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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Beard

What are “flexible benefits”, and how could offering them help your business?

In today’s workforce, it is not uncommon to have employees who are oceans apart from each other, sometimes literally.

You may have employees with a 30-, 40-, or maybe even 50-year age gap. Even within the same generations, employees may have different work set-ups, such as remote or office-based working, or they may be living in different countries as part of an international workforce.

Such broad demographics and locations coupled with the fact that everyone has unique lifestyle choices and ambitions means that it is unlikely that all your employees will value the same job perks.

This is why businesses are increasingly choosing to adopt flexible benefits.

Read on to discover what “flexible benefits” are and how offering them could help your business.

Working cultures and practices have changed, and benefits may have to reflect this

Working cultures and practices are always evolving, but the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the rise in remote working.

Forbes reports that prior to the pandemic, 4.7% of UK employees worked remotely. As of June 2023, 10% are fully remote, 29% are hybrid, and a further 10% could be remote but choose not to be.

Moreover, Currency Fair reports that UK companies employ over 5 million people overseas.

With more people working from home and abroad than ever before, some of the more traditional employee benefits may be of little use to many workers in the ever-changing landscape of work.

Flexible benefits can include a wide range of options

Flexible benefits offer employees a range of perks and compensations to choose from and customise based on their particular lifestyles.

Your employees are likely to be at different stages in their lives and so may value different benefits.

Some of them may have childcaring duties, while others may be thinking about their retirement date. Some might cycle to work, walk, get a train, or work from home.

Some may have ongoing health issues or benefit from speaking to a therapist, while others might want to focus on hitting the gym after work as much as they possibly can.

While there are technically no restrictions on what flexible benefits can include, certain options tend to be more common, such as:

  • Private health and dental plans

  • Enhanced pension schemes

  • Gym membership

  • Travel concessions

  • Life insurance

  • Therapy

  • Subsidised equipment

  • Expense budgets

  • Workplace nurseries.

You may also have specific benefits tied to the nature of your workplace, working environment, or your employees.

There could be equipment or software that is not necessary for their work, but that they are likely to use outside of work given the nature of the job.

For example, if you ran a music promotion company, it’s possible that you’d attract some budding musicians to your workforce who may appreciate access to music-making software, though they wouldn’t need it for their day job.

Or you could offer a reduced rate or free access to the product or service your company markets.

There are several advantages of offering flexible benefits

Flexible benefits have advantages for both employees and employers. Here are some of the key differences flexible benefits can bring.

Improved recruitment and retention

Flexible benefits can make your business stand out from the crowd. They can help you attract the best talent and can also increase the likelihood your team members will stay.

Research by Engage found that 8 in 10 employees said that the right employee benefits were a very important factor when deciding on joining a new company.

Similarly, SRG reports that benefit packages that meet the needs of employees and genuinely improve their experiences drive a retention rate of 78%.

So, flexible benefits can improve both recruitment and retention, which could enhance the overall quality of your workforce.

A more diverse and inclusive workforce

Flexible benefits allow employees to make their own choices based on their lifestyle, working practices, and goals.

They can accommodate and support diverse needs and lifestyles, fostering a more inclusive workplace culture.

Providing options that cater to different demographics demonstrates your organisation's commitment to inclusion and could lead to a broader, more diverse workforce.

Improved employee wellbeing and productivity

Offering benefits such as healthcare coverage, mental health support, and wellness initiatives can contribute to employees' overall wellbeing and health. They can also allow for a more manageable work-life balance.

This, in turn, can lead to reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.

Managing flexible benefits can be simple

You may have already considered the advantages of flexible benefits outlined above, but you might be hesitant to adopt them due to their primary drawback: complexity in management.

Without experience or the right management systems, it can be time- and resource-consuming to administer flexible benefits and ensure they remain fair and valuable for all employees, while also being cost-effective for you.

That’s where we come in.

We have expertise in providing and consulting on employee benefit packages for small to medium-sized companies with local and international employees.

Get in touch

To speak to one of our international benefits professionals and find out how flexible benefits could help your business, get in touch.

Email or call us at +44 (0)151 346 5460.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.


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