What young people really want in the workplace

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 10 Feb 2019

Workers aged 45-55 are mainly after free tea and coffee, bless ‘em.


Flexible working hours, more pension contributions – and extra holiday for long service are among the top work perks British employees want, according to a survey.

A study of 2,000 workers found more than half want their staff benefits to help improve their work/life balance and 49% added extras which will save them money.

And while younger adults highlight the need for help with housing, older generations are more concerned with private healthcare. Access to mental health care is also more important to those who started working this decade than to those who began their careers in any decade before.

It also emerged fewer than one in five are currently totally satisfied with the benefits package provided by their employer. And half of employees would leave their current employment if they thought they could get a position elsewhere with more perks, with just 22 per cent preferring extra pay over comprehensive benefits.

Steven Osei, spokesman for the Preferential Partnerships programme at Get Living, said: "It’s no surprise that employees’ attitudes to workplace benefits have changed over the last five decades since the world we live in is almost unrecognisable now.

“Employees are moving jobs more often, increasingly working from home and expecting to be compensated for their dedication.

“To keep up with the competition, employers need to reflect workers more flexible lifestyles.”

The study also revealed employees who started their working life in 2010 or later are most likely to want pets in the office, and free breakfast supplies.

And the demand for company-expensed dental care has decreased over the decades, with nearly a quarter of older workers feeling it should be offered as standard by employers.

This compares to just nine per cent of people who started their careers during this decade.

Free tea and coffee is most valued by workers aged between 45-54, with over-55's the most likely to seek out an enhanced pension contribution.

While younger adults highlight the need for help with housing, older generations are more concerned with private healthcare. Access to mental health care is also more important to those who started working this decade.

People aged between 18-24 cite unlimited holiday days as the most attractive perk they think a company could offer.

It also emerged employees who have been working the longest are most satisfied with their current benefits package, with those starting work in the 1990's the least happy.

Although more people who started work during this decade are currently looking for a job with better benefits than any other workers.

But unusually, younger workers are also most likely to stay in their jobs because the benefits are too good to pass up.

More than six in 10 workers who took part in the survey, conducted through OnePoll.com, believe their employer has a responsibility to look after their personal well-being.

And workers agree they have become more demanding of their employers due to the hours spent at work, increased retirement age and the always-on nature of work making them feel their companies should offer more for their service.

Get Living works with employers through its Preferential Partnerships programme to learn the challenges their people face living and commuting in the city where they work and offer a better way of renting.

Steven Osei added: “If a company wants to attract the top talent then they need to offer the best benefits, especially in London where the cost of living is leading to a brain drain.

"Since beginning the Preferential Partnerships programme, we’ve been working with top employers to create solutions for the challenges that their employees face when it comes to finding a place to live.

“In this hyper-connected world an employer’s duty of care no longer ends at the office door.

"Well-being starts at home and we can support this by offering a simple move in process and quality, well-managed homes.

“We know from speaking to our partners that this takes a weight off staff who are relocating or moving to a new city when starting a new job.

"We hope the success of this scheme will encourage more companies to take a vested interest in their employees’ living situations.”

The most attractive workplace benefits for those aged 18-24

1. Unlimited holiday days

2. Flexible working hours

3. Dental care

4. Free breakfast supplies

5. One free holiday a year

6. Access to mental health care

7. Private health care

8. Retailer and restaurant discounts

9. Free coffee and tea

10. Help with housing

11. Additional holiday days for long service

12. Enhanced pension contribution

13. Free fruit

14. Free eye tests

15. Free taxis if you need to stay in the office late

16. Clothing allowance

17. Phone allowance/work phone

18. Free/on-site gym and classes

19. First class travel on work trips

20. Summer hours between May and August

21. Subsidised gym/fitness classes

22. Assistance with childcare costs

23. Free showers

24. Taking paid work days to volunteer at a charity

25.   Access to an emergency nanny



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