The employer’s guide to remote working in the UK
The UK is still under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been under multiple ones since the beginning of the crisis, which means scores of employees have been turned into remote workers overnight. Now that we’ve got a large-scale case study, albeit driven by health and safety concerns, it’s been proved that remote working is both possible and desirable. Regardless of your stance on this work arrangement, it’s hard to deny the fact that remote working may be here to stay, so this Pacific Prime UK gives you the low down on it.
Unpacking remote working
Remote working is a working style that allows employees to work outside the traditional office environment, and may not always adhere to the standard 9 to 5 working hours. Did you know that these working hours were invented by American labour unions in the 1800s and went mainstream by Henry Ford in the 1920s? Everyone can agree that the world of work has gone through a seismic shift since then, so it’s necessary to question why this way of working is still the norm.
That being said, working arrangements don’t have to be fully remote or fully in the office. There is a whole spectrum of things in between, such as flexible working arrangements, and you can decide what’s best for both you as an employer and your employees. For example, this could be enabling them to work some days remotely and some days in the office (also known as hybrid working), giving employees the option of when to start and end their work day, and a whole lot more.
Benefits of working remotely for employers
Wondering how companies benefit when employees work remotely (or indeed have flexible working arrangements)? Let’s start with the perks for remote employees. Increased flexibility gives employees the ability to better manage their work-life balance, especially female employees who are more burdened by household chores and childcare duties than their male counterparts, and invariably boost their wellbeing and happiness.
According to ‘The Future of Work – Jobs and Skills in 2030’ report, 57% of employees say that the availability of flexible working in their workplace is important to them. This proposition is growing and is significantly higher for parents, those with caring responsibility, and the highly qualified. The newer generations will drive up this trend, as they have grown up in the digital age. In response, 50% of businesses say that flexible working (including flexible hours and offsite working) is now a standard practice.
So, employers who embrace this growing trend will be able to attract and retain the best talent, as well as benefit from a healthy, happy, and productive team. This is through benefits for employees including:
- Greater work-life balance – happier employees mean lowered absenteeism and presenteeism for the organization.
- Reduces time (and money) spent on commuting, which further increases productivity and wellness.
- Limits exposure to diseases on public transport and in the office, thereby reducing the need for sick leave.
- Increases the talent pool by attracting people with a disability, those with caring responsibilities, etc.
- And more.
Read more: To learn about how to implement remote working and flexible working arrangements, download our inaugural Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2020!
Adapting employee benefits for a remote world
Of course, remote working is not all sunshine and roses. For instance, they may be impacted by the ‘always on’ phenomenon and have trouble switching off from work, while loneliness could also be a problem for many. What’s more, it may also be more difficult to build a positive work culture. Therefore, employers offering remote working arrangements should offer support by adapting employee benefits for a remote world. Here are some ways to do so:
1. Listen to employees: How are they really feeling?
In a remote world, you may lose sight of how your employees are doing. As such, you should keep open channels of communication and regularly catch up with employees so you understand how they are feeling. You could do so by sending surveys or setting up one-to-one meetings with employees.
Read more: Don’t discount the fact that remote work environments can be toxic, and come up with the strategies to address workplace toxicity in a virtual setting.
2. Prioritize employee health and wellbeing
Health encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and financial wellbeing. When it comes to health insurance, which remains a highly coveted employee benefit, telemedicine should be an option for all, but especially those working remotely. Moreover, consider offering a corporate wellness program that may include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), amongst others.
3. Facilitate employee-centric decision making
To increase employee engagement and morale amongst employees and remote workers, let them have a say in the solutions they need. However, unlike a physical office environment, it will be harder to encourage them to take up benefits. Therefore, employee-centric decision making will ensure that any employee benefit program that’s rolled out will see large uptakes.
4. Embrace a fully digital experience
A digital experience is a nice-to-have for employees in the office, but a must-have for remote workers. The employee benefits that are on offer and relevant communication need to be accessible digitally. Fortunately, there are a growing number of HR tools and technologies that employers can adopt for this purpose.
Pacific Prime UK can help you with tailored employee benefits solutions
No matter how big your organization or what industry you’re in, Pacific Prime UK can help you design and implement tailored corporate insurance solutions and employee benefits solutions. As a leading insurance brokerage and employee benefits specialist, we’re dedicated to helping organizations simplify the plan administration process through cutting-edge technology. Our recent acquisition of insurtech CXA Group’s brokerage arms has also greatly enhanced our technological offerings for corporate clients globally.
Get started by arranging a consultation with our corporate team today!
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