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Updated Feb 14, 2024

15 Benefits and Perks That Will Keep Your Remote Employees Happy

Employees want better benefits more than they want a pay raise.

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Jennifer Dublino, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Operations
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If you want to attract and retain top employees, you must create an attractive employee benefits package with perks and other non-wage compensation – especially if your team is remote. Companies are rolling out benefits like free meals, gyms, cinemas and even haircuts in the office. But these in-house perks don’t work if you’re trying to build a successful remote company or create robust remote teams.

We’ll highlight 15 benefits and perks that remote workers will appreciate, boosting your chances of creating a happy, loyal remote team.  

Benefits and perks for remote employees

Employee turnover comes with high costs. According to a Glassdoor study, hiring a new employee can cost a business up to $4,000. Replacing a worker incurs recruitment, onboarding, training and lost productivity costs. Implementing proactive strategies to retain employees makes sense.

But what do employees really want? A survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 80 percent of employees would choose a job with benefits over one that offered 30 percent more salary but no benefits. Remote employees, in particular, value specific benefits that address the unique needs of telecommuting.  

Here are 15 ways to recognize, motivate and reward remote workers.

1. Offer health and wellness benefits to remote employees.

graphic of a businessperson sitting in front of a screen with icons on it

Health and wellness benefits are desirable for in-house and remote teams. They’re also crucial for businesses because healthy employees tend to be more productive. 

While many companies offer the best employee benefits and insurance plans, businesses with remote workers in various locations – and even countries – might find managing insurance packages challenging. Plus, health insurance plans can be costly for startups and small businesses.

Consider allocating monthly health allowances for your remote employees. For example, you could cover 75 percent of your team’s membership fees for sports, gyms or other physical activities.

TipBottom line
When offering corporate wellness programs to your team, pay close attention to core federal laws that govern them, including HIPAA laws, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

2. Provide technology to your remote team.

A remote work plan saves money on office space, furniture, equipment and office supplies. Reinvest some of your savings into technology or equipment for your employees. For example, you could provide a new laptop, monitor or even a high-speed internet connection

In addition to providing adequate computing power and standardizing technology across your team, you’ll benefit from multiuser software license savings and enhanced security measures. 

Consider offering an annual technology or equipment allowance or paying for one-off purchases. For example, you could cover up to 70 percent (or $1,000) of your team’s new computer or laptop purchase.

3. Offer workspace perks to your remote team. 

Remote workers may think they can work anywhere. However, where and how they work matters. Poor posture, distractions and a less-than-ideal environment can hurt productivity. An ergonomically designed workspace, a proper desk and a good chair are all blessings.

Encourage your employees to work efficiently by offering an office upgrade budget. They can use this allowance for room dividers, ergonomic chairs and standing desks. You can also consider paying for a co-working space for remote employees.

4. Offer home services to your remote team.

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Domestic distractions and household chores can be a challenge for remote employees. For example, cooking or arranging food can take time and effort. Consider paying for a meal delivery service for your remote employees. You can also offer laundry, cleaning and gardening services.

5. Present learning and development opportunities to your remote team.

The more employees learn and develop new skills, the better it is for your business. You can arrange an employee training program for the entire team or let them choose a book, webinar or course for their professional development.

TipBottom line
Offer to cover the costs of certifications like accounting and finance certifications, marketing certifications, and other top business certifications that can bring enhanced knowledge to your operations.

6. Offer a vacation stipend to your remote team. 

Getting away from work can reduce stress and boost productivity. This is why many companies encourage employees to take more vacations. While most employers offer paid vacation time, some companies even give their employees some or all the money needed to take a trip.

7. Approve unpaid time off for your remote employees.

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Remote workers value flexibility and control. In fact, research from PwC revealed that nearly half of employees would give up a 20 percent raise for additional control over how they work. 

While vacations and paid time off (PTO) are great, it’s essential to be flexible about leaves and work absences, especially if employees know they can take unpaid time off. Make it easy for employees to take time off when needed by creating a company culture that prioritizes health and family over work. Just make

Did You Know?Did you know
Employees appreciate remote work's flexible benefits. According to Buffer's State of Remote Work report, they most appreciate flexibility in how they spend their time (22 percent), followed by flexibility in where they choose to live (19 percent).

8. Recognize remote employees for special occasions.

You don’t always need special perks or allowances to make employees happy. At times, small gestures can go a long way. This can be as simple as sending employees a cake or a dinner voucher on their birthday.

9. Recognize your remote employees’ families.

Health or vacation perks might be desirable, but your employees will also love it if you can extend benefits to their families and loved ones. Many companies offer educational assistance for kids. If you don’t have the budget or resources to be this generous, you can send birthday or anniversary gifts to your remote team’s spouses and families.

10. Schedule annual meetups and gatherings with remote employees.

Trust and team building are essential for remote teams. This is why almost all remote companies organize annual meetups or events to let workers join and spend time with colleagues. You can have a big meetup with the entire crew or small meetups with different teams. Either way, gatherings can encourage better teamwork and collaboration.

