11 Unique Return to Office Incentives

by Lauren Schneider October 17th, 2023

While remote work offered employees flexibility and safety during the pandemic, many companies began advocating for a return to the office in 2023.

Although there are undoubtedly benefits to in-person work, the transition back to the office can place a significant financial strain on employees. According to Fortune, the average employee returning to the office now spends $561 per month on transportation, additional child and pet care, and domestic assistance.

In this article, we will explore 10 incentives that can help support a smooth transition back to the office.

1. Commuter Benefits

One of the major advantages of working from home is the reduced transportation costs (e.g., gas, vehicle maintenance, toll road fees). By offering commuter benefits, you can help shoulder the costs of commuting to the office. 

2. Professional Development Opportunities

Returning to the office can provide employees with access to a wider range of professional development resources. In-person workshops, seminars, skills based learning, and training programs can offer more hands-on learning experiences. By investing in employee growth, companies can enhance their skills, knowledge, and overall career prospects.

With a learning and development stipend, employees can purchase the specific resources they need to succeed in their roles.

3. Specialized Equipment and Infrastructure

Some job roles may require specialized equipment or infrastructure that is not feasible in a remote work setting. By equipping the office with cutting-edge technology, tools, and resources, employees can benefit from an enhanced work environment, enabling them to perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively.

4. Mentorship and Guidance

Gen Z employees are the first generation to begin their careers in a completely remote environment. However, there’s no denying that office environments often facilitate mentoring relationships and provide opportunities for experienced employees to guide and mentor their colleagues. Encouraging senior employees to take on mentorship roles can offer valuable guidance and support to newer or less experienced team members, fostering professional growth and development.

5. Hybrid Work Arrangements

When your home is also your office, it’s easy to see how the lines can blur between work and personal life. Returning to the office allows employees to establish a clear separation between their professional and personal lives, leading to better work-life balance. Implementing policies that promote flexible working hours can further support this balance and help employees retain a sense of autonomy.

6. Wellness Programs

Wellness programs can serve as excellent incentives to encourage employees to return to the office by addressing and mitigating the potential stressors associated with the transition. These programs are designed to promote positive health and fitness outcomes, including mental health. 

Consider offering a health and wellness stipend so employees can purchase their preferred wellness products or services.

7. Child Care Stipend

Many parents were able to have young children stay home while they worked remotely. By providing a child care stipend, families can hire a babysitter or pay for daycare and rest assured that their children are being cared for without incurring additional costs. 

8. Pet Care Stipend

Rates of pet ownership soared during the pandemic. By providing a pet care stipend, pet owners can hire support to ensure their pets receive the care they need while they are in the office. Some offices even have pet-friendly policies that allow employees to have their companions join them at work. 

9. Access to Specialized Amenities

Office environments often offer a range of amenities that contribute to employee satisfaction and well-being. These can include on-site fitness facilities, cafeteria options, recreational spaces, or childcare services. Providing these amenities can create a positive work environment that enhances employee motivation and engagement.

10. On-site Meals

Big tech companies like Google and Apple were famous for their elaborate cafeterias, but you don’t need to open a gourmet kitchen in your office to compete. Offering meals at the office reduces the time employees spend at home preparing their own food and has been demonstrated to improve productivity. Shared meals also provide an opportunity for colleagues to gather, connect, and build relationships in a relaxed and communal setting. 

11. Wardrobe Allowance

During the pandemic, many of us became accustomed to a more casual work wardrobe. A return to the office often means employees need to invest in new clothing, whether that's shopping for new outfits online or trying a clothing rental service.

While remote work has become a prevalent part of the modern workforce, some companies prefer to build a culture of in-person collaboration. Fortunately, there are many compelling and creative offers to help your employees transition back to the office smoothly. 

With Compt, you can offer employees tax-compliant stipends to help defray the costs of a return to the office. To learn more, schedule a customized demo with us today.

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