In the post-pandemic world job seekers are making more demands from employers, and they are increasingly about work environment and flexibility to promote better work-life balance.
Since COVID-19 made many workplaces remote in 2020, the way we think about how people work has changed drastically from the traditional office environment of before. Now, more employees no longer go into the office, mental health awareness and support is increasing, and our relationship with work-life balance has gotten a makeover. This means employers are navigating a new workplace landscape that prioritizes benefits, as well as culture perks and policies.
Lensa, a career insights platform, recorded the number of Google searches for 50 employee benefits over the past 12 months. As expected, remote work is the number one demand from job applicants and employees, with almost half a million searches this year. The shift in where employees want to work correlates with most workforce projections. Ladders, a career news and insight platform, projects 25 percent of all positions in North America will be fully remote by the end of the year.
Not all positions can be fully remote, and not all companies are shifting to a work from home model. In these cases, flexibility is still a key component as four-day workweeks and hybrid work searches follow closely behind remote work. OwlLabs’ State of Remote Work 2021 found 74 percent of employees surveyed felt remote or hybrid work environments were better for their mental health, and 84 percent reported that the flexible work environment would make them happier.
Another trend that emerged is employees want organizations to be more involved in personal matters. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and career development programs made their way into the top 10 most-searched topics. Lensa also noted the increasing demand for more diverse and personalized offerings. Menopause leave, while not in the top 10, saw an increase in searches of about 1,300 percent year over year.
Following are employees’ top 10 demands, beginning with the most searched:
- Remote working
- Four-day workweek
- Employee assistance programs
- Signing bonus
- Employee resource groups
- Career development
- Hybrid working
- Smart office
- 401(k) contributions
- Employee discounts
Remote and hybrid work may not be viable options for most positions at school districts. When this is the case, districts should focus on other benefits to create added value for employees, such as EAPs and career development opportunities. For support positions where some work from home would be feasible, it may be worth exploring remote and hybrid work options. Otherwise, as the labor market continues to trend in favor of job seekers, districts could be missing out on great talent.
For more information on the topic, check out the Employee Benefits News article The 10 Workplace Policies Job Seekers are Demanding and Lensa's 2022 Workplace Demands.
Christine Zenteno joined the HR Services team as an HR and compensation consultant in 2022. She assists with compensation plan development, training, and other HR projects. Prior to TASB, Zenteno worked in the public sector for state and city government entities in human resources roles specializing in staffing and compensation.
Zenteno holds a bachelor’s degree in international business from St. Edward’s University and is a PHR.
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