Employee benefits after the pandemic - what to look out for in 2021? (4/5)
Having reached the first-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic we have noted a shift in priorities for employee benefits: Remote working and flexibility considerations are one of the 5 top priorities for 2021.
by Charlotte Biddle | 2 min read
Many employees have now been working from home for around a year since the pandemic began, and whilst this is not without its challenges, it is hard to imagine that everyone will go back to the office full time once the pandemic is over. Instead of drops in productivity - originally a concern for home working - many employers have seen the reverse. Some companies are even concerned that employees may be working too much at home.
Companies who are able to have their employees working from home may see various benefits other than savings on renting office space. Mobile working opens up the employee market: Instead of picking the best employee who lives near the office, companies can pick the best employee in the country. Also, time savings for the employee, who no longer needs to commute to work, could lead to improved work-life balance. With this, happier employees could mean that staff retention levels improve.
Having said that, this should not mean the death of the office in general. Home working is not ideal for everyone and some employees will want to go into the office either part or full time. This may lead to a transformation of office space, from rooms filled with desks and equipment, to more collaborative meeting rooms and portable equipment.
Working from home, either partially or full time, could have an effect on the risk coverage of employee benefit programs, as not all employees would be working at the same place at the same time.
Employees moving out of the main cities in search for more space could have an impact on medical plans, especially with regards to private clinics outside of town. It would also bring in the issue of varying average life expectancies across different regions of a country, which could make it difficult for actuaries to calculate life insurance rates using traditional mortality tables.
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