43% want flexible working as part of their benefits package


More than two-fifths (43%) of employee respondents want access to flexible working arrangements as part of their employee benefits package, according to research by Hibob.

Its Part two: powerful perks: what people really want report, which surveyed 501 UK employers and 4,001 UK employees, also found that 41% of employee respondents want private medical insurance included in their employee benefits package, 40% want access to dental insurance, 40% want to be able to take flexible holidays, and 38% want critical illness protection within their employee benefits offering.

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The research also found:

  • 54% of employee respondents believe they need a pension as part of their employee benefits offering. Other benefits that employees feel they need include car parking (31%), flexible working (30%), income protection (22%) and private medical insurance (20%).
  • 58% of employee respondents aged between 18 and 34 believe they need a pension, compared to 55% of 35 to 54 year-old respondents and 47% of respondents aged over 55.
  • 47% of 18-34 year-old respondents want a gym membership compared to 18% of respondents over the age of 55, and 45% of respondents aged between 18 and 34 want to be part of a discount club, compared to 22% of those aged above 55.
  • 51% of respondents aged between 18 and 34 want flexible holiday, compared with 27% of respondents over the age of 55. In comparison, 41% of 18 to 34 year-old respondents want holiday trading as part of their employee benefits, while only 18% of those over 55 want the same.
  • 37% of 18 to 34 year-olds, 30% of 35 to 54 year-olds, and 23% of those over the age of 55 all need flexible working patterns.
  • 40% of employee respondents based in London want a gym membership, compared to 26% of respondents based in the rest of the UK.
  • 35% of employer respondents offer flexible working patterns as a standard employee benefit, 23% provide flexible holiday, and 12% offer holiday trading.
  • 26% of employer respondents provide private medical insurance as a standard employee benefit, 19% offer dental insurance, and 18% enable staff to access health cash plan arrangements.
  • 72% of employer respondents cite that benefits are crucial to their retention strategy.
  • 52% of employee respondents understand their benefits package but rarely use the employee benefits available, compared to 33% who understand their benefits and use them often, and 15% who do not understand their benefits package but are aware that it exists in the background.
  • 70% of employee respondents rate their benefits as important as part of their overall reward package, and 41% state that their benefits offering was important when choosing their employer.

Dan Benatan (pictured), head of benefits at Hibob, said: “Much to our concern, our research tells us that only one in three employees understands and actually uses their benefits often. Billions of pounds are being wasted on benefits that fail to resonate, offering little upside to anyone other than the suppliers themselves. We think this has to change, especially when attracting, inspiring and retaining staff is getting harder. A benefit isn’t really a benefit unless it is recognised and used by employees; it has to add real value.”