#HR Trends and Insights

How benefits have changed

May 11, 2021

3 Ways Benefits Have Changed Thanks to COVID

Companies and employees will never look at benefits the same way again.

Before COVID-19, benefits were the thing you signed up for every fall. You had to make sure you checked the right boxes for health insurance and retirement programs. If you were lucky, your employer offered a menu of other benefits you could select as well. But benefits have changed in the past year. The system has evolved to cover the needs of workers better.

Here are three ways the benefits landscape has changed.

1 – Employee resources take center stage

Employers have added all types of benefits for employees with ongoing issues. Employees can now choose from childcare initiatives, increased time off to take care of elderly family members, emergency leave, and more.

All resources available to employees are set up to help them manage the ongoing stresses of the pandemic as many people continue to struggle to adjust to the new norm.

2 – The benefits world moves faster than ever before

Companies are also moving faster when it comes to benefits than they did in the past. Employees need certain types of help now, and companies have responded to keep their talent from going elsewhere. Employers have become more flexible too. Hybrid workplaces are one example of how companies are rearranging the benefits equation to serve their employees better.

No area received attention faster than mental health. A critical component of an employee benefits package, mental health and wellness are now essentially mandatory to help employees deal with the stress caused by the pandemic.

3 – All eyes on what companies offer

There have been many changes with benefits in the past year, and employees pay more attention to what they receive. But that doesn’t mean employees necessarily think their employers do right by them. The Hartford has found that workers feel the “perceived value of the benefits provided and trust in their employers’ benefits decisions have declined since the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S.,” according to its survey.

One thing is for sure, though. If your workforce is commuting again, they will benefit from commuter benefits. Every month, commuters can save up to $270 per month tax-free in their paychecks for commuting costs like qualified parking, mass transit, and rideshares. Employers can also save on the payroll tax. Adding prepaid cards for e-bikes, bikes or e-scooters are great options, too.

Edenred offers comprehensive commuter benefits packages. To learn more, visit www.commuterbenefits.com.

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