SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Companies across the U.S. are making significant changes this year to prioritize access to mental health resources among other perks geared to help working families, according to a new survey of close to 500 companies.
The survey was published by Sequoia, a people investment company that helps businesses design programs to support employees. 70 percent of the companies interviewed are based in California.
"The pandemic has caused a huge shift in the way employers approach supporting their employees," said Kaleana Quibell, the company's Vice President of Wellbeing and Platform Partners. "Whether it's their physical health, emotional health, financial health, and family programs."
According to the survey, 98 percent of companies have added or plan to add mental health resources to support overall employee wellbeing. 50 percent have added or plan to add stipends, and 47 percent added or plan to add parental support - mostly in the form of flexible work arrangements.
"I think one of the most surprising things about the trends of wellbeing is giving employees more choice," said Quibell.
Companies indicated some of the new benefits are geared to helping employees who have faced challenges throughout the pandemic.
"People were struggling with the how do I show up for work? And deal with all these things going on, whether or not they were directly impacted or indirectly impacted," said Melina Murray, who works for Replicated, a software delivery management company.
Murray says the company is planning to add mental health programs for all employees with therapy and digital resources to help with meditation and mindfulness.
"Plus... more time off," Murray said. "Here's the deal. Three weeks off minimum... you want to take five weeks? Take five weeks."
The survey found companies were planning to add the following benefits for parents of school-aged children:
- 16 percent plan to add additional paid time off.
- 18 percent plan to add childcare subsidies.
- 36 percent plan to add programs to support the emotional needs of their kids.
- 54 percent plan to add flexible work arrangements.
- 31 percent are still undecided.
Andrew Barrett Weiss with the healthcare startup GoodRX is a part of that group.
"I don't think childcare isn't a priority, it is a priority. But I think we haven't found the right way to manage that through COVID," said Weiss. "It's really tough as a company to provide childcare when people are already invested with people who have been taking care of their children."
Quibell says overall most companies surveyed are still uncertain how schools and daycares will adhere to changing COVID policies moving forward.
For an in-depth look at the survey, click here.