What Perks and Benefits Do Employees Want in 2021?

The working world will always shift and change, and this has been hugely exacerbated by the pandemic. The requirements and the needs of the working world are ever-changing. This translates to the benefits and perks that employees most want and value from their employers. Effective benefits and perks are strongly linked to job satisfaction and can be a key tool for attracting new employees and retention.

The jobs market has been consistently candidate-driven for a while now. We’re still seeing more job vacancies than we are job seekers, and companies are having to compete with one another to attract the best talent. The vast majority of companies will have a benefits package, but how relevant are they for today’s workforce? We know priorities have changed, that isn’t new, and perks such as “free breakfast” just might not apply anymore.

So, what perks and benefits do employees really want?

A study by Perkbox found the top 10 perks that a company could offer that would make them happier in their job was:

  • Employee discounts – supermarkets, eating out, clothes, etc.
  • Greater recognition for work
  • Unlimited/greater amount of holiday
  • At-home entertainment
  • Allowed to always work remotely
  • Free breakfast/lunch (if not working remotely)
  • Free COVID-19 tests/vaccines
  • Present on birthdays
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Learning and development budget/tools

What perks would be most beneficial to your well-being in 2021?

  • Employee discounts to save money
  • More flexible working hours
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Mental health days
  • Free Covid-19 tests/vaccines
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Free counselling sessions
  • Professional financial advice
  • Professional food/nutrition advice
  • Mindfulness/meditation apps

Has this changed since the pandemic?

In 2019, a survey found that employees most valued:

  • 22-35 days of paid annual leave
  • Pension scheme
  • Flexible working hours
  • Paid sick leave and/or critical illness cover
  • Bonuses/share options
  • Training and career development
  • Health and/or life insurance
  • Unlimited paid annual leave and/or option to buy and sell annual leave
  • Free meals and/or drinks
  • Eye tests and/or dental

It’s no surprise that there is a big emphasis on wellness and wellbeing as priorities have changed since the pandemic. Lockdown forced many of us to face mental health challenges, and spend more time focusing on caring for our mental wellbeing. 

Furthermore, remote-specific perks have been recognised: money towards household bills, budget for an at-home work setup, ergonomic working equipment, and regular snack boxes/care packages sent by the employer.

It’s clear to see that the old “beer fridge in the office” is no longer the perk it once was!

Ultimately, what’s going to keep employees at a company and motivated to stay there is trust in leadership as well as a culture that aligns with their values. But for many employees, exciting benefits and perks can improve job satisfaction and encourage motivation.

Our consultants work with IT Sales professionals that are looking for a new job every day. What do they identify as key perks and benefits?

  • Flexible working!!!!!
  • Company car or car allowance
  • A company that invests in making your job streamlined and straightforward with systems and processes in place
  • Health insurance
  • Gym membership
  • Pension scheme

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