Just like at a hotel, an employer’s concierge can perform services such as making a restaurant reservation or buying tickets for a concert, to finding a plumber or babysitter. Without a concierge, employees might otherwise spend work time handling these tasks.
The point of concierge services is to make employees’ lives easier. Employers that offer these services often have employees who work long hours and have long commutes. Concierge services can help make it easier for them to juggle their home and work responsibilities, as well as to unplug and enjoy life.
Offering concierge services might also be bowing to the inevitable. A survey by digital media group Captivate found that 93 percent of business professionals took care of personal business during work hours. Some of the personal tasks they did included making online orders, leaving the office to run errands or going shopping during breaks. Twenty percent of employees admitted doing all these chores in a given week.
In years past, many employers forbade employees from conducting any personal business during work hours. But today some human resource professionals are looking at things differently. With employees working longer hours and facing longer commutes, allowing people to take care of personal tasks—within reason—during work hours can actually reduce stress and increase productivity.
Concierge services can help your employees take care of some of life’s little chores while they’re at work. Services cost from $3 to $8 per employee per month. Employers typically pay for the concierge, but employees pay the actual cost of services—such as the cost of their concert tickets or travel. If the employer pays for actual services, it must report their value on the employee’s Form W-2. The value will be included in the employee’s taxable income.
Some EAPs (employee assistance programs) offer concierge services as an add-on, but you can also buy standalone concierge services. According to the 2014 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Benefits Survey, 3 percent of employers now offer concierge services. Concierge benefits can help distinguish your firm from your competition. Contact USI for more information.