UK businesses wasting thousands on unwanted workplace perks, says study

Is your company making the most out of employee benefits? Because according to a new UK study, a large majority of work perks aren’t appreciated nor wanted by employees.

Sage People, which published the research, spoke to some 3,500 workers to discover what workplace benefits staff truly value.

Specifically, it looks at quirky benefits and how staff interact with them. Just nine per cent of those questioned believe company outings are a valuable benefit, whereas just six per cent of workers value office games, such as ping-pong.

In fact, more than half (55 per cent) said these types of perks are distracting and decrease productivity.

The answer to providing valuable workplace benefits is by talking to workers, the report says. Despite this, the survey found that nearly half of workers have never been asked by their employer what will improve their experience, while just 13 per cent are asked on a regular basis.

The consequences of not providing the right perks, says Sage, is costing UK businesses through reduced productivity and a disengaged workforce.

Paul Burrin, vice president at Sage People, said: “Attracting and retaining talent is not a new challenge given the global skills crisis, but there are few signs of companies solving the issue. There is a clear disconnect between the employee and the employer in what constitutes a valued and productive workforce experience.

“Employers must listen, understand what their workforce wants, and crucially, act on this feedback. It’s never been easier to find new job opportunities and if organisations don’t provide positive workforce experiences, their staff will go elsewhere.”

He added: “Organisations need to make it a priority to know what motivates and drives their people, and work with them to create positive experiences so that their people are doing their best work. This is essential if we are to avoid productivity and GDP stagnating.”