Five employee benefits to watch in 2023

From childcare to virtual assistants, work perks are starting to look dramatically different

In the wake of a period that’s been coined “The Great Resignation”, which saw a record one million Britons change jobs between July and September 2021, companies are bringing their A-game to snare the best professional talent. This means they’re leaving behind frivolous in-office perks like ping pong tables, snacks and free beer – which were major drawcards pre-pandemic – and instead offering benefits that have more of a meaningful impact on employees’ lives.

So, we’ve pulled together five exciting new work perks which are being instilled in offices across the globe – check them out below.

1.    Corporate-sponsored childcare

Paid childcare is more in demand than gym memberships, wellbeing benefits, free company events and enhanced parental leave pay, according to recruitment platform Beamery. Yet just 11 per cent of employers provide childcare as a benefit, the same survey shows.

One of those is LinkedIn, whose PerkUp! employee programme reimburses working parents for care and tutoring expenses for children under 13. The company says it’s helping address the 40 per cent of women who have left or are considering leaving the workforce during the pandemic due to a lack of childcare available.

“Planning a flexible or remote working strategy should incorporate policy planning around how to ensure employees are supported with childcare benefits,” says Katherine Gilbert, LinkedIn’s senior director of compensation and benefits for EMEA and Latin America.

“It’s a worthwhile investment for companies; it enables them to attract the best talent and to build a more diverse workforce.”

2.    Expert-level financial advice

Finance has been the biggest concern for many during the Covid-19 pandemic, ahead of social, physical and mental health, according to MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends study.

That’s why a growing number of companies are choosing to partner with finance platforms to give employees access to expert advice on anything from mortgages to pensions. 

“When employees feel less financially and mentally strained, they’re more able to focus on their careers – translating to a win-win for both employers and employees,” says Meredith Ryan-Reid, head of financial wellness and innovation at MetLife.

“Employers can show their employees they are committed to improving their financial wellness, and in turn, their overall wellbeing.”

3.    Personal virtual assistants

The hidden workload of household and family related admin is linked to greater stress levels in women and is just one of the barriers to women’s career progression.

But UK startup BlckBx plans to give working parents back precious hours in their day. They’re teaming up with supportive corporates to offer a virtual assistant package for employees to delegate domestic tasks to, from sorting washing machine repairs to arranging children’s birthday parties.

“My mission is to get employers to support their employees to create more equality in the home, so that can be reflected in the workplace,” says BlckBx founder and CEO Kath Clarke.

4.    Five-figure property deposits

At rental investment platform Mynd, employees with five years tenure will now qualify for a $60,000 (£44,700) property deposit. Co-founder and CEO Doug Brien says that Mynd educating employees on how to become property investors is what will have the most impact beyond the money itself. 

“I was given the opportunity and education to start investing relatively early in my life, and I thought it would be meaningful to share that with my employees,” says Brien.

“My hope is that when people leave Mynd, they're going to be a life-long real estate investor; it’s a great way to create wealth over time.”

5.    A holiday villa at your disposal

Rome-based language translation company Translated has a unique approach to employee benefits. Not only does it offer a five per cent pay rise if you quit smoking, there’s also a 10-bedroom holiday villa in Tuscany which employees can book for free.

Translated co-founder Isabelle Andrieu says it’s about creating an environment that recognises employees as “more than just workers.”

“When we say we believe in humans, we mean it. We think of our management philosophy and benefits programs as being supportive and empathetic on a humanistic scale,” adds Andrieu.

“Our people have personal lives and long-term goals that may supersede anything happening in their jobs.”

Illustrations are by Antonio Sortino