Technology will motivate employees in 2021

Employee working at desk

2020: The year that changed employee motivation for good 

Face to face meetings vanished overnight, our homes became our offices and job uncertainty unfortunately was, and still is, at the forefront of many of our minds. 2020 has been a year like no other and unsurprisingly, employee motivation has hit an all time low – creating a real challenge for HR departments. While budgets are thin, employers still need to make sure they are getting the most out of their employees and they are remaining motivated and productive. But there is an answer that doesn’t break the bank and can have a real positive effect on employees.

Many businesses currently offer benefits packages and these are a great way to serve as a bit of a pick-me-up, especially when times are tough. Yet, according to Techscheme (one of our employee benefit solutions), just 32% of employees believe that their current workplace benefits are appropriate for working at home and 54% believe they need changing. It’s unlikely that benefits packages have been front of mind for employers this year, but given that working from home is likely to be the future and employers have a duty of care for their employees, taking time to listen to what they want and reflecting that in how they are rewarded, can really make the difference when it comes to morale. Having a highly motivated workforce not only helps staff feel valued, but it can also significantly boost productivity

What do employees want to keep them motivated?

The biggest frustration of working from home during Covid-19 is the lack of face to face communication with colleagues (41%) along with issues with technology coming in second (29%). While fixing face to face communication is out of employers hands, there are steps that can be taken using benefits packages to ensure that other frustrations are managed and staff remain motivated. 

We’ve all felt the strain of technology during Covid-19. Whether it’s laptops that don’t want to play ball, TV’s that are no longer able to stream the latest thing on Netflix or the realisation that our phones are no longer up to the challenge to be our main connector to the outside world. So it’s unsurprising that technology has been such a frustration for employees. What’s more, employees are very open about wanting new technology, with 47% believing that their next tech purchase is more important than having a gym membership, and 33% believing it’s more important than going on a holiday. When put like this, tech becomes an issue that employers need to address to keep a happy and motivated workforce both inside and outside of the workplace. 

Our research found that when it comes to their next tech purchase, employees are eyeing up smartphones (24%), laptops (19%) and TVs (18%) as the most popular options. The biggest restriction for employees looking to buy new technology however is cost (50%) because, let’s face it, in times of such uncertainty, many people are going to be reluctant to spend hundreds of pounds on a new piece of tech. Yet, there is a way employers can cater to this demand, without breaking the bank. 

Your benefits strategy for 2021 and beyond 

Rethinking a benefits strategy under normal circumstances tends to be fairly straightforward, but in reality money is tight, and businesses don’t have the disposable income they used to to provide benefits to employees. This is where salary sacrifice schemes really show their worth. A salary sacrifice scheme is when an employee gives up part of their salary, and in return, the employer gives them a non-cash benefit, something they might not have been able to afford in one lump sum. For example, through our benefits solutions Techscheme, and Cyclescheme, employees can purchase a new bike or technology without having to fork out a small fortune upfront. 

Not only does going down this route give employees what they need, but it also makes them feel valued. This goes a long way towards boosting motivation and ensuring staff remain productive. It’s a win, win, both for the employee and the employer. With so many changes already taking place in 2020 and with employees clearly highlighting the value of tech, it may be time for a rethink when it comes to benefits, especially as our current set up isn’t likely to change for a good few months. 

Workplaces and the relationship between staff and their boss will likely never be the same again, but this doesn’t have to be seen as a negative. Employers can reinvest in their employees, support and show them they care about their needs in different ways with a fresh perspective on benefits.  With 2020 being a ‘blink and you’ve missed it” kind of year, Christmas is just around the corner. The festive season is the perfect time for businesses to have a reset and rethink their strategy when it comes to benefits. Especially with technology which can make a real difference to the new world of work. This way we can enter the new year with a positive outlook — all while making employees more comfortable within their at home working environment.


Learn more about our employee solutions here.

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