Big city benefits versus rural reward: How location impacts benefits strategy
Although there are many universal wants and needs across all types of employees, it is difficult to deny that individuals can face different stressors depending on location.
People tend to be drawn to larger cities for higher earnings and stronger career progression. As a result, employers will likely struggle with higher turnover, and thus need to create impressive reward strategies, says Ian Bird, business development director at Secondsight.
“For city people, expectations will be far greater,” he explains. “They’ll be expecting life cover, private medical insurance. The types of benefits would be more structured, and quite often they’ll sit on a flexible benefits platform, so people can have a selection.”
As many of the professions typically associated with the city, such as law and financial services, tend to deal with large sums and substantial contracts, remuneration is expected to be higher, while benefits budgets are generally more robust.
Stress, presenteeism and mental ill-health are also concerns that should be taken into account when considering the wellbeing of those in busy, expensive and competitive environments.
“Even though [city-based employees are] on higher salaries, you might find the quality of life actually isn’t any better than somebody living in a rural location without the costs of city life and commuting,” says Bird.
In rural areas, he adds, employees might take a lower salary due to the decreased commuting time and stress levels, which presents other financial concerns. They are also less likely to be presented with flexible and agile working opportunities.
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