The evolution of employee benefits post-pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our daily lives and transformed employee benefits. In the UK, the pandemic acted as a catalyst, prompting employers to reassess their offerings to meet the evolving needs of the workforce navigating the ‘new normal’.

This article delves into the changes to employee benefits since the pandemic. It will also explore the heightened focus on mental health support and employee wellness programmes.

Embracing flexibility

One of the most prominent changes has been the increased popularity of flexible work arrangements. The traditional 9-to-5 office model has given way to a more adaptable approach, in particular, hybrid and home-working. This approach lends itself to more flexibility, less commute-related stress and a customisation of their work environment. For those with children, it’s even more beneficial, allowing extra time for the school run and more family time.

A 2023 CIPD survey revealed that up to 60% of employees have flexible working arrangements in their current roles. It is also a priority for those looking for work. Employers are also noticing this shift, with 66% stating they advertise flexible working when hiring. Despite concerns that flexible working hinders productivity, almost two-fifths (38%) of businesses surveyed said that efficiency has increased.

Prioritising well-being

Mental health support

The pandemic has underscored the need for prioritising mental health in the workplace. With 76% of employees experiencing moderate to high-level stress, and 73% citing workload as a cause, mental health is a workplace issue. The prolonged periods of uncertainty, social isolation, and the blurring of professional and personal boundaries have taken a toll on the psychological well-being of employees.

Recognising this, employers are now placing greater emphasis on mental health support. Employee assistance programmes, counselling services, and mental health days are becoming more commonplace. When surveyed, 81% of businesses said they have increased their focus on mental health since 2020. 

Well-being programmes

Beyond the traditional healthcare benefits, these initiatives encompass a holistic approach to employee health, spanning physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Wellness programmes may include health guidance, mindfulness sessions and stress management workshops. Additionally, some companies are exploring innovative benefits such as subscription services for mental health apps, virtual fitness classes, and flexible childcare options to cater to the diverse needs of their workforce.

By investing in the well-being of their workforce, employers are not only mitigating health-related risks but fostering a culture of productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction.

Tailoring benefits for a post-COVID workforce


Communication plays a pivotal role in the successful implementation and adaptation of transformed employee benefits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can drive discussions that evolve policy, inform staff and build trust within the workforce. 


Clear and transparent communication is essential when introducing changes to employee benefits. Employees need to understand the rationale behind the changes, the benefits they can expect, and the impact on their work lives. Transparency builds trust, alleviates concerns, and fosters a sense of inclusivity.

Communication is a two-way street. Employers should actively seek and incorporate feedback from employees whilst planning and implementing new benefits. Surveys, focus groups, and regular forums for open discussions create a collaborative environment. This engagement fosters a sense of ownership and investment in well-being initiatives.

Reallocation of resources

One of the factors that make businesses reluctant to change with the times is the reallocation of resources. Facilitating hybrid working and introducing well-being initiatives seems like a costly endeavour; however, companies that do so reap benefits. 

For instance, providing home office stipends, ergonomic furniture, and technology allowances has become commonplace to facilitate remote work. Despite being an additional cost, working at home can improve productivity by up to 47%. It can also lead to savings on office bills. 

Looking ahead – the future of employee benefits

The post-COVID-19 era has reshaped the landscape of work in profound ways. The transformation of employee benefits is an ongoing process that will continue to evolve. Employers and HR departments must remain agile to adapt to upcoming changes and prioritise employee satisfaction. 

The future of employee benefits may see a continued emphasis on personalised packages. These would allow employees to choose benefits that align with their individual needs and preferences. A 2022 survey in the US revealed that 65% of employees would value choosing their benefits. Additionally, learning and career development opportunities are poised to play a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent.


Amid the aftermath of COVID-19, employee benefits are transforming, showcasing the workforce’s adaptability. The shift includes more flexibility, heightened mental health focus and the surge of wellness programs. This collectively shapes a workplace responsive to evolving employee needs.

Employers adopting these changes not only attract and retain top talent but also cultivate a culture of well-being, productivity, and innovation. In the ever-changing work landscape, adjusting employee benefits becomes a vital guide for organisations, steering them toward a future where workforce well-being isn’t just a priority but a key to success.

Laura Lee image
Written by : Laura Lee

Laura’s role as Head of Marketing sees her continually looking for new opportunities to tell the world how great Phase 3 is.

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