The pandemic has shaped (and continues to shape) many of the ways we live and work. One thing that has changed drastically is employees’ thoughts around how much they’re willing to sacrifice for a job. With the switch for many to remote work, workers had a chance to evaluate their preferred job site. And as things like long commutes disappeared, many have come to realize they enjoy their home as an office. Some workers found themselves out of work due to downsizing, and with time on their hands to re-group, realized all the things they disliked about their career choice and how much they enjoyed their freedom.

Now, armed with more perspective, employees have become much more discriminating when it comes to how they prefer to earn a salary.

The “war on talent”

Candidates understand they have a slight upper hand when it comes to job selection because realizations during the pandemic has made talent harder to find. Because of this, employers must be thoughtful when it comes to catching candidates’ attention and swaying them towards an open position. And one thing it comes down to is attractive benefits.


Top benefits to offer in 2022

What benefits are employees looking for? It goes beyond the basics, like medical, dental, vision and 401(k) (though these are still important). Employees are looking for other offerings that add to self-care and quality of life. These include:


  • More time off. Employees value time out of the office with family and friends, and the chance to unwind and relax. Some employers have opted to offer unlimited paid time off, but even if you don’t go this far, the consensus is clear: employees simply want more than they’re currently being offered.
  • Mental health benefits. Many plans offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) with a cap on annual visits with a mental health counselor. However, mental health care has become such a focus in today’s world that coverage for support is more important than ever before.
  • Improved access to care. Telemedicine gives employees the option to see a physician without having to leave home. This service can extend to appointments for non-emergent medical care, dermatology, mental health counseling and more. Options for care by phone, text or video consult are all emerging as ways to extend care access.
  • Reproductive health coverage. Infertility is a concern facing many families and reproductive care is costly, which is why coverage is so important. Benefits for fertility treatments, surrogacy and even adoption have all become popular with employees.
  • Choice of work location. If working from home was OK last year, why won’t it work for the foreseeable future? This is a question many employees have been asking as their return to the office is requested. Giving employees the option of where they prefer to work, or a hybrid model that includes some work-from-home is an attractive way to recruit top talent.
  • Pet insurance. Time spent at home gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with everyone in their care, including pets. Animal fostering and adoptions were popular during the pandemic and now many people are faced with how to care for pets as they return to work. Pet insurance gives a welcome break from the financial burden of pet care.



Preparing for the future

As you review your benefits coverage, one thing is clear: employers must make a change to remain competitive with candidates. If you’re currently facing staffing shortages or want to review other risks your business may face, it helps to have a risk assessment. And Odell Studner can help. To learn more, contact us today!