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What are the UK’s most desirable job benefits?

by uma
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To find out how to keep employees engaged within their role, the experts at Bionic surveyed 1,000 employees across the UK to find out which benefits they felt their employers should be offering them. 

In addition, job market data from Indeed was then analysed to decipher which job perks were being included in job descriptions most frequently and how different industries were offering different job perks.

What are the most desired perks in 2022?

Flexible and remote working

Unsurprisingly, flexible and remote working is here to stay with over half of all participating employees voting flexible working as the most sought-after employee benefit. 

By comparison, just 10% of people voted team days out and social activities as an important perk, suggesting that the UK workforce is moving away from wanting regular in-person events with our colleagues.

Birthdays off

We all love to have our birthdays off to celebrate the big day and the data proves just how much this means to us. It was voted more important than having private healthcare and mental health support. It also surpassed financial benefits like bonuses, discounts and free financial advice.

Early finishes

Early finishes and unlimited days off were also among some of the most popular perks, suggesting that having time away from our work is extremely valued – even more so than financial support, childcare support or, in some cases, flexible working. 

However, as it stands, only 3% of jobs sampled advertised perks like early finishes, and only 10% advertised having your birthday off work.

Office parking and cycle-to-work schemes

In a bid to become more sustainable, many companies now offer cycle-to-work schemes to get their employees to make a conscious effort to think about their health and the environment. 

However, the cycle-to-work scheme was the least important perk to employees, with just 4% choosing it despite it being the most offered perk on Indeed. Instead, having free office car parking was a far more popular option (17%).

This suggests that while businesses are trying to make efforts to introduce sustainable methods of travelling to work, employees don’t consider sustainable travel a priority. 

Health benefits

A sought-after favourite among employees was health benefits. These ranged from private healthcare to dental and mental health support. Another top perk that employees wanted was a subsidised or free gym membership, with 17% voting for this as a desired perk. 

Free office snacks

Despite there being controversy online around free tea and coffee being too insufficient to be called a ‘perk’, it was the 4th most popular perk overall in the survey.

On average, employees care more about free office food, drink and snacks than they did about charity days, casual dress codes and financial support. 

Financial aid

Although people were less enthused by free financial advice and student loan down payments, nearly ¼ of all employees surveyed were excited by the idea of a performance bonus. 

This begs the question: do people care more about immediate cash in their pocket than long-term financial solutions?

Discounts

By far the most popular job perk advertised on Indeed, 45% of all sampled job descriptions offered some sort of employee discount benefit — whether this was an online portal for discounts at a wide range of stores, or discounts from the company that’s advertising the job. 

On average, we found that one in five employees said that discounts were their most highly prioritised job perk. 

The most popular job perks by industry

There are all sorts of factors to consider when it comes to finding a job in the industry that’s right for you. But, what perks are being offered and valued in each?

We’ve discovered that flexible working is the perk that employees most want out of a job, and it’s clear that employers are adapting to meet the demand with the Energy (36%) Hospitality (35%) and Arts & Culture (35%) sectors offering it most often as a benefit. However, it’s worth noting that the definition of ‘flexible working’ might vary depending on the industry.

According to Indeed job data, the Technology sector is the best industry for the cycle-to-work scheme (56%) as well as receiving a company laptop. Marketing (34%) and Manufacturing (26%) are swiftly behind supporting the cycle-to-work scheme. 

In comparison, some of the main benefits that retail workers saw were free car parking and impressive discounts (95%), which saw similar discounts perks in the Hospitality sector (78%). 

With many getting fit in lockdown, it’s clear that this healthy lifestyle is here to stay. Education is the best industry for subsidised or free gym memberships (30%) with Arts & Culture (21%) and Marketing (16%) following suit. 

Gone are the days of a signed card and bringing in a birthday cake for all to share. Instead, many companies now offer employees their birthdays off work. The Arts & Culture sector favoured this the most at 20% with Marketing (16%) and Technology (14%) stating this, too.

 

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