As another new year begins post-pandemic, many companies are again reevaluating — and, sometimes, even eliminating — their remote and hybrid work policies. According to research by Resume Builder, 90% of businesses will have returned to office in some capacity by the end of 2024, and only 2% say they don’t ever plan a return.
But it’s no secret that most employees aren’t thrilled about it, and companies aren’t taking advantage of incentive gifts and other rewards to soften the blow. In a survey by NORC at the University of Chicago, nearly nine in 10 human resources representatives said their employers have not added any incentives to encourage employees to work in person, even though less than a third said employees are happy about the change.
The NORC research shows that certain incentive gifts could indeed help the situation. Employees cited additional pay, commuter benefits, meals, and office amenities such as standing desks as possible options that would increase their satisfaction with working in person and encourage them to do it more often.
One option for return-to-office (RTO) incentives that companies may not have considered: gift cards. Employees already prefer gift cards as holiday rewards from their employer, so an RTO version can be just as effective to help reduce employees’ frustration. Even at relatively small denominations, gift cards can be a meaningful gesture to help increase engagement and retention.
The key to making the right statement to your employees lies in your choice of gift cards and delivery method. You can always opt for flexible incentive gifts such as prepaid Mastercard or Visa rewards, which are widely appreciated. But if you want to create a more tailored message for RTO, consider these options:
Once you have the kind of incentive gifts you want to offer to your employees who are expected to work in person, the next step is to figure out how you will distribute them. By going with digital gift cards, you can eliminate any logistical headaches, such as making sure you have the right rewards to hand out on the right days, when certain employees are in the office. Incentive gifts can also be sent worldwide from a central HR team, without worrying about managers in each international office having to purchase cards locally. And lastly, you can better track the effectiveness and ROI of those incentives, since a platform like BHN Rewards will let you see how many are opened and redeemed.
Read our blog for more reasons that a rewards platform belongs in your HR tech stack!