The Evolution and Expansion of Benefits Over the Past 20 Years

The Evolution and Expansion of Benefits Over the Past 20 Years

SHRM conducted its 20th annual employee benefits survey this year, and prepared a report detailing how the benefits landscape has evolved over the past two decades. SHRM’s Stephen Miller highlights the report’s key findings:

2016 Employee Benefits shows that telecommuting benefits have seen a threefold increase since 1996, when just 20 percent of survey respondents worked at organizations that offered telecommuting. Today, 60 percent do. … While telecommuting is becoming the new norm, job sharing—in which two or more employees divide the responsibilities and compensation for one full-time job—has seen a steep decline in popularity. Just 10 percent of respondents’ organizations now offer job sharing vs. 24 percent in 1996. …

Compared with 20 years ago, many more organizations are providing wellness resources and information (72 percent this year, up from 54 percent), according to the report. Other common wellness benefits in 2016, provided by more than one-half of respondents’ organizations, include worksite wellness programs and onsite seasonal flu vaccinations. Twenty percent of respondents levy a smoking surcharge in their health care plans.

Some benefits have decreased in popularity over the past 20 years, including credit union membership, employee stock purchase plans, parking subsidies, and matching charitable contributions. In the past five years, various types of cash bonuses have become markedly more common.

On the whole, the number and variety of benefits on offer has exploded since SHRM began conducting this survey, Jena McGregor remarks in the Washington Post. Whereas SHRM tracked 60 benefits in 1996 and 219 in 2006, this year’s survey covers nearly 350:

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