Changes in Employee Perks with the return to office policies

Olivia Rhye
11 Jan 2022
5 min read


Written by: EPHY (

With the shift back to office environments, many companies are reevaluating the perks and benefits that were introduced during the remote work period. Here are some key changes and considerations:

Changes in Employee Perks

  • Reduction in Remote Work Stipends: Many companies provided stipends for home office setups, including furniture, equipment, and internet costs. As employees return to the office, these stipends are being reduced or eliminated.
  • Increased On-Site Perks: To make the transition back to the office more appealing, companies are enhancing on-site perks such as free meals, upgraded office spaces, wellness programs, and social events.
  • Hybrid Work Models: Some companies are adopting hybrid work models, which combine remote and in-office work. This approach often includes flexible scheduling and continued support for home office setups on a reduced scale.
  • Transportation Benefits: With the return to commuting, companies are reinstating or introducing transportation benefits such as subsidized public transit passes, parking allowances, and shuttle services.

Should Companies End Remote Work Perks?

Considerations for Ending Perks

  • Employee Morale: Abruptly ending perks can negatively impact employee morale and satisfaction. It's important to consider the potential backlash and how it might affect productivity and retention.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Companies should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the financial impact of continuing versus ending these perks. This includes evaluating the cost savings from reduced remote work expenses against the potential costs of decreased employee satisfaction and turnover.

Strategies to Minimize Negative Employee Pushback

Clear Communication

  • Transparency: Clearly communicate the reasons for ending certain perks. Explain how the decision aligns with the company’s overall strategy and goals.
  • Timeline: Provide a reasonable timeline for the transition. This allows employees to adjust and make necessary arrangements.

Alternative Benefits

  • Enhanced On-Site Perks: Introduce or enhance on-site perks to compensate for the loss of remote work benefits. This could include free meals, wellness programs, and social events.
  • Flexible Work Options: Offer flexible work options such as hybrid models to provide employees with a balance between remote and in-office work.

Employee Feedback

  • Surveys and Feedback: Conduct surveys to gather employee feedback on the transition. Use this feedback to make informed decisions and address any concerns.
  • Open Forums: Hold open forums or town hall meetings where employees can voice their concerns and ask questions. This fosters a sense of inclusion and transparency.

Support During Transition

  • Gradual Phase-Out: Gradually phase out remote work perks rather than ending them abruptly. This gives employees time to adjust.
  • Support Services: Provide support services such as financial planning assistance or counseling to help employees manage the transition.

Exhaustive List of Potential Perks to be Analyzed by Companies

  • Home Office Stipends: Furniture, equipment, and internet costs.
  • Cell Phone Reimbursements: Monthly cell phone bills and device costs.
  • Meal Allowances: Stipends for meals while working from home.
  • Wellness Programs: Virtual fitness classes, mental health support, and wellness apps.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexibility in start and end times.
  • Transportation Benefits: Subsidized public transit passes, parking allowances, and shuttle services.
  • Childcare Support: Stipends for childcare or access to company-sponsored childcare facilities.
  • Professional Development: Online courses, certifications, and training programs.
  • Health and Safety Measures: PPE, sanitization supplies, and ergonomic assessments.
  • Social Events: Virtual team-building activities and social gatherings.

Federal Court Cases Involving Elimination of Perks

As of the information available, there are no specific federal court cases where an employee sued a company solely over the elimination of perks. However, disputes over changes in employment terms, including perks, can potentially lead to legal action if they are perceived as breaches of contract or violations of labor laws. Companies should consult legal counsel to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations when making changes to employee perks.

By carefully considering these factors and implementing thoughtful strategies, companies can minimize negative employee pushback and ensure a smoother transition back to the office.