Perks and benefits are a huge part of hiring and retaining top talent and keeping people happy. They describe a set of "goodies" and times off, that aren't usual in every other company.
Traditionally, companies tend to offer free water/coffee, possibly even fruits and snacks. Vacation days and family/parental leave is a big key perk too. Many companies offer pension funds, paid health/sport perks, sometimes even education stipends and paid conference visits too. But things can be different when working remote.
Some ideas were derived from this tweet.
As usual, we assume that "Remote Employees" may be working from anywhere in the world, and not only limited to the US. We're not going to talk about a lot of common benefits of modern employers, such as 401k (or equivalent), PTO days or other benefits, that are commonly offered to other employees too. Always keep in mind, that most of these things may need to get locally adjusted though.
Remote work can be lonely, and a welcome change to the home office may be the casual trip to a local co-working space. If applicable, employers should try to get all of their employees a hot-seat card for a local coworking space (meaning they can visit and grab a seat x times per month, not a fixed desk). This can be crucial if an employee is otherwise mostly isolated (e.g. in a very different timezone). At times, a fixed full-month seat may need to be supplied.
Locally adjusted healthcare benefits
Health insurance is different in every country. While US employers tend to offer extensive healthcare benefits, it can be unusual or even useless in many other countries (e.g. if healthcare is mostly free). Adjust for local differences, possibly offer an annual health stipend if applicable.
Equipments for home office
If you expect people to work from home (or anywhere), you should supply anything you'd supply for a co-located employee. Meaning (if needed) a suiting table, chair, screen, computer and any accessories needed, as well as internet access (at least subsidized). This may differ from employee to employee, as people tend to have a small existing home office at times. It can be good to offer a hiring stipend upfront (usually between $2,000 and $3,000) to cover all expenses of a home office.
A big downside of working remotely? No casual chats with your coworkers to learn something new, no easy knowledge exchange over multiple days, rarely a full-company talk or workshop. Learning new things get harder, the less connected you are. Make it easy for your employees to grow and learn, they'll thank you for it.
Company-wide team retreats
The sweet thing about not having (or having a smaller) office, is saving a lot of money on rent. The best way to re-invest that money is by flying the whole team out, either to an existing HQ or a remote location, for 1-2 weeks of team building, strategy planning, brainstorming, innovation and exchange. This can get costly, but is absolutely crucial to do! Face-to-face time can't get substituted with anything, you'll be left with a tighter, happier and greater team.
While many types of stipends are becoming more regular in many teams, education stipends are something that many companies don't provide. Why remote teams should do it differently.
Local employees will traditionally receive a place to sit, some utilities and a standard set of hardware when hired. What's usual with remote employees? Are you supposed to furnish their home-office?
Onboarding is often seen as a crucial part of remote work. It's important to give remote employees a feeling of security and hospitality right away.