How to Incentivize Remote Employees

For many employers, working with remote employees has become the new normal. It’s estimated that 45 percent of Americans work from home, and 53 million work as freelancers in the United States. Many freelancers work for clients who don’t provide benefits, but an increasing number of remote employees are full-time workers who seek employers offering competitive benefit packages.

Here are some ways to extend benefits to your remote employees in order to remain competitive.

Flexible Working Conditions

Flexibility is a benefit that can be used to appeal to prospective recruits. Workers find working from home or having a flexible schedule appealing for a number of reasons:

  • 74 percent want better work-life balance
  • 54 percent of workers feel more productive from home due to factors such as lack of office politics, fewer interruptions from colleagues, and fewer distractions
  • 52 percent want a flexible job for health, exercise or family reasons
  • 47 percent seek time savings or reduced stress from commuting
  • 43 percent want to save money

Pointing out some of these benefits in your recruiting literature can help make your company more appealing to job seekers.

Provide Supporting Technology

The nature of remote work requires supporting technology to get the job done. PayScale suggests providing such technology can be a way to compensate remote workers. Offering a company-provided computer or mobile device and Wi-Fi connection can appeal as an incentive to recruits, and it can also help ensure employees follow company security policies when connecting to your corporate network. Cover the cost of technology by deducting a percentage of employees’ pay for a certain number of months or offer it as a company-paid benefit.

In addition to providing hardware, consider providing other apps, software tools or services employees need to do their work. For instance, when employees work in diverse locations, offer online backup services so they know their work is safely stored and can be shared easily with co-workers.

Offer Health and Wellness Benefits

Many remote workers spend so much time working from home, they don’t get the opportunity to stay active. Consider making health and wellness a benefit by offering an affordable healthcare package and a gym membership as a way to stay fit.

Many remote workers spend so much time working from home, they don’t get the opportunity to stay…

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Corporate Wellness Magazine states that employers often find it challenging to select a wellness incentive that applies equally to all remote employees, given their differences in local gym membership and athletic store availability. It suggests studying the specifics of your workforce to find an option or range of options that suit your remote workers.

Offer Progressive Pay Raises and Recognition

Ultimately, compensation and recognition play a decisive role in worker satisfaction. Offer competitive starting wages and incentivize remote workers with progressive pay raises. Show employees they are valued by offering awards and/or rewards after they reach specific benchmarks, such as being with your company for a year, or after completing a specific project.



Roy Rasmussen

Roy Rasmussen, co-author of "Publishing for Publicity," is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, and business coaching.

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