Employee benefits provide extra incentives on top of your normal salary. They can improve employee wellbeing, working practices and make your day-to-day life a little easier.
Employee benefits range from larger programmes like healthcare insurance to smaller perks such as free breakfast.
Some benefits are legally required in the UK, and others are considered desirable perks. Core benefits include income protection, a minimum holiday allowance of 5.6 weeks a year and a workplace pension.
However, when it comes to the more desirable perks, an employer will usually determine what’s on offer. Usually, a business’s benefits package will be determined by its budget, company culture and industry.
Smaller organisations or start-ups might not offer more paid time off or advanced health insurance, while a larger company will often provide a broader range of benefits. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to companies of all sizes.
So, what are the most desirable employee benefits?
Flexible working hours
Poster specialists instantprint surveyed 1,000 UK workers and found that 45% of the respondents said flexible working hours was the most valuable perk in a workplace, while 32% preferred a flexible location.
After a year of remote working, many people don’t want to return to the office full-time. While some miss the socialisation of office culture, many prefer the freedom of working from home.
A flexible approach allows workers to split their time between the office and home. They can decide when and where they work.
Free food and drinks
Free coffee and breakfast can make even the most stressful of mornings brighter. Some offices offer complimentary brunch on Fridays or free dinner for those working overtime.
An increasing number of workers are looking for healthcare to be included in employee perks. Some companies offer dental, optical and mental healthcare for their staff members. Mental healthcare can consist of paid time off for any diagnosed issues and counselling services.
Childcare is expensive, especially when both parents work full time. Vouchers for employees with children can help manage this cost, which can be a significant financial burden.
If an employee’s role involves a lot of travel, they may have a company car included in their contract.
They will need to travel to different meetings safely and efficiently, and public transport can make journeys much longer.
Subsidised gym membership
A gym membership contribution saves employees a lot of money over time. It encourages them to exercise, eat healthily and look after themselves.
Offering more desirable perks can motivate employees, reduce staff turnover and encourage people to remain loyal to their employer.