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Perks at Work

January 30, 2024

What are perks at work?

There are those who would put Benefits such as Group Medical Insurance or Death in Service under the banner of Perks at Work. This is not correct. Perks at work are also not things like share schemes, flexible hours or health and wellbeing programmes. These are all foundational benefits which make up a wider Benefits Package. They fulfil the provision, protective and preventative safety blanket in which employees can thrive.

Perks at work should be considered as the cherry on top. They contribute to making the workplace a fun and engaging place to be.

When constructing an employee benefits package, we use a bespoke design framework called The Four P’s. Provision, protection, prevention and the fourth is Perks. We believe Perks should be the final element of a comprehensive benefits package because, by nature, they are caffeine hits. They provide a short, sharp dopamine hit of fun or engagement, but the effects of them quickly wane. Especially if the wider benefits package is not providing a foundation of support and provision for your employees.

Why are perks at work important?

Perks being the fourth element of our 4 P’s proposition should by no means diminish their importance. On average we spend 90,000 hours of our life in work, and if we’re not going to enjoy our time there, it’ll make for a pretty depressing life! Don’t just take our word for it – In 2021, reward platform Pluxee surveyed 2000 people across the UK, which found 59.8% of employees would more likely remain with a company that provided perks.

Workplace perks provide employees with a bit of respite in their day. A chance to pause from the pressure of hard work to play a game of ping pong. To enjoy a nice cup of coffee from a luxury machine without the £4 price tag. To have a laugh and a chat with your colleagues during a companywide Pizza Friday lunch. Each of these perks offer that caffeine hit feeling. The dopamine rush helps you find a bit more enjoyment in the often-monotonous day to day.

Perks are not just consigned to the workplace.

 A comprehensive range of perks at work will cross over into all areas of an individual’s life. They may include discount schemes to popular retailers or entertainment venues, subsidised gym membership, reward and recognition platforms where staff can be given kudos and rewards for good work.

foosball perk at work

Perks can also be employee funded and there is a number of salary sacrifice initiatives that can be put in place which can help employees to contribute or pay for items or services in a tax efficient way. These may include Give as you earn schemes or Technology schemes. Interestingly, on average employees are willing to contribute at least 3% of their salary towards perks.

The nice thing about perks is they do not have to cost companies a lot of money. With a bit of creative thinking, there are initiatives that companies can provide, for a minimal cost. For example, at Bigmore Benefits, every Thursday we run a ‘leave work early game’. We create a weird and wacky game or activity, and the winner gets to leave work early. The entire team has had a bit of fun together and the lucky winner gets a little bit of extra time in their day to spend as they wish.

The business benefits of providing perks at work

As is always true for companies, any investment they make is aimed to provide a return. When perks at work are done well, they play an integral role in cementing the culture of a team, they make the workplace more fun and enjoyable, and they can bring people together. The result of this helps to attract and retain quality employees to your company.

Perhaps the biggest role that perks at work play in a benefits package is creating employee engagement. Whether you opt for the ping pong table or not, focusing on perks that bring a team together, allowing everyone to build stronger relationships, creates a more comfortable and familiar dynamic at the office. And who doesn’t want to work somewhere that just feels like a nice place to be?

happy meeting day

The best perks at work for your company

All workplaces have different requirements when it comes to Perks at work. Perks must be aligned to your budget, demographic of employees, and the culture you’re trying to build. If all your employees are young, creatives that enjoy keeping fit, the range of perks at work that can be implemented for decent engagement should be straight forward.

Avoid the buffet table of Benefits! If your demographic of staff is vast, it’s important to strike the right balance between designing and implementing a range of Perks at Work that will receive engagement across the board. We always advise companies to avoid ‘the buffet table of benefits’ because it becomes confusing for staff, it leads to poor take up and engagement, and ultimately results in arduous administration with little return on the investment.

Request a Free Perks at Work Design for your company

Designing Perks at work should be seen as an art and a science. When done well, it can help boost the engagement and culture of your teams. Done poorly, it will result in wasted resources, time, and money to the organisation. Worst still, it’ll have no effect in attracting and retaining the best staff to your organisation.

Our free perks at work design will help you to create a perks package that is suited to your employees, your budget, and receives healthy engagement.

Complete the form below to make a start!


Article by Dave Sykes
Employee Benefits & Engagement Director, Bigmore Benefits

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