Most Desirable Employee Benefits

Yoga classes? Chef-inspired lunches? What workplace benefits really matter?



In today’s hiring market, a generous benefits package is an essential, and often expected, part of attracting and retaining the best talent. Benefits and perks are a major factor when considering whether or not to accept a job offer and, according to a 2015 Glassdoor study, 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise.


Unusual and over-the-top benefits and perks can gain a company celebrity status among job seekers and tech companies have some of the most sought-after benefits like catered meals, in-office massages, on-site dry-cleaning, and basketball courts. While benefits like these help companies get noticed, they are not actually all that valuable when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.  In fact, some of the benefits that are most meaningful to employees are relatively low cost.


A 2016 study by Fractl shows that flexible hours, vacation time, and work-from-home options are ranked by employees as the most important benefits – only secondary to basic health insurance. These benefits make a big difference to many employees and they could give a lower-paying job an edge over a high-paying job with fewer benefits.


Flexibility is highly valued by employees with 88% of survey respondents saying that they’d give some or heavy consideration to a job offering flexible hours, while 80% would give consideration to a job that lets them work from home. Both flexible work hours and work-from-home arrangements are affordable perks for companies that want to create an appealing benefits package at a relatively low cost. Flexible work hours and work-from-home arrangements typically cost nothing and actually may save you money by lowering overhead costs.


More vacation time was an appealing perk for 80% of survey respondents and over two-thirds said they would consider a lower-paying job with unlimited vacation. An unlimited vacation policy is not only attractive to employees, but it also can be an asset to company culture – employees are trusted and empowered to manage their workload, regardless of how many days they take off. Contrary to what you might expect, unlimited time off doesn’t necessarily equal less productive employees and more time out of the office. In fact, in some cases, employees take less time off when given an unlimited amount of vacation time.


While benefits that give employees more work and life flexibility are highly valued, benefits that don’t directly impact an employee’s lifestyle, such as in-office food and coffee, and company events, were the least valued. This doesn’t mean that these expensive perks are not valued, but it means that they rank low on the list of benefits that make a difference to employees when evaluating a company to work for.


The study by Fractl shows that although health insurance is an expensive must-have benefit, there are also a number of inexpensive and highly sought-after benefits that you can employ to give you a competitive edge when attracting top talent.



Rodney Steele