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Companies have been in the news a lot recently with some of the top brands competing on what kind of unusual perks they can offer their staff. But what about the ordinary SMEs who can’t afford the big newsworthy perks like paying for their workers’ weddings or holidays?

As a small business owner, there are still plenty of things you can give back to your workers without necessarily spending a lot of money.

Work-life balance comes out on top

According to research from Paymentsense, the top perks that employees would like to see aren’t in the form of big bonuses but are centred on achieving a better work-life balance.

The top perk that people wanted was to finish early on Fridays, 35% said they wanted this. This was followed by unlimited holiday time, said by 35%. Cash-based perks come in third place with 32% saying they’d like to see more bonuses.

Other top perks

Other perks that workers would like to see offered are:

Companies risk losing staff

The survey was put to 2,000 full-time office workers from all over the UK. Paymentsense found that one in ten office workers didn’t get any perks in their job.

Many of those surveyed rated their happiness at work with a two out of ten score. Of those that did, two thirds said that they would consider leaving their jobs because of the lack of work perks, seeking more generous companies.

This means that businesses who are finding it hard to retain staff should take a look at how they’re rewarding their employees for their hard work. Something as simple as letting workers go a couple of hours early on a Friday can make all the difference. It can lead to better office morale, happier and therefore productive workers.

In order to improve motivation at work, finishing early on Friday was cited as the top perk that would help, with 26% saying this.

More than one in five employees said that they would even give up 15% of their salary in order to have flexible working. So the company perks listed above might not even end up costing you as much as you think. Perks like finishing early could even be optional, depending on what your staff value more, free time or money. Overall, workers value flexibility and a company who understands their needs.


Have you got any perks in place for your workers? What effect has that had on productivity levels? Let us know your thoughts on work perks by leaving a comment below!

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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