomads on travel and international health insurance.