Living through a pandemic – and how it’s changed employee motivation forever
In March 2020, life changed overnight. No more (or very few) visits to the office, face to face meetings moved online and our homes became the place of work and education for many. It’s been a year like no other and it’s therefore unsurprising that employee motivation has hit an all-time low. Employers need to find a balance between getting the most out of their employees, while making sure that everyone stays motivated and productive. And actually, we’re pleased to say that there is an answer that doesn’t break the bank and can have a real, positive effect on morale.
When times are tough and we could all do with a bit of a pick-me-up, it’s always nice to have a range of employee benefits to turn to. According to our brand-new research though, only 32% of those surveyed think that their current workplace benefits are suited for working at home – and 54% believe they need actively changing.
Whilst benefits packages may not have been front of mind this year, it’s clear that working remotely is likely to be long term, so it’s now that employers should be taking the time to listen to what their employees really want. After all, when you feel more motivated, you’re likely to experience a boost in your productivity levels.
What do people want, to keep them motivated?
Our survey found that the number one frustration of working from home during the pandemic has been the lack of face to face communication with colleagues (41%), and challenges with technology came in at second place (29%). Whilst not being able to see one another in person is out of everyone’s hands, there are steps that your employer can take by using benefits packages to keep other frustrations at bay.
You’re probably all too familiar with the technical strain that Covid-19 brought with it – laptops unable to cope with additional workload, TVs on the blink, or a premature wearing-out of your smartphone. You certainly aren’t alone!
When it comes to what their next tech purchase might be, those surveyed were eyeing up smartphones (24%), laptops (19%) and TVs (18%) as the most popular options. The data we collected clearly shows that people are very open about wanting new technology - 47% believe that their next tech purchase is more important than having a gym membership and 33% say it is more important to them than going on a holiday. With stats like this, it seems that employers around the UK will need to do more to keep a happy and motivated workforce both inside and outside of the workplace.
We also wanted to know what the biggest barrier to technology is. It was no surprise that 50% of those asked said that cost is the main factor in deciding when and if they will purchase a new device. With such a large proportion of the UK reluctant or unable to dish out hundreds of pounds on a piece of new tech, it seems even more relevant for employers to step in and offer a cost-effective solution.
Looking to the future – what could your employer do for you?
Pulling together a range of employee benefits used to be fairly straightforward, but now the budget is tighter, and employers need something that is suitable for their staff, whether they are at home or in the office.
It’s here that salary sacrifice schemes really come into their own. A salary sacrifice scheme is when someone gives up part of their salary in return for a non-cash benefit – most likely used to buy something that might be very expensive when paid for in one lump sum.
Through Techscheme and Cyclescheme, you can get a new bike, piece of technology or household appliance, without having to fork out a small fortune upfront – simply pay back the cost over 12 months, interest free.
Offering schemes like these go a long way towards boosting morale and increasing productivity. Salary sacrifice schemes not only allow employers to provide the duty of care that all employees are entitled to, but also go further to promote an increased sense of financial wellbeing. It’s a win for you as an employee, and the proven uplift in your motivation is a win for your employer.
2020 has definitely been a year full of change and with our research clearly highlighting the value of tech, it might be time to think about whether your employee benefits are living up to your needs, wants and expectations…