Employee perks have been a popular and important topic for business owners in recent years. With the rapid advancement of technology, employers have more options for the types of benefits they can offer employees. Instead of providing the same benefits that have been around for decades, such as health insurance, paid time off and sick days, you now need to consider extra perks that help you stand out from your competitors while keeping your budget and business needs in mind. Here are a few modern benefits that make sense and save you cents for your small business benefits package:

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Remote Work Opportunities

There are several pros and cons to letting your employees work remotely, but it can be a great benefit for your employees as well as your company. Some of the highly lauded pros are that remote work decreases absences, increases productivity and saves money. If employees come down with a cold, have a family emergency or are just feeling stressed in the office, they may take a sick day when it’s not really necessary. If you offer a work-from-home policy, your employees can work on their own time and deal with their work-life balance as they need to, meaning you still get your eight hours of work and your employees are happier.

In terms of productivity, you should consider remote work on a case-by-case basis. Some employees work better in their chosen environment without the distraction of other employees, meetings, commuting and office politics. Simon Slade, CEO of Affilorama, tells Monster that job performance and satisfaction with his remote workers are about the same as his in-house employees, but he sees a higher rate of productivity. However, some employees may find that their kids, chores and home setup doesn’t work for them. If your employees can concentrate better at home, this is a great benefit for both you and them.

One of the greatest beneficiaries of remote work is your company bank account. According to Global Workplace Analytics, about 60 percent of employers say that cost savings are significant. You can save a lot of money on real estate and equipment for your office, even if your employees telecommute only part of the time. Alpine Access Remote Agents saw huge benefits to their finances by closing 30 percent more deals and decreasing customer complaints by 90 percent. In other words, giving your employees the option to work from home as a small business benefit could be a win for both of you.

Flexible Hours

Offering flexible work hours has many of the same benefits as remote work. When employees feel like they have more control over their work and personal lives, they tend to be happier, healthier and more productive. As an employer, flex hours enable you to open up your talent pool to more people and compete with other companies for the best candidates. If you want to employ parents who need to drop their kids off at school at 7:45, allowing them to come into the office at 8:30 instead of 8:00 can make a big difference in their week. If you want to employ an individual who works better at night than in the morning, flex hours could boost their productivity. The more you help your employees decrease their stress and work to make them happier, the morale in your office will increase and so will your bottom line.

Offer Unlimited Time Off as Part of Your Small Business Benefits

Unlimited time off has been making headlines for the last several years for both its pros and cons. Some argue that employees will take advantage of their PTO not being tracked, while others state that employees take less time off because they have to prove that they’re working harder than their co-workers. This has led to companies like Mammoth renaming this benefit to “flexible,” “personalized” or “responsible” PTO.

The key to this benefit is to make it work for your company’s workflow and culture. Unlimited time off shows your employees that you trust them to be responsible adults and that you value their work-life balance. When your employees have the chance to get away from the office to recharge and relax, they will come back refreshed and ready to work. Make sure your expectations and rules surrounding this policy are clear and that it doesn’t lead to all working vacations or abuse of the policy. If it works for your culture, you will be offering a competitive benefit that will lead to happier employees that stay with you longer.

Consider Winter Vacation for Small Business Benefits

The end of the year is full of holidays, vacations and the scramble to take unused PTO days. Instead of trying to piece together your office, consider shutting down your office the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day for a well-deserved break. Depending on your industry, a lot of your clients and customers will be busy with their families and the office will be pretty empty anyway, so why not treat your employees to some extra time off? In many industries, this is an expected part of the holiday season.

The modern small business benefits package isn’t all about a 401K or health insurance. As important as they are, they aren’t the only way to help your employees feel appreciated. When your employees feel appreciated and trusted, they will work harder for you. The happier they are, the happier you (and your bank account) will be.

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