The best work perks and benefits, as voted by employees

From hiring team members to hunting for a new job, company perks are essential to the success of a modern workplace. Read our in-depth guide to office perks so you know what to look for — and what employers can offer you.  Discover the top ten employee benefits of 2020, as voted by the people.

What are the most popular work perks out there?

Four-in-five people prioritise new job perks over a pay raise when looking for work. But it can be challenging to know which benefits to seek out. To help, we’ve done the research for you — and the votes are in. 

According to our recent survey, 85% of employees take benefits into account when evaluating a job offer. These are the ten best office perks to help improve collaboration, company culture, and employee satisfaction:

  1. 4-day workweek
  2. Flexible working
  3. Bonuses
  4. Annual leave 
  5. Remote working
  6. Private health & dental care
  7. Professional development & skills training
  8. Share/stock options
  9. Additional parental leave
  10. Seasonal social events

Embrace flexibility for work-life balance

It’s no secret that people value freedom in the workplace. 52% of employees around the world work remotely once per week. According to Bentley University, 77% of millennials say that flexible hours would make the workplace more productive for people their age. 

According to our recent poll, 59.09% of people would join a company offering the most sought-after benefit: a 4-day workweek. Companies around the world who have tested this strategy saw employees less stressed and more productive in the long run. 

Business Insider notes large-scale companies like Microsoft and ShakeShack have experimented with a shorter workweek with incredible results. When it comes to logging hours, agility is vital.

We polled office workers on what perks would motivate them to take one job over the other. These are the results. 

General flexibility and work-from-home capabilities also ranked at the top of our list. According to our research, 46.59% of people said flexible work hours would motivate them to take one job over another. Similarly, 19.32% of people noted a lack of flexibility would negatively impact their view of a company. 

Plus, offering perks like unlimited vacation time signals that a company values work-life balance and will likely improve employee culture. Our research shows 46.59% of people would prioritise a job offering unlimited holiday over another with more standardised leave policies.

Annual leave can also increase employee productivity, engagement, and even retention rates. 26.8% of people polled flagged retention as the main reason for being offered perks. 

Remember, companies do not have to break the bank to offer these attractive extras. Many employees prioritise low-cost benefits like flexible hours and more vacation time over more extravagant add-ons like gym memberships.

So flexibility is vital, but what about a personalised benefits package?

Personalised benefits are key to increasing employee motivation and engagement, retaining staff, and attracting top talent. According to our research, 82% of people negotiated a perk from an employer before accepting a position. Benefits targeting personal wellbeing should be a top priority when taking a role.

When we asked people which perks they would expect their employers to provide, we saw a difference between what is expected and what would motivate them to choose one workplace over the other. 

Health insurance matters

It comes as no surprise that better health, dental, and vision benefits top the list of must-have perks. Our research shows that 46.59% of people would like to receive private health & dental care. Plus, 36.36% of people would take a job with better healthcare offerings over an alternative. 

Why are insurance benefits so critical? The answer is simple: they can directly affect business performance. MetLife notes that 60% of employers found health benefits boosted employee productivity.

Prioritise professional development

Offering discounts on skills training is likely to help companies recruit and retain excellent talent. Training increases the collective knowledge of your team, boosts job satisfaction, and also attracts new prospects. Our survey showed 40.91% of people expect self-development courses from their employer. 

Seek out stock options

Offering stock options creates a key competitive advantage for companies that are recruiting. In fact, 39.77% of people were motivated to prioritise a company that offers its employees stock. Plus, 48.86% of people would prefer to receive shares from their employers. Stock gives employees an ownership stake in the company, and opportunities for growth if it goes public or is acquired. 

Get extended maternity & paternity leave

Companies that extend parental leave beyond the legal requirement are increasingly sought after. Our survey reveals 31.82% of people would choose a job with more extended maternity and paternity leave over a shorter offering. Additionally, 14.77% voted that a lack of extended or paid leave would negatively impact their opinion of a company.

Even the smallest companies out there can offer great parental leave with smart planning that won’t break the budget. 

What about company culture?

Based on our research, one thing is clear: company culture is key. A company’s benefits pull back the curtain on their core values and are a good indicator of employee wellbeing. Research shows perks based on collaboration and team-building get it right. In our study, 51% of people emphasised the company culture behind a perk is an essential aspect of any benefit. 

Lastly, we asked workers what perks they absolutely do not care about. Interestingly, perks that are often seen as more "luxurious" cropped up; such as free massages or a company car. 

Top tip: Experts recommend sourcing employee opinions, rather than upper management, to inform benefits.

Critically, most employees do not care about novelty perks like employee discounts, on-site haircuts, or meditation classes. Beyond healthy snacks and yoga, collaborative team dynamics and a positive workplace will determine your happiness in a new role. 

Navigating the world of employee perks is never easy. Whether you’re actively seeking employment or hiring new talent, advanced knowledge of what to prioritise is key. When your benefits align with your needs, you can set yourself up for success in the modern workplace throughout your career.

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Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.