As more and more offices transition to partial or full-time remote structures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, companies are being forced to rethink how they assemble benefits packages in a world where perks like in-office snacks, dog-friendly offices, and transportation stipends no longer hold the appeal they once did.

Without the benefit of a physical setting in which to foster company culture, hiring managers will have to get creative in order to figure out how to stay competitive in a remote economy. And once it becomes safe for employers to return to an in-office structure, hiring managers will have to compete for talent with those companies who decide to continue offering a remote option to prospective employees.Experts at the financial website Money Crashers ran a survey to determine what employees value most when evaluating a potential work-from-home job. With options like team culture, time and travel flexibility, Wi-Fi stipends, and home office “extras” like snacks and supplies, over half agreed that their top priority was the ability to maintain a flexible work schedule.

Remote Benefits Survey

The next most popular choices were a strong remote team culture and reimbursements for home internet. The least popular option by far was home office perks like food and drinks. (You can see the full survey results here.)

What does this mean for hiring managers? 

For HR teams at companies that are currently operating remotely, this data can help inform how to assemble an attractive benefits package. Though working from home means employees no longer have access to company kitchens and office supplies, most don’t seem to care — rather, employees are much more concerned with how companies foster healthy coworker relationships and cross-team culture across the remote work divide.

So instead of fretting about shipping chips and dip to individual employee homes, teams might want to consider programs that bring people together, like organized group lunches or happy hours over Zoom.

As for those hiring managers whose companies are eyeing a return to physical work in the near future, this survey data suggests that implementing a more flexible scheduling policy can help keep employees content even when they’re no longer working where they live.