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Pandemic redefines job perks

‘Pandemic redefines job perks - Goodbye Qantas Club...and hello wellness programs.’

Here’s a transcript of my Pharma In Focus interview with Christine Spiteri:

Work perks in the pharma industry have undergone a massive transformation with pre-Covid benefits like Qantas Club and car parking clearly no longer relevant while top notch technology for home and wellness support have hurtled up the desirability list.

Pharma in Focus asked recruiters how perks had changed in a pandemic landscape and found some, once highly sought-after benefits, simply don't cut it any longer.

Healthcare Professionals Group (HPG) managing director Dr Glenn Carter said on-site childcare facilities, subsidised cafeterias, face-to-face conference attendance, car parking and Qantas Club membership had been swallowed up by Covid.

Instead, technology, wellness and a new brand of super flexible work had gained far more importance.

  • "Flexibility is now a deal breaker for most employees looking for work," Carter said.

  • "Employees want a combination of a hybrid working environment and also more flexible hours - that is, flexible start and finish times and longer breaks in the middle of the day. In other words flexibility around when and where work gets done.

  • "They also want their organisations to be investing in best-in-class technology that supports remote/hybrid working and will choose new employers who have this, as a priority."

Wellness has also made a sudden appearance on the perks list with sanctioned time away from work to spend on relaxation, exercise or connecting with family, earning a tick.

Carter said subscriptions to wellness and mindfulness apps and gifts centred on well-being and self-care were also well received.

"Wellness days - additional leave days or ability to use personal leave outside of the normal 'illness' caveats - are now appreciated, as are wellness allowances which can be used towards gym memberships, allied health appointments, yoga equipment, fitness attire and so on," he said.

"Company-wide or team-based wellness and mindfulness programs as well as remote team-building activities and experiences are also well received."

One last perk from Carter - accommodating bosses.

"Employees want their managers and colleagues to be emotionally intelligent - they want them to demonstrate empathy and to support them," he said. "They want them to be aware of their individual circumstances and to adapt accordingly."

Written by Christine Spiteri - Pharma In Focus

HPG (Healthcare Professionals Group)

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