No More Beer Fridays: Adapting Company Benefits to Support a New World of Work

With more people working remotely now than ever before, employers are looking for ways to provide meaningful benefits that will assist their employees outside the office.

Yugi the Giraffe - 18 June 2020

Making employee benefits digital

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a major shift in working patterns for most companies. Working from home for many means zoom meeting fatigue, less social interaction with friends and colleagues, and longer working hours.

Whilst offices are still shut, many of the perks that were in place prior to lockdown don’t apply; employees are looking for more meaningful benefits that they can utilise whilst they work from home, rather than pizza Fridays and office ping pong tables, which are now redundant. We outline some of the ways you can assist your workers while they work remotely during the lockdown and into the ‘new normal.’

Offer virtual mental health support

According to the Mental Health Foundation, isolation and remote working has contributed to mental health problems and exacerbated existing ones in a lot of individuals. Some of your employees may have been getting help via face-to-face therapies, which they may not have access to now. Some employees may also not be able to afford mental health support during these difficult economic times.

Make employees aware of your employee assistance program and any mental health resources that you offer, including any support lines for those going through a difficult time. YuLife offers a comprehensive mental health program (EAP), including short-term telephonic counselling and computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions.

Make mindfulness accessible

Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to be useful tools for helping you get better quality sleep, re-gain focus during a workday,  improve your relationships and reduce anxiety. However, the major misconception with mindfulness is that it’s time-consuming and ineffective if you can’t achieve a ‘zen’-like state.

With apps like Headspace and Calm, the objective is to break meditation into less than 20-minute sessions so people can feel re-centred and less stressed. Communicate to employees that these resources are available if they feel like they’re burned out or unable to take longer breaks. The YuLife app allows users to collect yucoin when they complete ‘mindfulness minutes’, reinforcing wellness habits, we also offer 3 months free access to calm and a 50% discount thereafter

Being able to see a virtual GP

With people less able to see their GPs face-to-face during the pandemic, and lockdown meaning around a reduction of 6 million doctors’ visits a month, employees are looking for ways to get treated to any medical problems whilst they work remotely. The NHS guidelines state that you should not go to a GP surgery without first checking their website or calling ahead to see if appointments can be delivered digitally, so it’s paramount to make employees aware of any virtual GP programs included in your benefits scheme, the enrolment processes in place and any other essential information.

Our Smart Health service, provided by AIG, give employees 24/7 access to an online GP Medical advice, prescriptions or referrals for employees and their families.

Fitness with online classes and walking challenges

Keeping active is something a lot of remote workers struggle with, so a great way to encourage healthy habits is with rewards. In the Yuniverse, YuLifers can complete step challenges on a daily basis, which has led to an an average step count of 7,049 a day, whereas the UK average is 3,100.

With YuLife’s partnership with FiiT, members also get 25% off membership and access to a myriad of online classes, from pilates and yoga through to HIIT sessions 24/7.

Engage employees and encourage social interaction

One of the main things employees miss about the office is office culture - HR Grapevine found that “41% of surveyed workers claim that they are missing office banter and spending time with their work friends.”

Just because everyone is apart when working from home, it doesn’t mean that social activities have to stop; Organised bingo nights, drinks socials and quizzes are a great way to ensure that employees keep connected and feel a part of their team. You can also encourage healthy competition within colleagues with the YuLife app leaderboard - employees will be able to see how they compare in their activity.

Employee benefits aren’t limited to the office

Remote working doesn’t mean that employees don’t have access to meaningful and useful benefits. Click here to find out what YuLife could help you to provide your employees with meaningful benefits and protect what matters.

Yugi the Giraffe

Yugi is our YuLife mascot. Like all giraffes they've got a big heart – in fact the biggest heart of all land animals.