Blue Lynx is a global recruitment agency with over 34 years of experience in the Netherlands. In this article, Tina Evans explains four employee benefits trends in 2022 to help people and companies adapt to the current situation.

Ah, work benefits. We all love them. Recent global events have significantly changed our priorities, including those in the workplace. They haven’t eliminated the need for social benefits, they’ve created new ones. If you’re an employer rethinking your benefits, or a job seeker reassessing your priorities, you are in the right place!

1. Hybrid replaces remote workWith the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, companies around the world are encouraging their employees to return to the office. However, after two pandemic years, the option to work remotely is no longer considered an advantage but a matter of choice. Additionally, workers tend to prefer companies that offer more flexibility. But is there a work model that satisfies both sides?

Is there an ideal work model?According to a Harvard Business School study, a hybrid work model with two to three days in the office is the best option. This model gives workers the flexibility they need without the fear of being isolated from their colleagues. And for employers, it not only helps with flexible scheduling but also makes the most of the investments they’ve made in remote work over the last two years.

The findings are based on an experiment in which 130 administrative employees were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first group spent less than 25 percent of working days in the office, the second more than 40 percent, and the third group spent one or two days per week in the office. At the end of the experiment, the last group had better work performance than the others. They had the highest number and the best quality of emails sent.

It seems that the hybrid model gives employees the best of both worlds. Employers should continue to optimise hybrid work processes to meet the needs of their businesses and their employees. The only catch is that the transition to the hybrid model isn’t a simple process. All decisions affecting the work environment require finding a balance between the unique situations of people, industries, and competitive landscapes.

2. More focus on mental careMental health issues have been around as long as there have been people on earth. Two years into the pandemic, more and more workers are demanding physical and mental healthcare in addition to the usual benefits they receive.

Fighting BurnoutNowadays, many people experience burnout – a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Although this condition isn’t considered a mental illness, it’s still a mental health challenge that requires attention. When it occurs, employees should have the opportunity to be supported by their company.

The good news is that more employers are addressing mental health issues in the workplace. From expanded health coverage to access to mental health apps and resources, companies are improving their social benefits to help employees cope with stress.

It’s safe to say that in 2022, mental health benefits are just as important as physical health benefits. Employees who struggle with mental issues can’t perform at their best, so investing in their mental health certainly pays off. It results in happy and healthy employees who are more creative and productive – a win-win situation.

3. Equality and social protectionIn 2021, the workforce experienced the Great Resignation when a record number of people quit their jobs due to the pandemic. During these difficult times, we saw the importance of social protection for workers and that not all of them have the same access to it.

Better conditions for working womenWhen it comes to working, the pandemic had a slightly more negative impact on women. Many working mothers had to take on all domestic responsibilities in their homes. Some of them were even forced to give up their careers and lose their jobs to take care of their families. These changes could easily undo decades of progress towards equality for working women.

In the post-pandemic reality, inclusion and equality have become a key focus for many companies. Employers all around the world are now creating career development programmes for women, including women of colour who have the skills and potential for leadership positions.

In January 2022, a new law was passed to create better conditions for working women in the Netherlands. The new legislation contains two measures to improve gender equality on corporate boards of listed companies. First is a quota that requires their supervisory boards to consist of at least one-third of men and at least one-third of women. Second, large public and private limited liability companies (large NVs and BVs) must set appropriate targets for a more balanced distribution of men and women in their top management positions.

4. Welcoming a new generationGeneration Z is steadily entering the workforce. These are people who were born between 1996 and the early 2000s and are either college students or just stepping into their careers. To win their hearts, employers need to speak their language and understand their ambitions and expectations.

What We Know About Gen ZGeneration Z’ers are true digital natives, born and raised in a fast-paced and internet-centric environment. They have an entrepreneurial mindset and are more globally and culturally connected than previous generations. They’re comfortable with online tools and have a good digital presence. Gen Z’ers are open to building individual relationships with their superiors and addressing sensitive issues directly.

They also tend to be pragmatic about their careers and education and are on track to become the most educated generation. A fantastic way to retain their talent is to allow them to grow professionally. Many employers provide resources and funding for junior-level employees to take education courses. Another way to attract the attention of Gen Z is by having a good digital presence, which is why many companies are investing in their social media brand reputation.

To prepare the workplace for Generation Z, employers need to create a welcoming, open environment that strives for diversity at all levels. Companies need to adapt their strategies to the needs of the new generation and take full advantage of the skills it brings to the table.

In summaryThere are several important points employers should take away from this article:

The hybrid work model combines flexibility with time in the office and is beneficial to both employers and employees. Mental health is as important as physical health, and mental health benefits lead to happier and more productive employees. Gender equality is more important than ever, as companies take action to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Generation Z enters the workforce, and companies need to adapt strategies to attract and retain them. If you want to read more work and career tips or speed up your business growth, get in touch with Blue Lynx via email ([email protected]) or pick up the phone and give them a call (+31 (0)70 311 7822).

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