47% believe one-off perks are used to compensate for long working hours

Almost half (47%) of respondents believe their employer uses one-off perks to compensate staff for working long hours, according to research by bikes-for-work organisation Cyclescheme.

Its survey of 1,000 UK employees also found that 34% of respondents would prefer to be given more opportunities to exercise rather than one-off perks.

The research also found:

  • 37% of respondents would prefer to receive opportunities for a greater work-life balance, and 28% would value more time to switch off mentally rather than receive a one-off perk.
  • 50% of respondents receive one-off perks, and 15% feel that more one-off benefits would improve their happiness at work.
  • 43% of respondents who receive one-off benefits, such as early finishes, organisation drinks, or team lunches, do not think that these perks have a sustained impact on their happiness.
  • 50% of respondents who cycle to work believe they have enough mental and physical energy to get them through the day feeling happy and productive, compared to 39% who commute by train, 37% who take the bus, and 47% who drive to work.
  • 20% of respondents find it easier to cope with everyday challenges on days that they cycle or walk to work.
  • 21% of respondents think that the triggering of Article 50 to begin Brexit negotiations has decreased their general morale at work.
  • 58% of respondents feel that economic and political uncertainty has made them feel anxious at work, due to fears of redundancy (23%), higher workloads (24%), and negative atmospheres in the workplace (20%).

Adrian Warren (pictured), director at Cyclescheme, said: “It’s clear that not enough employers are helping employees get the right benefits that make a genuine impact on their health and happiness. In an uncertain economic climate, [organisations] must do more to listen to what employees want and give them initiatives that will have a lasting impact on their wellbeing.

“Helping employees to be happier more often and for a longer period of time is one [of] the most powerful ways a business can improve morale and productivity. Often leaders think that giving staff ‘popular’ perks like team drinks or [an organisation] lunch are what employees want most, but it’s having initiatives that will help them adopt healthier behaviours over the long term that are of the greatest value.”