Most Wanted Employee Benefits: European Employees Share What They Want

Last updated: 2021-11-194 min read time
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To say that the corona pandemic disrupted all of our lives in 2020 would be an understatement. From travel and leisure to social contact and place of work, COVID-19 quickly changed life as we once knew it.

In response to the pandemic, organizations worldwide were forced to adapt to new ways of working, which required organizations to digitalize their operations overnight. Organizations had to immediately rethink outdated working models, while employees finally had the chance to demonstrate that remote working and flexible working hours are not only possible but help contribute to a greater work-life balance and, in many cases, even increase productivity

Today, not only have we changed how, when, and where we work but what employees want has also changed. To find out exactly what employees say they want, we conducted a survey of more than 39,000 employees across Europe, and the results were truly eye-opening.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

We asked participants in the UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands how satisfied they are with their current employee benefits.
Although the highest numbers can be found in the Netherlands, less than half of Dutch employees say they are very satisfied with the benefits offered to them by their employer.

Germany (37%) comes in second place, followed by Denmark (35%), the UK (33%), France (32%) and, finally, Sweden (29%). In any case, what is clear is that employers need to review their current benefits strategy. If you need help, don’t miss our 5 steps to a successful benefits strategy. 

Most wanted benefits

Here’s What Employees Say They Want

So, exactly what benefits do employees want today? In our survey, we asked participants to select three employee benefits they would like their employers to offer. Below we highlight the top two for each country, however, to get a full picture and see the top three benefits, be sure to download The Future of Work Report: Employee Benefits and Work Trends in Europe.


1. Financial benefits (e.g., bonuses, shares, profit-sharing etc.) (26.52%)
2. Leave and working hours (e.g., vacation exchange, reduced hours) (22.40%)


1. Financial benefits (28.11%)
2. Pension benefits (25.59%)


1. Financial benefits (24.77%)
2. Leave and working hours (18.27%)

1. Financial benefits (41.90%)
2. Pension benefits (18.23%)
The Netherlands

1. Financial benefits (33.45%)
2. Food and beverage benefits (18.08%)


1. Discounts for private consumption (22.99%)
2. Financial benefits (22.06%)Employee Satisfaction

The results are clear. With the pandemic causing financial insecurity for millions of employees worldwide, it’s not surprising to see people seeking a more secure future, selecting pension benefits and other financial benefits as their most important employee benefits today. For a comprehensive guide to the importance of financial well-being, be sure to download our e-book, Financial Wellness: The Topic You Can’t Afford to Ignore.

Despite the fact that many offices still remain closed across Europe and millions of Europeans are still working from home, leave and working hours (e.g., vacation exchange, reduced hours) is another much-desired benefit that employees want their employers to offer today. This finding supports the theory made by many experts that we have seen the end of the traditional 9-5 office model – employees seek greater flexibility.

Want to read more findings from our largest European study to date? Download The Future of Work Report: Employee Benefits and Work Trends in Europe  today!