Following national lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, working from home and flexible start times are no longer considered a perk or something that companies can brag about. They’re the new norm; something that workers now expect as part of their package.
With this in mind, how can businesses stay ahead of the competition and attract the best talent to their workplace? Claire Crompton, director of Bolton digital marketing agency The Audit Lab and creator of ‘hangover days’, has a few thoughts.
“Here at The Audit Lab, we’re already ahead of the curve when it comes to work perks – we currently offer 10-4 core working hours, unlimited holidays, and our infamous hangover days. But we’re constantly thinking ahead of what will set us apart from the rest, especially as we’re based in Bolton – we have to stay different to attract the best marketing talent out of the big cities. Work perks are all about making the balance between work and play fairer. No one should have Sunday night anxiety about heading into the office the next day, we want our staff to be excited and inspired instead.”
As a thought leader in work perks, Claire gives her expert predictions on five unique and exciting employee benefits that we may see more businesses offer in the near future.
1. Pawternity leave – Welcoming a new furry family member isn’t always easy. Getting your new puppy to settle into their new home can be tough, emotional and time-consuming. Rather than struggle through, pawternity leave allows a week’s paid leave to give fur babies the attention they need, and to allow you to bond. In fact, we had a member of staff take pawternity leave just this month! Our junior PR manager, Sam, took a week off to welcome home her new Labrador puppy, Henry, which she said made the whole process so much easier.
2. Sunshine Days – Who hasn’t Googled what the temperature has to be in order to get sent home from work? There are just some days where the weather is so glorious that all you can do is stare longingly out of the window and imagine what you could be doing instead. Rather than worry about what could have been, Sunshine Days allow staff to work from home on forecasted hot days. That way, staff can cut out the lengthy commute to and from the office, work outside in their own home and clock off straight away to enjoy the sunshine; whether that’s spending some quality time outside with the kids or hitting the beer garden with friends. The British weather is notoriously unpredictable, so let’s enjoy the sun whilst we can.
3. Menstrual leave – The topic of menstrual or ‘period’ leave divides people, but many would argue it’s necessary. For some women, their periods can leave them in immense amounts of pain and discomfort, with cramps, back pain, headaches and nausea all forming part of this monthly subscription they never signed up for. But, they soldier on through. An optional menstrual leave policy allows women to have two or so days to get through the worst of their cycle, no questions asked. We would never expect people to work in any form of pain, why is this any different?
4. NOMO FOMO – NOMO FOMO (no more FOMO) means that parents can take short notice time off to attend parents’ evenings, award assemblies, plays, etc. It’s these little moments that form such a huge part of being a parent, and yet so many parents miss out on them due to work. As long as tasks are completed and clients are happy, who are we to ask parents to miss out on these wonderful moments? We pride ourselves on being incredibly parent-friendly here at The Audit Lab. We want to do whatever we can to help parents balance their family and work without one suffering.
5. Bucket list payments – We’ve all got a bucket list, something we really want to do in our lives. Whether it’s skydiving, bungee jumping or seeing a Wonder of the World. But saving up and finding time to tick off these tasks can be tricky. Well bucket list payments mean that employers will contribute a certain amount or percentage of a staff member’s salary towards ticking something off their bucket list. The best employers know that having a work-life balance is one of the most important things and, after over a year of being locked down, they will know their staff will have lots of making up to do in terms of personal goals and experiences.
Unsure about what new work perks to put in place? Ask your people! Your staff are the best ones to tell you what they want to see in their job, so ask and be sure to listen.