A survey of 10,000 employees highlights the similarities and differences across countries, explains Nadia Vadalitis
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the need for mental health and wellness benefits is more apparent than ever. Having the right health and wellbeing strategy has the power to improve employee engagement, lower absence rates, and increase productivity within the workplace. We recently surveyed 10,000 full-time employees across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the USA to discover the most desirable employee benefits across genders, job roles, industries, and parental status, including wellbeing benefits.
The Top Five Employee Wellness Benefits
|Most important employee wellness benefits by country||France||Germany||Netherlands||UK||USA|
|Hours off every month specifically for mental health improvement||65.55%||57.75%||58.15%||61.55%||62.10%|
|Confidential paid therapy or coaching||53.35%||46.00%||55.55%||55.10%||55.10%|
|Healthy food in the office, home deliveries, or meal stipends||70.15%||62.95%||66.55%||52.75%||52.75%|
|Virtual mindfulness sessions||42.55%||30.80%||38.30%||47.25%||43.85%|
Both the UK and USA favoured time off each month for mental health as their top wellness benefit, whilst France, Germany and the Netherlands preferred healthy food.
Differences Across Generations and Sectors
Continuing to uphold the tradition of in-person work events was a key priority amongst both Gen Zs and Millennials, as they were the generations which valued in-person team-building events most (57% / 59% respectively). Wellbeing and mental health were also highly valued by these generations, as they also favoured access to mental health coaching the most (58%). Baby Boomers’ priorities were slightly different, with company-sponsored retirement plans (80%) topping their list as the most desired ‘work perk’.
Generation was not the only factor in an individual’s most desired ‘work perk’; industry was also found to play a significant role. Individuals who work in education (78%) and law (78%) were found to value company-sponsored retirement plans or pensions the most, compared to those in IT and telecoms, who favoured flexible working hours (81%).
Those under significant stress and pressure in the healthcare sector prioritised access to online therapy and mental health support more than any other industry (59%). Healthcare workers were not the only individuals who prioritised their mental health, as those working in finance were found to desire access to virtual yoga or mindfulness sessions more than any other sector (45%).
With the cost of living on the rise, it is no surprise that overtime pay (79%) topped the list of British people’s desired ‘work perks’. Flexible working hours (77%) and company-sponsored retirement plans (75%) followed in second and third place as some of the most popular employee benefits in the UK.
Work/life balance was a key theme reflected throughout the survey results, as early finishes on Fridays (66%) and a 4-day work week (64%) also ranked in the five most desired ‘work perks’.
Our survey showed that across all countries, employees within almost every job function want flexible working, with employees in HR (78%) wanting it the most. Throughout the survey, both men and women, parents and non-parents agreed that flexible working was the most desired benefit, highlighting the importance of allowing all employees the freedom to work in a way that suits their circumstances best.
To view the full study, please visit https://remote.com/future-employee-benefits.