5 Trending Employment Benefits for 2020

Posted January 23, 2020, by Jenny Sakr

Welcome to a brand new year and a whole new decade, where things are being taken up a notch when it comes to employment benefits.

Businesses have started to realise over the past few years that when it comes to hiring top employees, they have to stand out in the recruitment process. Where once it was up to the potential employee to impress the company in order to obtain a job, things have turned a little. Now the onus is on both the employer and the potential employee to impress each other. For the employee, it comes down to their skillset. For the employer, it all comes down to the workplace benefits they have to offer.

And suffice to say, the more attractive they are, the greater the chance at recruiting a high-level calibre of workers.

Employee Benefits

According to a late 2019 survey from recruitment agency, Robert Half, popular benefits include flexible work conditions, company-paid mobile phones, paid parental leave and extra holiday leave. So, how are companies responding? With wage growth plateauing, employees are being sold on the perks, so it is time for the companies to up the ante. 

According to the same survey, 62% of Australian employees now consider non-salary benefits to be more important than base salary when it comes to accepting a job offer.

So what are the new trends when it comes to employee benefits in 2020? We walk you through the top 5 you can expect to see over the coming months.

Flexible Pay

2019 saw a big shift toward the flexible workplace. Companies have slowly come to realise that the traditional 9 to 5 hours just don’t work for everyone, and if you want employees who are switched on and ready to work to their full potential, then a degree of flexibility is required. After all, what does it matter if they work 9 to 5 or 7 to 3, as long as the work is done?

This year, we can expect that degree of flexibility to be taken to the next level when it comes to payday. In the traditional sense, pay comes from your employer on a scheduled day they have set, whether that be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or another arrangement.

However, with the ease at which we can get paid these days, thanks to apps such as PayPal, companies are starting to allow employees to get paid as soon as they log their hours. It means the days of waiting for it to clear in your bank account are over, and you can stop worrying about having to budget out your pay for the month and living off crumbs at the end to make it to the next payday!

This trend will take time though and is likely to be adopted slowly. It is more likely to become commonplace in shift work jobs where employees can log their start and finish times straight away in return for their pay.

Freedom to Work from Anywhere

The one word that has cropped up over and over when it comes to employee benefits is flexibility, and for good reason too. The juggle to raise a family, buy a home and juggle the work-life balance has always been a tricky one to manage. But now, with technology advancing each year – there are ways to help this.

In this digital age where all company programs are accessible from any laptop at any time, it makes sense that employees should have the freedom to work from wherever they want.

In the past two years in Australia, and Sydney especially, we have seen people move further afield into more country areas in order to afford a home of their own. For many, this means a huge commute back into the city and other populated areas for work. Extending the flexibility for employees to work from home, or even while off on holidays, offers them a bit of reprieve during the workweek, and will in turn boost morale in the team and workplace culture.

This is easier than ever now to set up with today’s technology. Both employees and employers can be across what is happening at all times. There are so many different programs and apps out there that businesses can take advantage of. There are apps like Zoom for meetings, software where employees can log out-of-office hours, and organisation apps where everyone can track the projects they are across and where they are up to.

It is easier than ever for employees to work remotely and so many creative ways to make it run smoothly. 

Plus, think of the added benefits that come to employers in the process. If they have their team working remotely, it allows them to save on overhead costs, such as office space and associated bills. It also widens the recruitment pool when searching for top-notch employees, as they can widen their horizons and tap into talent in other cities. 

Side Hustles Will Rise

The prominence of side hustles has certainly risen in the past few years with people renting out their homes on Airbnb, taking on freelance positions and lots more. What’s coming into play now is the importance of side hustles when it comes to advancing an employee’s career.

While side hustles can be great to bring in some extra income when needed, they also serve another purpose for conscientious employees who want to rise the workplace ladder. These side hustles are often referred to as passion projects and employers are coming to terms with how much cheaper and more effective it is to allow their permanent employees to engage in side hustles and develop their careers in the process.

This presents benefits to both employers and employees in the long-term and also creates longer-lasting positions as employees are being fulfilled through their passion projects as they further their skills while staying in the same job.

The onus is then on the business to support these new skills and utilise them to benefit both the employee and the company. It’s no secret that further education has many mutual benefits to all parties involved.

Consultancy Gigs Become the Norm

The workplace certainly looks different to how it did in the past, and people are beginning to realise they can have their cake and eat it too, which has led to the rise of consultancy positions. Employers are expected to become more open to these positions in 2020, and using them as a recruitment tool for the right talent.

Many people don’t want to be sitting in a workplace, doing the same thing day in and day out. They want variety, they want to be challenged, and they want to be able to mix it up. And you can see why this is attractive. 

Not only will we see more employees take on consultancy positions, but we will also see more companies offering them. These tend to be highly skilled positions that address a very specific need. People no longer need to be a master of all trades and employers can now seek out highly skilled talent in particular areas. For example web design, SEO, sales and so on.

These gigs can be short-term or long term, and they are mutually beneficial, offering employers access to highly skilled talent that they take on board for the duration of the project. On the other side, people pursuing consultancy positions have the freedom to pick and choose their projects and the flexibility of where and when they work. 

Unique Benefits

The final benefit you can expect to see is the rise in unique benefits! Companies are looking to stand out from their competitors and with the rise in digital technology, the ways in which they can do this have grown tenfold.

Many businesses will be exploring unique ways they can offer attractive benefits to their employees, so be on the lookout. The goal isn’t the most benefits, but rather it’s the right benefits, and this is why many workplaces have such a focus on their employees. From improving work culture through team events to four-day work weeks and more, we will see a number of innovative ways businesses are looking to stand out to potential employees, while also increasing workplace culture.

The Future of the Workforce

So, what exactly can we expect from 2020? Advances in technology and emphasis on work-life balance have paved the way for many of the benefits we can expect to see this year. In most cases, the employee (assuming they have the desired skillset) holds most of the cards when it comes to determining where and how they want to work.

Wondering why the company you work for hasn’t stepped up to the plate when it comes to benefits? Give them a nudge to get the ball rolling.  

Jenny Sakr
Jenny Sakr

Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.

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