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12 Days of Benefits – Attention Spans and a Growing Gig Workforce

12 Days of Benefits – Attention Spans and a Growing Gig Workforce
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 by Rae Shanahan

On the 8th day of benefits, the industry gave to me 8-second attention spans.


In an often-cited recent study, Microsoft found that the average human attention span decreased from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just 8 seconds fifteen years later. In the game of benefits enrollment, where capturing and keeping employee attention is the name of the game, this statistic provides motivation to change strategies if you’ve found engagement lagging. It may be time for interactive features, AI, and quick explanatory videos to make sure you grab that elusive attention—and keep it.

On the 7th day of benefits, the industry gave to me 7.7 million gig workers. By 2020, that’s the number of workers projected by Intuit to make up the growing alternative workforce known as the “gig economy.” Categorizing these workers is a challenge, however. Some work for rideshare or food delivery services such as Uber or Grubhub, while others are workers who’ve opted out of the traditional 9-5 in favor of freelance opportunities. Welcoming these workers into the fold can be a challenge for traditional workplaces, but expanding opportunities for culture-building and offering voluntary benefits options can help ease the transition.

On the 6th day of benefits, the industry gave to me $6 trillion spent on cybersecurity. That’s right—cybersecurity firm Cybint projects that by 2021, businesses will spend a full $6 trillion on cybersecurity efforts globally. And believe it or not, the giant expenditure makes perfect financial sense. With the average cost of a data breach set to exceed $150 million in 2020, it’s crucial for all businesses—from enterprise organizations to small businesses—to reprioritize budgets to make space for cybersecurity investment in the coming year.

On the 5th day of benefits, the industry gave to me 5 years to change the face of modern offices. Within just five years, the percentage of companies offering employees the option for standing desks rose from only a quarter to 60%. This trend tracks well with the increasing calls for employer empathy that we’ve observed over the past few years. Options like standing desks are not a luxurious expenditure for the only fanciest offices—instead, they’ve becoming a clear tool to demonstrate empathy to office workers, and a means of acknowledgement for the diversity of employee needs.