Prior to the pandemic, employee wellbeing focussed primarily on office based perks - free fruit, ping pong tables, happy hours and even overseas team retreats had become the norm.
As a result of the pandemic, flexible working has been embraced more widely by employers and employees alike, and changes are set to stay, leaving the “making the office awesome” budget largely untouched.
Out with the old
Even though people aren’t physically in the office as much, it doesn’t mean to say support from employers is any less valued. In fact, it’s very much the opposite. The lines between work and home life have been blurred - therefore it’s up to leadership to ensure all aspects of their employees' health and wellbeing are being taken care of.
The challenge now is that whilst not only is every employee different, they are also dispersed geographically, meaning the scope of wellbeing needs and access to the right facilities varies greatly. The question that remains is how do we transition the much loved, familiar office perks to the new world of work, in a way that is equally accessible and impactful wherever your team might be.
In with the new - Introducing the Ben Mastercard
This is where the Ben Mastercard can help.
Allocating individual allowances to employees to spend on what matters most to them - whether that’s fitness, mental health, childcare or personal development - is a great way to really make a difference to the health and wellbeing of your team, wherever they might be.
Taking this approach to benefits is great for employers too, as you are able to make the most out of any budget by taking advantage of preferential corporate rates and tax exemptions, paying only for what gets used. No longer are you spending money on unwanted products and services.
It’s a great sustainable solution to personalise the employee experience and provide the choice, care and support that your people really need.
The Mastercard can be used in an unlimited number of ways and you can set budgets and spending rules, restricting to certain categories such as Health & Wellbeing and Work from Home or even specific merchants.
Here are just 5 examples of how our current customers are using the Ben Mastercard to optimise their employee experience (and it’s so much better than just asking employees to expense stuff).
1. Work from home budget 🏠
All the social media posts of home offices this year have caused some real “desk envy”. Jokes aside, it’s so important that employees have the right set up to be able to get things done. Whether that’s covering the costs of an ergonomic chair to help keep back pain at bay, an extra monitor to stop sore eyes, or a morning coffee - everyone's requirements are different. Amongst the remote-first companies that we work with, some employees have even used their budgets to access a coworking space close to home a couple of days a week.
2. Mental wellbeing 🤗
The upheaval of this year has really highlighted the importance of taking care of mental health. Individual needs in this respect vary greatly, as such offering employees an allowance to get the right support specific to their needs is highly impactful. Whilst some of our users have opted for Headspace and Calm subscriptions, others have chosen regular in depth confidential counselling sessions. Knowing that access to support is there in whatever capacity, whenever and wherever they need it, with costs covered via the Ben Mastercard directly, has undoubtedly given employees peace of mind.
3. Weekly Team Lunch 🍲
Maintaining community is something that can be a real struggle as a dispersed team. Company breakfasts and weekly team lunches specifically have been greatly missed from the agenda in the new world of flexiwork. And who doesn’t love bonding over food!? The Ben Mastercard has enabled our customers to keep the team lunch a firm Friday fixture. Employees simply order whatever they fancy using their Ben Mastercard and settle down for a group hangout over zoom (this way there’s no arguments over where to dine either!).
4. Coffee Lottery ☕
Remote working has meant the sudden end to random, spontaneous coffee machine chats where one thing leads to another and colleagues become mates for life. It's tricky to replicate this in the digital world for sure. Not overlooking the importance of this, some of our customers use the Ben Mastercard to cover the cost of cappuccino or cold brew, then randomly match employees for a zoom date, so that they can get to know each other over some non-work chat. For new joiners and remote-first employees in particular - it’s been a real game changer for team bonding.
5. Mark a milestone 🎉
Becoming a year older and wiser is not something that should be overlooked. It’s not a birthday without a cheesy card, a slice of cake and a sing song (maybe not the singing though). Our customers have used the rewards feature - to issue a one-off amount on the Ben Mastercard - to celebrate birthdays and mark other milestones such as, a new baby, work-anniversaries and great achievements, so that they can get something they’ve always dreamed of (or for new parents - extra nappies).
These are just five ways the Ben Mastercard is being used to create a positive impact in the new workplace. Of course there are so many more ways it can be used, from learning and development to gym subsidies and even childcare. This way you’re empowering your people to make the choices that work best for them and give rewards that they will actually enjoy - showing that you genuinely care - that’s way better than an Amazon voucher.
The possibilities are endless! What could you use the Ben Mastercard for?
Interested to find out more? Why not book a demo.