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The future of employee benefits

Employee benefits vary greatly by business. Explore future trends of employee benefits and how I/O psychology can help determine the best fit for a company.

Defined as the non-salary compensation workers receive from their employers, employee benefits are often paramount for job recruitment, retention, and engagement. In fact, 78 percent of workers may remain with or leave an employer based off of their employee benefits package, a 2018 study reports.

Clearly, it’s important for businesses to offer the right employee benefits. But the “right” benefits are different for each company and team. This is why industrial and organizational (I/O) psychologists often specialize in evaluating and understanding the best employee benefits packages for businesses. In this role, I/O psychologists can help improve retention, engagement, and productivity.

If you’re wondering what the future of employee benefits may look like, you’re not the only one. A background in I/O psychology can help you determine company-specific benefit plans. But for the business world as a whole, here are some employee benefits trends you can expect to see becoming more popular.


1. Increased student loan assistance

By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training. This incredible statistic means many employees entering the workforce will also have student loan debt. As more and more professionals begin their careers with existing debt, employee benefits will likely shift to include greater student loan assistance opportunities.

The move toward this employee benefit is already clear. A 2018 study found that 78 percent of employees with current or future student loan debt seek student loan repayment as a key employee benefit. To successfully recruit and retain employees, we may see more businesses structuring their employee benefits packages to meet this demand.

2. Access to wellness amenities

In the era of the Google workplace and a greater emphasis on health, it’s no surprise that future employee benefits may include improved wellness amenities. But beyond the mood-boosting benefits of physical activity and healthy foods, more than 60 percent of participating employers found that wellness programs reduce a company’s healthcare costs. By increasing access to wellness benefits, a business can improve its profit margins.

So, what are some examples of wellness amenities? A background in I/O psychology can help business owners determine which are most appropriate for them, but general options include:

  • Healthy snacks
  • Group exercise classes
  • Outdoor space
  • Gym memberships

As more employers understand the financial perks of a well-implemented wellness program, these amenities will only continue to become more popular.

3. Improved productivity benefits

The future of employee benefits also includes greater productivity amenities. For example, employees with the option to work remotely are generally more efficient and willing to work longer hours. As I/O psychology explains, the elements that make specific companies productive are as diverse as the companies are themselves. Regardless, research shows that freedom to work productively has overwhelmingly positive outcomes.

Some examples of future employee benefits related to productivity include:

  • Freedom to work from home
  • Flexible hours
  • Unrestricted paid time off (PTO)

While they may seem counterintuitive at first, these freedoms can lead to greater productivity and employee retention.


The future of employee benefits includes more benefits in addition to many that are already in place, such as health care options. To learn more about the field of I/O psychology and how it can help shape a company’s employee benefits program, visit our I/O Psychology program page or fill out the form below to request more information. And for more business or psychology tips, check out our blog.


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