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How to set up a Lifestyle Spending Account for a hybrid workforce

Learn how to set up the most suitable Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) for your employees with Forma's step-by-step approach for hybrid workers.

 Min Read 

The importance of supporting the hybrid workforce (with LSAs)

Employer-offered benefits can play a decisive role in attracting and retaining top talent. With the competition for talent fierce and a global skills shortage on the rise, companies need to ensure they are offering attractive benefits that are relevant for employees, including hybrid workforce options.

As a result of the pandemic, employees have proven they can be just as productive while working remotely, and most employees are adamant about wanting to continue this trend.

Nearly half of employees (49%) say they want the flexibility of a hybrid work arrangement and that one-third of professionals (34%) currently working from home would quit if forced to be in the office full-time.

The hybrid workforce model is reshaping the world of work and employees at minimum want to split their time between three types of workspaces: the office, their home, and other environments like co-working spaces. Companies are buying into this approach, with 79% of executive-level managers saying they will allow their staff to split their time between corporate offices and remote working going forward.

3 steps to set up LSAs for hybrid teams

For employers, the message is clear: Employees who express high levels of positive work-related sentiments already have access to hybrid arrangements, and employers who don’t offer hybrid options risk missing out on opportunities to improve key business outcomes.

Whichever hybrid work model your company chooses to adopt, learn how to set up the most suitable Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) for your employees in this step-by-step approach.

Step 1: Evaluate your company’s workplace model.

A natural first step is to take a deeper look at your company's workplace plan. The three types of options offered are:

  • Fully onsite: Returning entirely back to the office,
  • Fully remote: Remaining completely remote, or the
  • Hybrid: a combination of onsite/remote.

Fully Onsite

Returning to a full-time on-site work scenario has both pros and cons for employers and employees.

Being on-site at a dedicated office location offers workers structure, access to equipment, improved direct communication with coworkers, and a more cohesive organizational culture and integrated work experience.

The drawbacks however include long commutes which are costly, stressful, and time-consuming. It also increases organizational costs for equipment, operations, and real estate.

Fully Remote

The term full-time remote work describes any job position that does not require you to be at your company’s location. Research has shown that working remotely has resulted in happier, more productive employees with businesses saving on real estate expenses and overhead costs.

Being able to work remotely has eliminated frustrating commutes, increased family time, and enabled better integration between work and personal commitments.

Hybrid Work

The hybrid working model is a flexible working arrangement that enables employees to blend working from different locations, at home or in an office. This can be structured in the form of flex-time, remote work days, split teams with employees fully remote and others fully onsite, or employees who work partially remote and partially on site.

This model offers the benefits of both onsite and remote scenarios with increased work-life balance, flexibility, autonomy, improved collaboration, and decreased costs if less office real estate is required.

Step 2: Determine the financial support needed for various types of employees.

There are some key employee benefits to consider in maintaining a productive, enthusiastic, and healthy workforce wherever they may be located.

Investing in employee health and wellness makes good business sense as companies save in the long haul by curbing healthcare costs and reducing productivity due to sick leave. These initiatives include healthy food options, fitness programs, gym memberships, and wellness screenings.

Commuter benefits and parking are important options to consider for onsite employees. Another benefit that gives employees a sense of ownership in the success of the company is offering them stock options and equity. This boosts the connection that is important for generating an engaged workforce.

Fully remote teams will miss out on on-site meals, coffee, games, and rewards and do not require commuting perks. Ensuring they stay committed and engaged requires a different set of employee benefits. Establishing a suitable remote work environment is key. This can be in the form of work passes at hybrid work hubs and co-working spaces, or a stipend for home office equipment.

Remote work benefits can be made available as a one-off stipend for key equipment or can be provided monthly as a stationary or operational allowance. Other benefits that are highly beneficial to remote employees include childcare benefits, meal or coffee stipends, mental health benefits such as meditation, stress management, and fitness programs.

When establishing a Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) for a hybrid workforce consider the specifics of each work environment as well as its unique needs. This may include a combination of the above.

Setting up a lifestyle spending account for employees that is tailored to their personal needs and preferences will ensure they benefit where it matters. This allows companies to set budgets without limiting employees to services that may not actually benefit them.

Step 3: Select the programs to fund.

Setting up an LSA for hybrid and remote work models can be daunting with so many options.

Companies can set up a limited budget with time-restricted funds to pay for office hardware, while a monthly allowance for operational costs such as software, WiFi, phone, and electricity bills can be a rolling benefit.

If your employees used to receive meals and drinks at a work cafeteria and are now working remotely, you can allocate these funds differently by offering coffee vouchers or healthy meal vouchers with a partnered supplier, or with a monthly food and beverage stipend.

The employee benefits and structures you choose will largely depend on your workforce setup. For example, office-based employees may use their allocated amount towards commute costs, while remote workers might use the same budget amount for home-office equipment.

The best way to manage such a program is by partnering with a benefits expert in creating a lifestyle spending account platform accessible to employees to manage their benefits and choose from a customized selection of perks.

Customize LSA solutions.

With the change in workplace setups — keeping employees engaged and showing them you care about their well-being and their future builds loyalty and raises productivity. Giving employees options is a significant strategy to maintain a more engaged and healthy workforce.

LSA platforms like Forma's are designed to help you meet the demands of an adjusted and diverse staff complement. With all benefit accounts under one modern and intuitive interface, we can help you turn your LSA benefits scheme into a cohesive strategy with minimal administration on your part.