Pay over perks? Our latest survey suggests otherwise

With 70% of people more worried about rising prices than climate change and world affairs, employers have a golden opportunity to step up and support employees through the current cost of living crisis.

While a salary boost seems the most obvious fix, findings from the latest chapter of the Global Eating at Work Study tell us otherwise. ‘Seeking Support’ highlights that a more holistic approach towards employee benefits and compensation could be seen as more valuable – keep reading to find out why.

Covering commute costs could see a mass return to the office

Lightening the financial burden of commuting could entice employees back to the office. With the average work commute in the UK costing £7.80, adding up to over £2000 annually, this financial strain has become more prominent in the era of remote work. Interestingly, 68% of UK office workers express a willingness to return to full-time office work if their employer covers the commuting costs – revealing an arrangement that could prove mutually advantageous for both employees and employers. 

Gen Z are re-defining the loyalty dynamic

The youngest generation of today’s workforce, Gen Z, is the toughest crowd to beat when it comes to the concept of employee compensation. With 70% scrutinising employee benefits more closely than they used to and 51% of Gen Z showing a diminished sense of loyalty towards their employers, a holistic approach to financial compensation is becoming increasingly worth paying attention to.  

Employees are keen for free mental health support

Employee demand for access to mental health services is on the rise. With the NHS facing significant challenges, particularly in the mental health service sector, it's no wonder that 21% of workers in the UK express a need for complimentary mental health support. This desire is even more pronounced in younger employees, where 27% of those aged 16-34 are keen to have free access to such support. 

Free or subsidised dining is a recipe for wellbeing

Put simply, employees want access to free or subsidised food and drink services. A well-fed and connected workforce is seen as more resilient to today's economic challenges, with 79% of people finding free or subsidised meals attractive. Plus, a huge 70% of people believe in-house food services shows that a company cares about its people and the rising cost of living – statistics giving employers more than just food for thought. 

A call to action for employers

The latest chapter of the Global Eating at Work Survey isn't just a report; it's a call to action. Employers need to embrace non-traditional benefits, staying ahead of the curve when it comes to supporting their workforce and creating a work environment that's not just surviving but thriving in the face of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 

Further reading