Gym memberships are just one of many free work perks offered to Britons
Photo by CC user mcas_cherry_point on Flickr

In today’s climate, companies must try harder to attract and hold onto great talent. Work perks such as performance-related bonuses certainly make your company a more appealing option for prospective applicants. Read on to find out how Brits feel about free perks and how they could make a difference where you work.

Why do companies offer free perks?

Increasingly, bosses are offering perks as part of the job package, including extras such as games in the office, free cakes or coffee and flexible working. Traditionally, staff were always given rewards like cash bonuses.

A better work-life balance is certainly on the agenda for most workers so offering incentives such as extra holidays and tickets for concerts will help retain current stuff, whilst also encouraging new members.

Employers have recently realised that having a work environment with a culture of fun will not only boost employee wellbeing but help them to improve productivity.

How many companies offer work perks?

Research by found that 25% of British workers would take a lower salary if they were promised free work perks. The data showed that over half (55%) of UK workplaces currently offer work perks, with those in London being the most generous.

A Recruitment and Employment Confederation survey showed that 47% of UK businesses have given employees a pay rise to encourage them to stay, over the last year.

What benefits do people receive?

There are a range of work perks that can be offered, including free food or drinks, concert tickets and casual clothes days. Some companies will give staff extra cash at Christmas or performance-related bonuses. Other perks include:

  • Extra holidays – Companies feel that staff are rejuvenated when they return from trips, resulting in soaring productivity
  • Travel allowance – Morale is boosted by staff saving money on a major expense
  • Paid parental leave – New parents have a lot to consider financially with a baby and may welcome an option for paid parental leave

The survey revealed that the perks most commonly offered by companies are: flexitime (51%), cash bonuses (50%), free food (32%), gadgets (21%) and company cars (11%).

Netflix subscriptions and concert tickets were the perk most desired by employees, (42%), followed by shopping vouchers (35%), gym memberships (28%) and an on-site crèche (25%).

How do people react to getting free perks at work?

The data from the survey revealed that a quarter of employed Brits would rather take a pay cut and receive work perks. But, despite the advantages of perks, 16% of those surveyed said that they wouldn’t take part in a perk scheme as they felt the cost of additional benefits would catch up with them in other areas.

In jobs where employees are motivated by perks to surpass targets, employers should be mindful as the effects of overworking on employees’ health, could result in mistakes being made. Some staff will ponder over whether extreme incentives are being provided at the expense of more practical benefits like higher wages.

So, next time you apply for a job, investigate the different types of perks and see what would best suit you at your place of work. Simply knowing what they are, will mean you can make the most of your stay.