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Tailoring benefits for a virtual team morale boost

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday March 19, 2024

Updated : Tuesday June 25, 2024

This is a guest blog post by Ainsley Lawrence – content writer. 

Benefits for remote teams should extend beyond the standard employee packages. A distributed team inherently has varying needs, and the benefits you offer should reflect that. Learn how to keep morale high by taking care of your virtual team through a comprehensive, tailored benefits plan. 

Why morale is so important for virtual teams 

Whether your workforce is entirely remote or works on a hybrid schedule, it’s crucial to keep everyone on the same page and feeling involved. Company culture for virtual teams takes a little bit more planning and finesse to execute, but it is just as important as culture in traditional office settings. You can plan virtual meetings and get-togethers, but if your team doesn’t feel appreciated and taken care of, it won’t matter.  

High team morale is directly correlated with greater job satisfaction, productivity, and employee retention. Low morale comes about when team members feel siloed from others, micromanaged, nonautonomous, unheard, and uncared for. To prevent this, make sure to schedule regular check-ins and ask for feedback. In particular, make sure your virtual employees are satisfied with the benefits offered.  

Ask them what else they would need to make remote work easier and more connected. This may differ from person to person, but overlapping trends can offer insight into what should be added to your benefits package. Use some of the following to inspire additions to remote benefits offerings.  

Offer reimbursements or stipends for ergonomic offices 

Providing stipends or reimbursements for essential work items and services creates a supportive work environment. These are things that you would normally pay for and provide to in-office employees, so adapting this perk to remote employees can make them feel valued. Plus, providing them with the proper equipment and space can lead to greater productivity and well-being. Working in less-than-ideal conditions can impact work ethic, results, and even mental and physical health.  

Start by offering a stipend or reimbursement to any virtual team members who need to convert a space in their home to an office. Proper lighting and decor can also make for a space more conducive to creativity and productivity. Providing them with ergonomic furniture and tech tools can prevent burnout, chronic pain, and injury. All of this upgrading can be costly for the employee. Try providing benefits that cover these essential upgrades, such as a wellness spending account.  

Help with technology upgrades 

To further ensure remote employees don’t feel sequestered away, make sure they are supported when receiving new tech. From upgraded equipment to software upgrades, they should be able to have all costs covered as well as have support from the IT department for installs. Include these provisions in their benefits packages to make sure all tech is accessible and upgraded for high security and low frustration in your employees’ home offices. 

Provide health and wellness programs 

Benefits packages typically include health coverage. However, you can boost morale by taking that a step further. Remote employees, in particular, will spend long hours sitting and may benefit from a gym membership that is local to them or even an online fitness class membership. You can even host your own virtual team wellness activities. 

How to get the most out of the 2024 Health and Wellness Roadmap

Engage remote employees in your wellness program by offering virtual fitness classes or informational wellness workshops. This way, your virtual team can participate from home and feel involved while staying active. Provide rewards for reaching certain goals to keep engagement and morale high.  

Wellness also extends beyond physical fitness, and providing mental health care can help your employees perform their best. This is particularly important in some high-pressure industries, such as finance, where employees are prone to burnout due to large workloads and long hours. Integrating mental health and wellness initiatives into your benefits package can help offset some of these challenges. Wellness programs are a great attraction and retention tool, and they save employees and employers in the long run by working to prevent illness and injury. 

Moving forward with virtual morale-boosting 

Providing a comprehensive benefits package that considers remote employee needs is the first step. But remember, benefits are an ongoing journey. Consistently check in with your virtual team to make sure their needs are being met and ask where you can improve. This not only increases your chances of having a successful benefits package, but it also gives your remote team a morale boost that can only come from feeling truly seen and heard as employees. 

Looking for more ways to ensure your remote employees are supported?

8 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees