More businesses are beginning to discuss the importance of benefits across their company — in a bit to appeal to the best calibre of candidates in the country. There are many companies that offer unlimited holidays, shorter working hours and the opportunity to work from home. But are these beneficial for the business? Impact International, leadership development specialists, investigate…

Allowing unlimited holidays

Introducing this perk to your staff members will make them feel very privileged to work for such a forward-thinking company. If your company offered this benefit, there would be no need to think about how your 28 days are going to last until the end of the year!

You may have heard of some of the companies that have introduced this perk too, including the likes of Virgin and Netflix. They aren’t alone either, as 9% of companies around the world offer the same, if not very similar holiday policies.

Another example of this would be that Alex Myers, CEO of Manifest PR — who recently introduced unlimited holidays. He found that the amount of holiday days being taken is very similar to the amount that was taken before the implantation of the new perk. He noticed that people took their holidays more broadly across the year now as opposed to saving them for the end of the year in case they needed them. He couldn’t find any drawbacks with introducing the strategy and people did not take advantage of the scheme in a negative way.

A member of Virgin’s management team also commented: “People working at Virgin Management have busy lives and by giving them the flexibility and the opportunities to spend valuable time out of the office, we believe that it has created a happier and more empowered environment, which can be an incentive for some people.”

But what are the advantages? It allows employees to have freer and quality time away from work. Having unlimited holidays as a work policy allows employees to spend time with family, take extended trips or have a few days off for milestones such as big birthdays or their child’s first day at school.

Allowing staff to work from home

More workers are demanding the opportunity to work from home and businesses are beginning to consider it. Some organisations allow employees to have a certain number of home working days and provide them with laptops and the computer programmes that they need to complete work at the same standard as if they were in the office. It’s an attractive option to many too — 80% of millennial women said that they’d like the option to work from home.

Many studies have found that working from home can allow employees to become more productive as there isn’t as many distractions or impromptu disruptions that are present in the workplace. One survey found that homeworkers ranked their productivity at 7.7/10 and those who worked in the office ranked 6.5/10. This could mean that more, better quality work could be produced from people working from home.

As well as this, those who work from home aren’t as likely to take the day off sick. A study on the subject showed that office workers took 3.1 sick days in 2016, whereas homeworkers only took 1.8. Again, this can affect overall productivity of the business and the amount of work that gets completed.

But what are the other benefits? It allows them to avoid travel disruption, which is a headache for many workers, as it’s not uncommon for people to have to make a two-hour daily commute to work! Working remotely allows for greater flexibility, a happier work life and a higher employee retention rate. This can reduce recruitment costs such as advertising, the hiring process and training. Savings can also be made in office space as less desks, chairs and computers are required as people can alternate being in the office and at home.

Not only that, but it gives the business an opportunity to hire a greater workforce. They can advertise to people who live outside of the local area or to disabled people who may find it difficult to make it into the office.

Less time working

More businesses are beginning to implement shorter working hours too — this has particularly taken off in Scandinavia.

According to research carried out in Sweden, six hour working days allow employees to be more productive. In fact, in the UK, six out of ten bosses noticed that when they cut down working hours, overall productivity was boosted.

As well as this, the wellbeing of the employees became better too. This could be explained by the negative effects that long working hours lead to — working more hours has been linked to sleep deprivation and stress.

Offering something unique

All businesses will offer different kinds of benefits to their employees, but some companies are offering something even more unique:

For example, at Netflix — working hours and days off aren’t tracked. Instead, the company measures what people get done and as long as they get their work completed, the managers are pleased!

If you’re pregnant, Facebook is a great company. The company offers new parents four months of parental leave, reimbursement for day care and adoption feed and up to $4,000 in ‘baby cash’ after the birth of a child.

As well as this, some businesses look to help their local community. For this reason, they offer their employees paid time off or flexible working hours so that they can carry out voluntary tasks.

Could your business offer the same?