Learning from lockdown: Better benefits for your employees

28 maj 2021 / Duncan Fisher

It’s hard to see any upside from a pandemic. It’s been a rough haul for everyone, with hardships at home, tragedy for some families, and real difficulty for most everyone in getting to work and paying the bills.

But there is a lot of talk in the business press, and it’s picking up steam lately, about how we may have learned some overdue lessons concerning the reasonableness of the way we work, and more broadly, about the humanity behind the way we treat each other there.

People haven’t been able to come to work, physically, as they used to. So businesses have had to adjust – frantically at first, and a little grudgingly, to keep meetings happpening and orders fulfilled, then with fewer reservations as alternative arrangements turned out to work rather well, and now willingly, having learned that a lot of these new arrangements actually serve better than the old ways did.

There will be board-room boffins who advocate for this new normal (and in fact, always have) because they’re nice people, and they care about their employees. Thankfully, people like this do exist. Work culture welcomes the concept of niceness, too. The idea of being an indulgent manager is a Thing. Memes about it are proliferating. (Search: ‘I don’t care whether you come into the office at 8 am …,’ for example, and see.)

Unanimous in the corner office, or corner home office, is that flexibility and resourcefulness, and even forbearance, is actually good business. It simply makes sense to be creative, and pretty tolerant too, in how we trade talent for wages.

This extends to non-wage benefits, and in these as well, businesses are adjusting. Gone, or going, are office-based perks like fruit bowls, company cars, and on-site gyms.

In their place? Besides things like dependent care allowances, which are popular and useful, other things like tailored health programs, wellbeing checks, nutrition advice, and video trips to the doctor. Most of these (even fruit bowls) can be offered, happily, on digital platforms, available at home, right on demand. They’re easy to put in place, and they really matter to people in the workforce.

And they should be put in place. Particularly when it comes to seeing the doctor, worried people at home need to know they can get help quickly, that there’s no need to find care for the kids, that they won’t pick up any infections from the clinic, and, subliminally, that the people who employ them agree that they need these things.

That’s where we come in, at Snapmed. We offer dermatology consultations, by photo or video, whichever people like, with full prescribing powers, and no waiting times. Being digital even means we can do it really cost-efficiently.

If the people we see are your employees, they’ll thank you for giving them prompt access to good medicine. If we’re your company dermatology service, we’ll have kept your people healthy, and happy, and able to come to work just the way they want (and you too).

From a flint-eyed cost-containment standpoint, offering services like this is very good business. From a human standpoint, it’s also a better way to live. It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to show us this, but there’s no doubt that in caring for employees in the post-lockdown world, we are learning a good lesson, and it’s to everyone’s benefit.

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