Perking from home

uploaded on 25 January 2021

Align employee perks to the new normal  of working from home

Perking from home

Align employee perks to the new normal and reap the psychological benefits in performance and productivity.

Ideally, every employer wants their workforce to be happy, engaged and productive. For staff to feel proud of where they work and loyal to their organisation. Equally, every employee wants to work somewhere they feel they belong and are valued. In an environment that is energising, productive and with colleagues they enjoy working with. Evidence shows that non-salary benefits are a powerful tool to create and sustain a motivated workforce.

One vast study of 120 years of research on the relationship between pay and motivation reviewed 92 studies on 15,000 employees and concluded the correlation between pay and job satisfaction is very low (Judge, 2010). A finding that remains true across different countries and cultures. This is good news for employers looking to keep staff motivated in trying times, and when a pay rise looks unlikely.


It’s not enough simply to put together an ad hoc collection of perks. Employers have to offer benefits that staff value, or they won’t engage with them on an emotional level which means the employer doesn’t get the psychological benefit of increased motivation.

Since the pandemic, the guiding principles that underpin effective perks haven’t changed. They still need to meet employee needs, contribute to a sense of belonging, and give a great employee experience. For employers in highly competitive industries like tech, replace the word great with superior.

Candidates compare what’s on offer and an employer that can out-perk the competition wins the talent.


What has changed, as the pandemic unfolds, is the nature of employee needs and the means through which an employer can meet them.

Gone are work jollies, team building and social events. With many employees working from home transport discounts, subsided canteens, lunch and learns, coffee and cake breaks, need to be rethought. Even those back at the office find gaming rooms and chillout areas taped off in an effort to prevent cross-contamination.

In any event, this is not the time for swanky dos or conspicuous perks. Employee priorities have changed.
Yes, employers must keep up their side of the bargain to maintain some sense of employee experience. And yes, they want to maintain a sense of company culture particularly, among the WFH diaspora but what employees crave, more than anything in these uncertain times, is a sense of belonging and proof their employer cares about their wellbeing.

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