The Future of Total Rewards Beyond 2020

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It feels like the world of benefits has been in flux since the rollout of The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March of 2010 – it is over 10 years old! Companies have struggled to keep pace with the cost of coverage and the types of plans and programs to offer. Then enters 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic and the world of benefit programs has yet again been turned on its head.

Let’s start with the obvious…

While telecommuting has been a benefit and luxury for a few prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, working remoting quickly became a necessity over the past year. For those who may not have had the benefit of remote work prior, they quickly became aware of the benefits when they were sent home to work in March of last year – the elimination of costly commutes, more time with family, less wear and tear on a vehicle, to name a few. While we have established working remotely is a perk (for companies that are structured in such a way to allow this), some work is just better done in-person in a collaborative way. Post-pandemic we will see many more organizations offering flex work options balancing remote and in-person work. This will no longer be a perk offered to a few, but a necessity asked for by workers. Companies that can lean in and offer progressive out-of-the-box flex work options will have a competitive advantage for talent.

Nothing like a global health crisis to put a company’s medical insurance offerings on full display, and while there is still much to come from medical plan design post-pandemic, a few things are for certain when it comes time for total health rewards… robust Telemed and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are the future. These two programs have previously been full of offerings that were frequently glazed over during opening enrollment meetings. Moving forward we will see these underlings move to center stage as employees look to have flexible, convenient options for seeing their physicians and additional support services to assist employees in living their best life.

The book of Total Rewards is just beginning to craft a new chapter as we start to see the world post-pandemic. Many things remain uncertain, but innovation and creativity are at the forefront as we think about program offerings. It’s no longer one size must fit all. Flex work will have become a paramount offering and well-rounded health plans that include robust Telemed and EAP programs will surge to the front. Mini perks like home office set-up allowances will emerge and workplaces will be better for it! The future of Total Rewards is bright and innovative, so let’s get to work!