While vaccinations against COVID-19 are currently being distributed in many countries across the world, and offices in some countries slowly opening the doors to employees again, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how to move forward and what the future of work will look like.
One thing we can all agree on, however, is the way we once worked has changed forever. Unsurprisingly, the wants and needs of employees have also changed.
So, what do employees want today? What does the short and long-term future hold for both employees and organizations? To find out, we surveyed more than 39,000 employees across Europe in The Future of Work Report: Employee Benefits and Work Trends in Europe. Below we share some of the findings.
Employee Benefits That Reflect the Current Situation
With office closures and our homes now also our workspace, many of the employee benefits that were once in demand and considered attractive no longer have the same appeal, like lunch subsidies and discounted annual public transport cards.
When survey participants were asked whether they think their current benefits offer reflects the current situation, less than 20% of participants in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, France, and Germany rate their current benefits offer as an 8 or higher on a scale of 0 to 10. Only in the Netherlands is it higher, where 34% of participants rate their current benefits offer an 8 or higher.
Perhaps more concerning, however, 33% of Germans, 25% of Brits, 28% of Swedes, and 23% of French participants rated their benefits a 3 or less.
What Benefits Employees Want Today
So, what would make employees more satisfied with their employee benefits today? Survey respondents in all countries said, first and foremost, they want a larger selection of benefits and discounts, followed by clearer information about their benefits, and, thirdly, more individually tailored benefits.
When participants were asked what benefits they would like their employer to offer that they are not currently offered today, the overwhelming majority said they would like to be offered financial benefits such as bonuses, profit-sharing, and company shares.
With COVID-19 having caused financial instability for millions of people around the world with job losses and reduced working hours, it’s not surprising that so many employees seek greater financial incentives and financial support. While you’re here, don’t miss our post on the importance of financial wellbeing and how to alleviate your employees’ day-to-day concerns about their finances.
A Glimpse into the Future
Although companies have begun introducing employees back to the office in certain countries, many experts say that 2020 marked the end of the traditional 9-5 office set-up that we once knew. Many say that soon the office will become a place only for collaborative work.
Be it full-time, part-time, or somewhere in between, it is clear that we will most certainly see greater flexibility and more employees working from home in the future.
Our survey reveals that 71% of participants in Sweden, 66% in the UK, 59% in Denmark, 55% in the Netherlands, 54% in France, and 51% in Germany say they would like the opportunity to work from home more in the future.
So, what benefits will be most important in the future? While the responses vary ever-so-slightly between countries, the consensus is that we will see a greater need for benefits adapted for working at home (e.g., ergonomic chair, an extra computer monitor, etc.), benefits that encourage work-life balance, benefits within mental health, and benefits around leave and working hours. To see a country-by-country breakdown of the top 3 benefits employees believe will be most important in the future, download the full report below.
Download The Future of Work Report: Employee Benefits and Work Trends in Europe.