POSTED: May 16 2019
The best and the worse workplace benefits

The best and the worse workplace benefits

Traditional staff benefits including paid holiday, pensions and flexible working top the list of benefits employees value the most whereas more quirky ideas such as being allowed to take your dog into the office are poorly received. Over a third of employers would however like to see their improve workplace benefits improve over an increase in salary.

Traditional workplace benefits like holiday allowance and pensions have trumped quirkier ‘benefits’ like being allowed to take your dog into the office, in a survey by Aviva1.

Out of a wide range of workplace benefits, 43% of UK employees said they were least interested in being allowed to take their dog into the workplace. More than a third of workers (34%) also said they weren’t interested in office entertainment like table football and video games. And more than one in four people (26%) even said workplace socials like summer and Christmas parties were among the benefits they were least interested in.

Traditional workplace benefits came out on top in the survey, as 43% of people said they were most interested in paid holiday, 41% opted for their pension with 39% choosing flexible working as the benefit they are most keen on.

Table 1: Which workplace benefits are employees most and least interested in?

Salary vs Benefits

For most people, pay will always be the ultimate benefit, and Aviva’s research proved that to be the case as 85% of workers said they would choose a salary increase over an improvement in their workplace benefits.

However, employers had a slightly different view with more than a third (38%) saying they would prefer to improve their benefits package for employees over increasing salaries.

Colin Williams, Managing Director of Workplace Benefits at Aviva, saidWorkplace benefits have really come under the spotlight in recent years as employers and employees realise that while salary is important, there’s more that can be offered.

But while we hear of companies across the world experimenting with a range of benefits, some more unusual than others, it’s encouraging to see that employees still value the more traditional benefits.

Offering holiday, a decent pension and access to flexible working are clearly important to employees. These types of benefits can help create the foundations of a resilient workforce and a resilient business.”


Table 2: 10 most popular benefits


Table 3: What matters the most to employees when choosing an employer and staying with them



You can read more about Aviva’s research here.


  1. 2,011 UK employees and 502 managers and above with recruitment responsibilities surveyed by Censuswide in March 2019 on behalf of Aviva.