What tops employees’ Christmas wish lists for 2016?

03 December 2015
  • Additional annual leave is ranked as the most popular perk by employees (38%)
  • In contrast, employers believe the number one perk is flexible working hours (56%)

London, 03 December 2015 - As employees’ thoughts turn to the Christmas season and a gradual wind-down towards the end of 2015, many are also gearing up for a brand new working year starting 4th January 2016 and thinking about what they want employers to provide beyond salaries and bonuses.

According to independent research amongst UK employees undertaken by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half, there is a significant mismatch between what employees want and what employers think they would like.

Topping the wish list for employees is more holiday/annual leave, ranked most popular perk by almost four-in-10 (38%) respondents and ahead of more flexible working hours (28%), more training or professional development opportunities (16%), home working/telecommuting (12%) and other corporate services such as ironing services or fitness centre (3%).

Employees were asked: "Other than additional compensation, which one of the following do you believe would top your employees' wish lists when it comes to their jobs next year?"

More holiday/annual leave

40%

More flexible working hours

28%

More training or professional development opportunities

16%

Home office/telecommuting

12%

Other corporate perks, such as ironing services or a subsidised gym       

3%

 

The findings are in complete contrast to views from employers, who believe that the number one perk in demand from employees is flexible working hours, cited by 56% of finance directors surveyed by Robert Half – exactly twice the proportion of employees who actually want flexibility.

Less than a quarter (23%) of CFOs believe that extra holidays top employees’ wish list, while 9% think employees would rather work from home and 5% think employees would like to have more corporate services.  Interestingly, half the proportion of CFOs (8%) as employees (16%) thought that more training and professional services would be most in demand.

CFOs were asked: "Other than additional compensation, which one of the following do you believe would top your employees' wish lists when it comes to their jobs next year?"

More flexible working hours

56%

More holiday/annual leave

23%

Home office/telecommuting

9%

More training or professional development opportunities

8%

Other corporate perks, such as ironing services or a subsidised gym       

5%

 
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “The focus on employee recruitment and retention sharpens in a robust economy and many executives may be undervaluing a perk their workforce wants most. Flexible working is slowly becoming an expectation for many employees, particularly those negotiating their job offer, while having additional paid time off is even more highly valued.

“It’s tempting in our ‘always-on’ economy to let the lines between home life and work become blurred, but it’s worth remembering that to maintain a productive and loyal workforce, employers need to give their staff the opportunity to switch off and recharge.  Offering extra time off over the holidays will mean that employees return with higher levels of motivation and morale in January."

ENDS

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.