Which benefits do employees consider the most important?
In 2018, healthcare and insurance topped the league, closely followed by perks related to either being at work, in the form of workplace socials, or getting to work, with travel-related benefits.
However, in 2021 enhanced leave has taken top position, perhaps reflecting the lock-down challenge of juggling different priorities, such as childcare. Interestingly, while extra time-off may be highly popular, many employees are yet to take the leave they are entitled to. Anonymised data collected through our hr systems and absence management software, shows a significantly higher percentage of staff are yet to book annual leave, and others are booking and then rescheduling paid time off – creating a resourcing and administration nightmare for HR teams and line managers.
Healthcare and insurance dropped to second position in 2021. However, with children returning to school, hybrid working on the cards for many and extra pressure on the NHS, it could be it will return to the top of the league in the next months. According to Towers Watson’s 2021 Global Medical Trends Survey Report, an ageing workforce, problems with access to NHS services, and the availability of new-generation and more expensive treatments are fuelling demand for private health insurance.
Unsurprisingly, the benefits that lost popularity in 2021 are those tied to being at work, while career development increased from position 6 to position 3.
|Popularity in 2018||Popularity in 2021|
| Healthcare & Insurance|| 1|| 2|
| Workplace Socials|| 2|| 9|
| Transport|| 3|| 5|
| Technology|| 4|| 7|
| Subsidised Food & Drink|| 4|| 6|
| Wellbeing|| 5|| 8|
| Career Development|| 6|| 3|
| Enhanced Leave|| 7|| 1|
| Financial Assistance|| 8|| –|
| Flexible Working|| –|| 4|