Employee perks: What UK workers really want  

  • Half of UK workers say employee benefits would make them feel happier at work
  • Free tea and coffee voted the most popular office perk
  • Flexible working hours and free ice cream voted most popular seasonal benefits
  • 1 in 6 people willing to take a pay cut in exchange for summer perks

Office perks are something many of us take for granted.

But it appears not all workers are getting what they want, according to our latest survey – whether it’s early finishes in the summer or flexible working hours all year round.


Employee perks = happiness   

According to those surveyed, perks can be key to guaranteeing happy employees.

In fact, more than half said that employee benefits would make them feel happier at work, whether it’s a better work-life balance, an excellent pension, or having flexible working hours and the option to work from home.

Others cited the importance of greater recognition, holiday allowance, and a boss who understands that family comes first.


Tea, coffee or…ice cream?

When it comes to office comforts, caffeine came out on top – with 40% of people voting free tea and coffee as the perk they value most.

A third of us placed precedence on a seat with a view, with a similar amount naming peace and quiet as all it takes to be successful at work.

Other popular perks included a casual dress code, subsidised gym memberships and free fruit.

It also seems as if our demands may sometimes be seasonal. According to a recent survey by Andrew Sykes, almost 50% of UK workers stated that summer perks would make them feel even happier at work.

One in three of us even voted free ice cream and summer snacks as our top seasonal perk, showing it takes more than a free cup of tea to impress (and/or cool down) during the warmer months.


Expectations vs. reality

OK, so it’s clear what the people want – but are they actually getting it?

In short, no. Whilst the survey conducted by Andrew Sykes revealed that 50% benefit from free tea and coffee at work, one in five people don’t receive any office perks at all; regardless of the season.

An even larger number of workers don’t benefit from summer perks, with almost half of those surveyed saying their company doesn’t offer anything in the way of seasonal benefits.

One in five don’t even get the opportunity to regulate the temperature in their office. Although that may be a blessing in disguise for people who work with thermostat-twiddling colleagues.

Top five irritating office habits


Turning a loss into a win

When it comes to what employees would sacrifice for summer perks, UK workers were divided.

Just over a third said they’d give up their free brews if it meant enjoying benefits like flexible hours, free ice cream, working from home, or a more relaxed dress code during the summer.

One in three were also happy to cut back on the company discounts they receive, saying that summer perks are more important than subsidised gym memberships or reductions at the local pub.

But it’s not just perks that some workers are willing to give up. A staggering one out in six of those surveyed would sacrifice £5,000 of their annual salary for summer specific benefits.

Essentially, Brits will do anything to make the most of a heatwave…

Office perks: Have they lost their pulling power?




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4 comments on “Employee perks: What UK workers really want  

  1. Ken Johnson - September 7, 2017 at 22:43

    The most important perks of my last job were (a) a decent laptop computer, (b) free travel and medical insurance — I could never have afforded it, (c) a fully expensed mobile phone and (d) working from home if I wasn’t needed on site that day. (e) The company also wrote into my contract that my home was my workplace. This has the effect that the cost of travel from my house to the company office became legally chargeable to expenses, and didn’t cost me anything.

  2. William Jones - September 15, 2017 at 09:46

    I’m noticing more and more in London that job adverts hide the low salary amongst list of “perks” such as free beers, ping pong, free fruit and the office dog! Why having an office dog is a perk is beyond me. I worked briefly in an office with a dog and it caused havoc and distracted people constantly!

  3. Sean Delay - September 15, 2017 at 10:00

    Glad to see that flexitime has topped the poll, as an
    employee benefit. Office based ‘perks’ are not perks: since the employee needs
    to be at work to benefit from these perks (and in so doing, become a presentee?).

    Who’s for reasonable hours and a fair wage?

  4. Scott Murphy - June 13, 2018 at 21:05

    Perks don’t do anything for me, nor a generous holiday allowance. All i want is money.