The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic drove many businesses to introduce new work-from-home options. While the primary goal of the move was to ensure that businesses could continue to function when offices were closed, now remote work is here to stay. However, many Canadian employers have yet to fully embrace work-from-home benefits.
How COVID-19 Changed Benefits in Canada
Some of the changes that Canadian workplaces have undergone over the last three years have been quite obvious, but others are less immediately apparent. Group health coverage, in particular, is one area in which the “new normal” for workers has changed with little fanfare.
While changes like remote work may not seem to have a major impact on benefits plans, there are a few notable areas in which work-from-home benefits have evolved. Perhaps most obviously, just like working from home is more common for office jobs, the mainstream acceptance of videoconferencing technology has made virtual medical appointments far more prominent.
Mental Health Benefits
Another impact working from home has had on benefits has come in the form of mental health benefits. The isolation and anxiety that were prevalent in the pandemic’s early days brought mental health to the forefront of coverage discussions.
Even for companies that have always focused on mental health, how that focus translates is fundamentally different when creating work-from-home benefits. Many conventional wellness programs are very office-centric. If your staff works from home more often, alternatives such as paying for therapy appointments are much more effective.
The Value of Comprehensive Benefits for Remote Employees
As we mentioned above, attempting to offer material perks, such as a well-stocked break room, is obviously not possible for remote employees. While perks like these are never a replacement for concrete, valuable health or dental benefits, the lack of a tangible office culture has highlighted the need for benefits for many workers.
The increased number of work-from-home options has also opened up new job opportunities for workers. A recent survey found that more than a third of Canadian companies (35%) said employee turnover increased in 2022 compared to 2021. This continues the trend set in 2021 when 24% of employers reported an increase in turnover.
While many factors drive workers to change companies, the option to work from home has significantly increased the potential pool of available jobs, making it easier for Canadians to find new positions.
To offset these seemingly damning statistics, savvy business owners know that offering a better benefits plan can be a cost-effective way to boost employee retention. In fact, a survey by Glassdoor found that four out of five employees prefer receiving benefits or perks over a pay increase.
Create the Ideal Group Benefits Package with Zarmac
Zarmac Benefits has been providing benefit programs to both new and established businesses for over 20 years. We take the time to analyze what you need and customize a benefits package specifically for your business style, now and for the future.
Zarmac provides critical analysis specific to your business to deliver real choices, advise on trends, streamline renewals, and optimize your plan design. We make it easy for you and your team by supporting the management of your program. We also proactively educate and eliminate questions to ensure there are no surprises.
Ready to protect your business and your team? Find out more about the Zarmac difference!