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Employee-directed benefits tailored for a remote workforce

Discover the key factors for driving employee-directed benefits, influencing implementation, and why all companies should offer them.

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A closer look at employee-directed benefits for remote teams

We’ll look back at 2020 as the year that the workforce changed for good. The pandemic has shown companies across the globe not only how to survive, but thrive, with a remote and dispersed workforce. And as a result, we’re starting to see a big shift in the way employee benefits are being offered by companies as well.

Moving forward, flexibility and the ability to meet employees where they are will be critical to a company’s HR mojo. The idea of “giving employees options” can no longer be just a slogan, but a reality that every HR leader must strategize for in order to maintain a healthy and supported workforce. A 25-year-old college-grad in California has drastically different needs compared to a 55-year-old planning for retirement in APAC. So we must ask ourselves, “how can we serve their unique and differentiated needs at the same time?”

At Forma, we’ve been focused on employees’ personalized benefits for the past three years. From the very beginning, we’ve believed that no matter a person’s location, lifestyle, age, or family background, employees should have the ability to find health and wellness programs that matter to them. So, starting in 2017, we built a benefits solution centered around employee choice. We’ve been fortunate over the past three years to have worked with many forward-leaning companies on designing employee-directed benefits for their workforces. Partners such as Zoom, Stripe, Square, Twitch, among many others have already implemented Forma's benefits platform and are well on the path towards supporting their diverse — and now dispersed — workforce.

Fast forward to this moment: we believe that the current remote-working environment is the catalyst that will accelerate the widespread adoption of employee-directed benefits.

The key ingredients for employee-directed benefits

If you’re thinking about implementing employee-directed benefits within your workforce, here are a few things to consider:

  • An intuitive interface: Employees want a benefits tool that’s easy to use and simple to navigate.
  • Curated vendors with preferred pricing: Offering benefits that are relevant to employees increases the effectiveness of a benefits program. At Forma, we negotiate directly with vendors so that companies don’t have to haggle with individual vendors and get access to a wider range of offerings.
  • Pre-programmed debit card: Employees want access to benefits wherever and whenever they need them. Forma debit cards are loaded with each employee’s benefits accounts so that individuals can automatically use them at eligible vendors on-the-go.
  • Real-time customer service: Employees should get questions answered quickly, consistently, and without the guesswork. We use real-time support via an in-app chat feature.

Why every company should consider employee-directed benefits

  • Improved employee experience: In customer interactions, a whopping 95% of responders report being happy when using benefits via Forma.
  • Increased employee engagement: We see a direct correlation between a simple interface and employee engagement, as most Forma customers report an engagement rate of 75% or higher.
  • Less administrative work: HR teams see a significant reduction of employee inquiries, only a ¼ of what they had seen before implementing Forma.
  • Reduced costs: Employees get an average of 20% savings on all preferred vendors, putting more money in employees’ pockets.
  • Equality for the global workforce: Forma is used by employees working all over the world, we’re in more than 40 countries and growing every day.

This is just the beginning of employee-directed benefits. Today, we support conventional pre-tax accounts like FSA, HSA, and commuter benefits as well as new-gen benefits including lifestyle planning, wellness, and family support. And we will continue to customize spending accounts even further in the future. We’re excited to see how this market evolves as we support employees wherever they are and throughout their careers.