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Technology benefits for employees

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Are you providing your workforce with the employee benefits they want most?

In today's economic climate, workplace benefits have never been more important. They've gone from being nice-to-have perks to invaluable support to help make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis. 

However, our research found that most employees think their employees could do more to support them. When it comes to entry-level workers, just 8% are happy with the benefits offered to them, which is a worrying statistic when you consider that, if appropriate support isn't offered, 40% of employees will actively seek a better-paying job somewhere else.

So, what benefits do employees want?

In the first quarter of 2023, we surveyed 2,000 employees from across the UK to see if there was a gap between the benefits they want and the benefits they're currently receiving. And the results are in.

Disposable income is shrinking

No less than 85% of employees have had to make cuts to their expenses over the past six months. This has particularly impacted their ability to purchase ‘non-essential’ high-cost items, such as tech. The same number of employees are also concerned about what their financial situation will look like in a year's time.  

Staff are turning to employee benefits for help

In the past three months alone, 68% of Human Resources decision-makers have received requests for financial support from employees. This is a huge 65% increase in requests since the cost-of-living crisis began.

The benefits employers offer aren’t what employees want

The majority of employees (76%) are looking for ways to save more on the things they buy. That's why the top three benefits employees would find most beneficial are:

  • Groceries
  • Travel to work by car
  • Technology 

 

What can employers do to help?

If your existing employee benefits options don't cover the categories listed above then it's time to re-evaluate your range of employee benefits so that your offering provides employees with what they want. 

Doing so could help boost employee satisfaction, increase employee engagement,  improve staff retention rates, and make the most impact by truly helping employees as they face a difficult economic period.

The good news is that doing so doesn't cost the earth, which is a relief for businesses facing financial strain due to rising overhead costs, escalating energy prices, and more.

Introducing one-lump-sum benefits to employees can prove costly for companies struggling with disposable income. A budget-friendly alternative is to introduce salary sacrifice schemes where employees give up part of their salary, and in return, the employer gives them a non-cash benefit.

Why is technology one of the most valued employee benefits?

Employees want benefits that help them cut the cost of everyday spend. Technology is an integral part of everyday life but 73% of employees can't afford tech. That's why the benefits of technology-related salary sacrifice schemes make for happy employees who are less likely to leave.

It's fair to say that the rise in working from home during Covid-19 fast-tracked the adoption of technology to facilitate remote working from anywhere. Giving remote employees the digital tools to continue working became a necessity rather than a nice-to-have.

Our survey found that challenges with technology, such as laptops being unable to cope with the additional workload or quality headsets for video conference calls, were one of the biggest frustrations of working from home during the pandemic. 

Now, as we enter an age of hybrid working, the desire for keeping up with technology trends is as strong as ever. Almost half of employees believe that their next tech purchase is more important than having a gym membership, and 33% believe it's more important than going away on a holiday. 

Of those we surveyed, the most popular tech items on employee wish lists were:

  • Smartphones (24%)
  • Laptops (19%)
  • Televisions (18%)

As well as needing tech for work purposes, having easy access to technology can benefit employees' lives in the following ways.

Wellbeing and health benefits

Almost half of employees are close to burnout, according to research by Westfield Health. So, it's great to know that almost all companies (93%) now offer mental health benefits to employees. 

Mindfulness apps that help users meditate are a popular way for people to take a moment of calm and reduce panic and stress. 

Technology such as noise-cancelling headphones and smart speakers can help to amplify the positive effects.

They're also a great way to drown out the noise when working from home, which can be a godsend when trying to concentrate in a busy household. Plus, one-third of employees report that they are able to work harder when listening to music, so audio tech can also help to boost productivity.

Home security

There's a whole suite of smart technology available, which enables users to secure their homes and all the costly tech inside it.

For example, it's never been easier to keep an eye on your home when you're out and about. Whether it's outdoor CCTV or doorbell cameras, you can get instant notifications on your phone if any movement is detected. 

As for indoors, smart lights let you set a room by room schedule of when lights turn on and off to give the impression that a home is in use even if you're sunning yourself thousands of miles away.

Save on energy bills

Another benefit of smart lights is that you can control everything from the palm of your hand, which empowers you to use less energy by turning off the lights in unused rooms.

The same applies to smart heating, as you can quickly and easily switch off radiators in empty rooms to cut energy usage.

The advanced technologies on offer extend to eco-friendly white goods and appliances, such as dishwashers, that use less water and less energy, which makes them cheaper to use.

Introducing Techscheme

Images of tech including a smartphone, games controller and hoover

Giving your employees access to a benefit they want makes them feel valued, boosts mo

tivation, and fuels productivity. Supporting them with a tech salary sacrifice scheme will improve the employee experience, whether they're working from home, the office or a local coffee shop.

Techscheme is the smart way for your employees to buy and save on the tech they want and need. The tech salary sacrifice scheme helps employees save up to 12% on over 5,000 tech items and appliances from our retail partner Currys. 

The unbeatable range of products and gadgets includes smartphones, laptops, fitness trackers, computers, freezers, and much more. What’s more, employees can spread the remaining cost interest-free over 12 instalments straight from their salary.

Importantly, your entire workforce can benefit from Techscheme. They're free to buy new tech as and when they want, can save more on existing offers, discounts, and promotions, and they can also purchase the latest tech for friends and family. 

With technology progressing at a rapid pace, Techscheme lets employees stay up to date with the cutting edge of technology. Plus, it's free for your business to join and cost-neutral to run.

How Techscheme benefits individual employees

Three-quarters of employees couldn't afford tech products without Techscheme. That's why more than half of employees say that Techscheme is the most desirable and beneficial workplace benefit. And here’s why:

Find out more about Techscheme - including the three easy steps to getting started - here.

Earlier we discussed the top three benefits employees find most beneficial. Alongside tech, and sitting pretty in the number two spot, was 'Travel to work by car'. 

So, let's shine a light on another employee salary sacrifice scheme that could provide your workforce with a more affordable commute.

Green Car Benefit

White car on a blue 'X'

Did you know that more than half of younger drivers are likely to switch to electric in the next d

ecade, according to the Office for National Statistics?

Green Car Benefit is a green car salary sacrifice scheme that gives employees an affordable way to travel more sustainably.

For a fixed monthly amount deducted before Income Tax and National Insurance, employees can access the next generation of ultra low emission green cars from the likes of Audi, Citroen, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, MG, Mini, Nissan, Tesla, and VW.

As benefits go, Green Car Benefit is hard to beat as it's good for employees, employers (by supporting your green and Corporate Social Responsibility goals), and the environment.

What are the benefits for your employees?

As well as saving money with tax efficiencies, manufacturer discounts, and servicing and maintenance cost savings, Green Car Benefit gives employees the freedom to choose the exact model, make, and specification of electric or hybrid car they want.

Comprehensive insurance, tax, servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover, tyres, and MOT are all included in the cost. Plus, employers are protected against redundancy, resignation, sickness, and more, making Green Car Benefit the complete car solution.

Find out more about putting your employee benefits package in pole position with Green Car Benefit here.


Ready to develop a tech savvy workforce?

Introducing a tech salary sacrifice scheme won't just help your employees' salaries stretch further. It will also ensure that you're providing your workforce with an employee benefit that they want, which supports them and their families.

Our easy to use, free employee benefits platform, Extras, gives you the flexibility to add tech schemes - and more -  to your workplace benefits with no sign-up fee, no per-employee fees, and no fixed contract. 

To find out more, get in touch today on 0208 159 9430, via our contact page, or by emailing enquiries@workplaceextras.com.