11. Provide productivity tools to your remote team.

graphic of a person working at a home office desk wearing headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can be an excellent help for remote employees working from home or in public places. Office essentials, like a printer, scanner or file cabinet, can make their life easier. You can give your remote employees anything to help with their jobs, including online tools and applications.

TipBottom line
Introduce popular workplace platforms to improve your remote team's productivity, including Slack for workplace communication, Zoom for video calls and conferences, and remote access software to facilitate tech support.

12. Send remote employees branded items.

If your employees are based in a region you’d like to target as a business, send branded items like T-shirts, laptop bags and even visiting cards they can carry and distribute when needed.

13. Start a reward program for remote employees.

You need standard perks and benefits for all team members. However, don’t forget to reward high-performing teams or employees. A recognition certificate with a small gift, like a desk clock, paperweight or pen holder, will show their hard work is appreciated.

FYIDid you know
Benefits are a crucial element of an employee's total compensation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an employee's salary or wages only comprise 70 percent of their compensation, with benefits making up the other 30 percent.

14. Provide monthly subscriptions to remote teams.

Monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Kindle and Audible – or subscription boxes like Dollar Shave Club, SprezzaBox, or FabFitFun – won’t cost much. Still, they’re a great addition to your list of perks and benefits.

15. Prioritize mental health and relaxation for your remote team.

graphic of a person meditating

Work-related stress is a productivity-zapping epidemic. In fact, more than 1 in 4 people surveyed by Job Sage said they’ve quit a job for the sake of their mental health. 

You can’t expect 100 percent commitment, productivity and creativity from a stressed mind. Investing in your employees’ mental health is crucial. Consider offering mental health days above and beyond regular sick leave.

Why it’s important to give remote workers benefits and perks

Since working remotely is desirable, you may wonder why providing additional benefits and perks to remote employees is necessary. After all, they already have the flexibility, time savings and comfort of working remotely. 

However, there’s more to it. Consider the following reasons why giving remote workers benefits and perks is essential:  

  • Giving remote workers benefits helps you stay competitive. While working remotely is a plus, you are far from the only company in your industry that allows telecommuting. In fact, according to Buffer’s State of Remote Work report, 71 percent of companies surveyed allow some amount of remote work. Employees would rather accept a remote job with a company that offers benefits and perks than one that offers fewer – or no – perks. 
  • Giving remote workers benefits provides consistency. Standardizing your employees’ work technology and environment as much as possible gives them the tools they need to meet expectations. In addition to management objectives, it helps improve communication among team members.
  • Giving remote workers benefits is fair. Say you have some office workers and some remote workers. You have almost certainly provided computer equipment and software for your in-office staff. If this is the case, it’s fundamentally unfair to expect remote workers to pay for their work computer equipment with their own money. 
  • Giving remote workers benefits counteracts isolation. Not everything is perfect for remote workers. They may feel isolated and lonely because they’re not interacting with co-workers in person or leaving their homes much. Offering your remote team face-to-face opportunities can help alleviate loneliness and isolation. Recognizing special occasions and providing mental health benefits can also help.
  • Giving remote workers benefits helps them feel valued. When workers don’t see and interact with management in person, they may experience an “out of sight, out of mind” feeling. Employees who feel unseen may be less engaged and productive. Helping employees feel valued is a crucial aspect of your company culture; providing a robust benefits package to remote workers is an excellent way to make this happen. 
  • Giving remote workers benefits can boost productivity. Engagement is key to employee productivity. Proactively reaching out to remote employees and caring about their welfare can help them feel appreciated and help you identify potential problems before they get severe. Keep communication lines open, and remind workers of all available benefits. For example, a worker may not remember that they can take unpaid time off while trying to juggle caring for a sick family member with work responsibilities.
  • Giving remote workers benefits can reduce turnover. Creative perks will boost your team members’ job satisfaction, making them more likely to stay with your company longer. You’ll benefit from a properly trained, experienced workforce, enjoy reduced recruitment costs, and lower the expenses of getting new employees up to speed. 
author image
Jennifer Dublino, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Operations
Jennifer Dublino is an experienced entrepreneur and astute marketing strategist. With over three decades of industry experience, she has been a guiding force for many businesses, offering invaluable expertise in market research, strategic planning, budget allocation, lead generation and beyond. Earlier in her career, Dublino established, nurtured and successfully sold her own marketing firm. Dublino, who has a bachelor's degree in business administration and an MBA in marketing and finance, also served as the chief operating officer of the Scent Marketing Institute, showcasing her ability to navigate diverse sectors within the marketing landscape. Over the years, Dublino has amassed a comprehensive understanding of business operations across a wide array of areas, ranging from credit card processing to compensation management. Her insights and expertise have earned her recognition, with her contributions quoted in reputable publications such as Reuters, Adweek, AdAge and others.
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