The most sought-after benefits when deciding on a new job include a four-day working week, unlimited annual leave, and good health benefits, research has revealed. A poll of 2,000 workers also found regular salary increases is the most important factor, followed by at least five weeks’ annual leave, and flexible working hours.
The ability to work where you want, and a path for promotions, also rank highly among what they want from employers.
But others want electric car charging ports at the office, and even a big end-of-year Christmas party.
Healthcare was also seen as a major workplace priority for one in five workers – with 61 percent claiming they would be more likely to apply for a job which offered this benefit, over one that didn’t.
Sue Weir, chief executive for health cash plan Medicash, which commissioned the research, said: “The days of a job being only about salary have gone, and for many, the other perks offered can sometimes be just as, if not more, attractive.
“And while good salary increases and flexible working hours rank highly, people are now taking care of their health more than ever.
“After the past few years, more and more of us are wanting an additional layer of protection to keep us and our families safe.
“That’s shown in our findings, too – as 62 percent of people think a salary is as important as a caring employer.”
The research also found 43 percent of workers want health benefits to be offered by their employers on a paid or subsidised basis – but just 27 percent currently have this in their workplace.
However, 71 percent would be more likely to stay in a job if they had a “caring” employer with a substantial benefits package.
It also emerged 52 percent admitted to looking for other jobs in the past 12 months.
The study, which also polled 500 HR professionals, found 71 percent feel healthcare is an important benefit for current and prospective employees.
More than half (53 percent) also went as far as to say this perk plays a role in retaining staff.
A quarter claim to have had staff leave within the last three years due to a lack of health and wellbeing support benefits.
And just 15 percent considered their employers to be very good at keeping hold of staff and talent.
Worryingly, 82 percent of HR staff, polled via OnePoll, said they had seen an increase in people taking time off for their mental health during the “Covid years”.
And 91 percent were worried about the mental or physical impact the cost-of-living crisis could have on their staff.
The full report, created by Medicash, can be read in full here.
Sue Weir added: “Our research of both HR professionals and everyday employees provides a unique insight into the state of the UK’s workforce.
“There’s a lot of pressure on employees during these testing times, and workers need to feel as if they are being supported by their employers.
“It seems there’s a growing sense among workers that they feel they deserve that support, and it’s on employers to help provide it, and make working conditions as good as possible.
“If that can be achieved, it will undoubtedly lead to a happier workplace, and employers will keep hold of their best talent – a win-win situation for everyone.”