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The nine most sought-after work perks

4 June 2018

The nine most sought-after work perksAdditional holidays and flexible hours are the most popular benefits for employees but when perks seem like gimmicks they can backfire, according to new research.

A survey by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk of 2,000 workers has highlighted a big gap between the perks that employees most want and those that they get.

The most common perks are: employee discount (20%); extra holiday/flexible hours (19%); training (12%); food and drink (11%); health and wellness benefits (10%); away-days/dress-down Fridays (10%); insurance (9%); travel/company car (6%); and luxuries (3%).

However, the findings show that some relatively common perks, such as training, are not greatly appreciated; while others, such as travel, are not offered as widely as employees would like.

The most sought-after perks (after a pay rise) are:

  • Extra holiday/flexible hours (26%);
  • Travel/company car (16%);
  • Employee discount (11%);
  • Insurance (11%);
  • Health and wellness benefits (11%);
  • Food and drink (9%);
  • Luxuries (7%);
  • Away-days/dress-down Fridays (5%);
  • Training (3%).

Findings for men and women were broadly similar although 18% of men said they were very happy with the company benefits they receive compared to 14% of women surveyed.

There are bigger differences between generations: 29% of Generation Z (aged 24 years and under) and 22% of Millennials (25-38 year-olds) would be tempted to apply for a job with a £4000 housing contribution while only 16% of Generation X (39-52 years-old) and 15% of Baby Boomers (53-60 years-old) say the same. Health insurance is a major concern for Generation X and Baby Boomers - 49% of them consider it as a key work perk compared to 20% of Generation Z and Millennials.

The report concludes that when perks seem like a gimmick, they can leave staff feeling less appreciated. In fact, a simple recognition of an employee's value boosts productivity and improves the atmosphere at work.

Ian Wright, from Small Business Prices, said: "Job perks are taking the stage as an increasingly important factor in people's career choices, which is why some employers are raising the bar and even going beyond the standard travel card loans, cycle to work schemes, flexible working times and health insurance benefits. The right company perks and benefits can improve a workforce's happiness, boost productivity as well as attract the right employees."

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