Remote working has become exponentially more popular and the general consensus is that employees want to continue the work-from-home trend. However, the physical distance between employees and managers can make it difficult to provide incentives. Previously you may have bought the office lunch, passed out occasional gifts, or held a team appreciation meeting, but with a remote workforce, these incentives are no longer an option in the traditional sense. Despite it being a bit more difficult to execute, incentivizing your remote workforce is important.


Fringe benefits are the incentives that remote employees value most, so here are some ideas of various fringe benefits to include in your company’s incentivization programs.

Paid Time Off and Bonuses

One of the best ways to make employees feel valued is through additional paid time off and cash bonuses. There is nothing that speaks louder than a hefty vacation time allowance and regular bonuses except maybe raises in salary but those aren’t always in the budget. Bonuses and PTO are great fringe benefits that incentivize your remote workforce. You can make them a reward, or make them standard across the board, but either way, PTO and bonuses go a long way for employee morale, loyalty, and motivation.


Home Office Equipment Stipends

Remote employees are often expected to purchase and keep up with the technical requirements and home office furniture that they need to work away from the office. However, offering equipment stipends is another way to incentivize your remote workforce. This can be done on a monthly allowance basis, through a reimbursement program, or by providing equipment as your remote employees need it. Remote employees appreciate assistance in creating an efficient and functional workspace away from the office.


Health and Wellness Programs

Keeping your employees in good health mentally and physically is vital to productivity especially while they are working from home because remote workers sometimes have a blurred line between work-life balance. Offering wellness benefits is a way to help keep your employees healthy. Many companies offer gym memberships or a monthly allowance, reimbursement, or stipend for mental and physical wellness activities like yoga, massages, or therapy. Wellness programs benefit employers as well because they lead to fewer illness and injury-related absences.



Profit-Sharing

Profit-sharing is a fringe benefit that is a powerful incentive for remote employees and makes employees feel valued. Profit-sharing allows employees to see the fruits of their efforts, especially for those who are not in the office.


“Employees are much more likely to be involved and productive in the company if they are personally invested, which is why profit-sharing is a powerful incentive for both the employer and employee alike.” Sam Willis, business writer and company valuation expert.

Gift Cards & Vouchers

Even though your remote workforce isn’t in the office, you can still use gift cards and activity or event vouchers as incentives. Digital gift cards and vouchers can easily be sent through email to offer as an award to remote employees. Keep in mind that if your remote employees are spread out geographically that you’ll want to give gift cards and vouchers that can be used anywhere.



Tips for Incentivizing a Remote Workforce

The best way to incentivize your remote employees is always going to be different depending on the operations and goals of your company. However, here are three tips that you should consider when strategizing how to incentivize your remote workforce.



Consider Employees Interests

When deciding which fringe benefits your company should add, consider your employee’s interests. You may find that there are just one or two things that would make a difference in morale.


Utilize Gamification Techniques

Though you can offer fringe benefits voluntarily to every employee including remote workers to make your company the most attractive option in the market, earned incentives are sometimes the best way to increase productivity. Gamification, which is where you use elements of a game like competition, rules, prizes, levels, and more, can be a great implementation strategy for incentivization. Come up with a goal, an incentive prize, and some rules and encourage remote employees to play along!


Communication

One of the biggest things to remember with incentivizing remote employees is communication. Since they are not in the office, don’t forget to keep them in the loop. Let employees know what to expect and provide regular updates on their progress to earning incentives or when they can expect to see them. Also, allow employees to provide feedback on each incentive so you don’t waste money on incentives they don’t want or need.


Fringe benefits supplement employees’ regular salaries and are a good way to incentivize your remote workforce. If you need help executing these incentive ideas and putting them into practice, Grey Owl HR can help. Contact us today to brainstorm with us the best ideas for your individualized operations.





Authored by Andrew Nelson of HRMusings

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