Having awesome employee benefits has always helped ease the 9 to 5. But as the standard 9 to 5 work routine changes with the times, so do the benefits. Up-and-coming benefits that attract quality employees—and help retain them—are all about making the work-life balance more flexible and forward-thinking.

Flexible Scheduling

The majority of office jobs now have options for remote work built in to the schedule. This frees an employee up to pick the hours they work. More and more, employees prefer flexible hours and scheduling. And not just during a time of illness or emergency, but a flexibility that is year-round.

Forbes magazine has noted that remote work accounts for half of the entire US workforce. And they predict freelancers will take over the majority of the workforce in by 2027. Companies are increasingly outsourcing to remote workers, which in itself is the employees’ biggest benefit.

Flexible Paydays

Another upcoming trend in employee benefits is faster, more flexible systems to get paid. Employees prefer to be paid on demand and not have to wait for a set payday. Companies are paying attention to this request and setting up systems to allow employees to request pay more frequently, after accruing hours, of course.

Additionally, employees seek better financial advising from their employers. People, more than ever, are focusing on their long-term financial stability. Employers who offer more than just a paycheck tend to retain their employees.

Sabbaticals and Professional Development

“I really didn’t get a lot out of my sabbatical,” said no one ever. Companies that offer sabbaticals win twice over. First, it gives current employees something to work toward. For example, if an employee must hit a milestone before they take a sabbatical, they are more likely to be retained. Second, the rejuvenation that comes during and after paid time off is unparalleled.

Professional development is also a win-win for both employee and employer. To stay competitive, constant learning is essential. Providing opportunities for employees to advance themselves is highly desirable. It not only provides motivation for the employee, but it often results in a greater commitment. Student loan assistance and tuition assistance are invaluable benefits.

Diversifying the Diversity

Equity in the workplace continues to be an important stride for businesses. Companies who focus on diversifying their workforce traditionally have been doing so in terms of race and gender equity, slowly changing the playing field across all levels of operation.

We’ve also seen companies step up to provide better parental leave for employees, for both men and women. Some provide on-site daycare. However, companies are widening those efforts, too. By providing benefits for employees who are caring for aging parents or sick partners, there is more equity.

Improving Health

Like flexible scheduling, we’re seeing employees seek remote health options more. This includes telemedicine ordering and telehealth visits: doctor evaluations via video chat or phone call. Patient portals abound, and employees appreciate a flexible approach to their healthcare.

Ultimately, a healthy employee is a happy employee. Health benefits for your employees can go far beyond the healthcare provided. Gym memberships are very popular. Money designated to go toward a variety of health and wellness options is a great choose-your-own benefit. Offering five- or ten-minute chair massages once a month in the office can really make a difference, too.

What Would Your Employees Like?

Every workplace is a little different than the next. Getting the pulse of your office can help determine what smaller benefits make the work day just a little bit nicer.

Maybe fresh flowers in common areas, or non-flowering plants scattered throughout. A variety of on-site snacks can be a crowd-pleaser. While one week doughnuts may be a hit, the next, cut watermelon and grapes are a welcome change. A company-wide retreat? Free weekly outings?

It’s best to poll the group to see what they’d like. However you are able to provide more benefits, it will be noticed and appreciated by the team.