The business world right now is in a very strange state. The COVID-19 pandemic — well, more accurately the lockdown implemented in reaction to it — has left many thousands of people out of work, unable to pay their bills and without typical socialising to keep them occupied. The businesses that previously employed them haven’t done much better: some have survived through major cuts, while others have been forced to shut down for good.
You might think that desperation is the inevitable consequence of this situation, with fired professionals and failed business owners alike just looking to get hired wherever they can so they can pay for their rent and food — but that isn’t the case.
In truth, while the job losses have certainly been terrible, most people in industry-standard work — classic office fare — have been able to continue working remotely. And as regular activity starts to resume as lockdown measures are lifted, we’re going to see a lot of investment in fresh business from entrepreneurs eager to bring in some of the talent on the market.
Due to this, jobseekers shouldn’t be ready to settle for whatever comes along. They should know their worth and look for meaningful perks that can give them more employee satisfaction that they’d get from simply making a lot of money. But what perks should they look for? Here’s a short list of some of the top benefits worth seeking.
Though remote working has become standard by this point (to the extent that I haven’t added it to this list), there are still positions that need people to travel for their jobs. It might just be for occasional in-office meetups, or it could be a regular requirement — consider workers such as truck drivers or engineers working for specific product or service providers.
Anyone who expects to need to travel for work should look for companies that provide financial compensation for most or all of it. Professionals who need to travel regularly for work will likely have the financial side covered regardless, so they should ask for maximum convenience in addition to the funding: for instance, a Circle K fuel card from iCompario makes it markedly easier for a driver to pay for their fuel (and allows the company to track spending more easily).
The fitness industry is huge these days, and people want to stay fit to keep themselves healthy and happy, but gym memberships (depending on the area and quality) can be surprisingly expensive. Companies that support their employees by paying for their gym memberships will end up with workers that are more productive, so everyone wins.
That said, not everyone who wants to keep fit will be willing to go back to a gym after a pandemic, and that reluctance might last for a long time. Accordingly, they should ask to have some gym equipment they can use at home: some weights, an exercise bike, etc.
Home office funding
Speaking of home equipment, the need for great home offices has skyrocketed following the big move to remote working. Anyone who’s going to be working from their home office most (or all) of the time should look to make it as comfortable and ergonomic as possible, and that means investing in the computer hardware as well as the furniture.
A great home office will have a big easy-to-read display, a keyboard that will minimise the chance of repetitive strain injury, a lumbar-supporting chair, and as much natural light as can be managed (supplemented by suitable artificial lighting). These things can be expensive, but any company that really cares about long-term success will happily pay for anything — within reason — that will make an employee even fractionally more productive.
Perhaps most importantly, though remote working is now very popular, there’s still some pushback against flexible working. The old-fashioned 9-to-5 shouldn’t matter for most people, yet the typical working week still governs how many companies work. If you can get all your work done on time and be available when you’re needed, why should the hours matter?
Thankfully, more and more companies are allowing their employees to choose their hours for the most part. Start early or start late. Work one regular day or work half in the morning and half in the evening. Ideal flexibility would even allow for someone to work four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days. Even jobseekers who don’t mind the 9-to-5 should ask about it, because their circumstances could change and leave them wanting to mix things up.
Wrapping up, money isn’t everything even during a pandemic, and maintaining a great work/life balance is essential. Anyone looking for work at the moment should focus more on the perks than the salary (assuming the latter is adequate), and I suggest these perks in particular.
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