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3 min read

Outdated workplace benefits and what to replace them with

Outdated workplace benefits and what to replace them with

Pizza Fridays

While a few slices of pizza with your colleagues sounds like a nice way to round off the week, this perk doesn’t rank very highly on the list of workplace benefits that workers desire. Claro Wellbeing’s 2022 Financial Wellbeing report asked employees which benefits they’re most keen to have, and the results had little or no pizza residue intact. 

Ranked first on the list was financial wellbeing, followed by mental wellbeing, child support, physical wellbeing and transport-related benefits. Particularly during the cost of living crisis, people are more concerned about paying their mortgage than having a slice of Hawaiian pizza at work. A financial wellbeing benefit can help improve staff finances and in turn, alleviate stress and improve mental health.There’s still room for office treats, but they shouldn’t be listed as core benefits.


Company Phone

Before the days of unlimited data phone plans, workers were rightfully perturbed by the idea of footing the bill for work-related phone activity. Whether it’s making international calls or maintaining company social media accounts outside office hours, so long as the extra-curricular work is remunerated through wages, employees aren’t as stressed about the data costs incurred anymore as they’re likely to be on a plan that surpasses their needs.

A more effective workplace benefit would be to subsidise home internet costs and other household bills that staff are paying for. The emergence of working from home means that people are spending longer online than ever before, potentially even requiring internet access with higher speeds, in addition to increased energy costs from heat and electricity usage.

A survey from social enterprise Giki showed that only 1 in 10 UK employees have received advice or encouragement from their employer to help reduce their heating bills. For companies using a hybrid working policy, a contribution to household bills would be a strong benefit to offer current and potential staff, as it recognises a desire to ease the burden of soaring energy costs.


Table Tennis

While workplace games can be a great way to facilitate colleague bonding, not everyone enjoys the competitive or physical nature of things like table tennis, table football or dart boards. Research from payroll software provider Sage shows that only 6% of employees value games like ping pong as part of the work experience. 

While these games can lighten the mood, they’re hard to consider as a legitimate workplace benefit. If the aim of having table tennis is to encourage physical activity, a gym subscription is a stronger offering for your people. If the aim is to boost morale, consider a way to do so that caters to all interests. A survey or focus group is a great way to source ideas from the people that will actually use the benefits.


Irrelevant Employee Discounts

Offering a wide range of relevant discounts to employees can be a strong perk if it’s organised effectively. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach rarely works here, as people tend to have different desires and habits in everyday life. Also, the discounts need to help employees with saving money on things they regularly buy, rather than ending up spending money on things they wouldn’t usually buy. 10% off an expensive restaurant is a nice gesture, but it’s not much of an incentive to go there or reason regard your employer in a more positive light.

A stronger perk is giving your team access to a personal development budget. They can use that money however they see fit, regardless of the area of interest. Many companies stipulate that the fund must cover something relating to their particular role, which can be negatively received, as it’s a blatant ploy to encourage upskilling for the benefit of the company. Strive to better the person, not the product.


Company Merch

An introductory lanyard and water bottle can seem like a nice gesture to welcome new people to the company or make life a bit easier for existing employees, but that shouldn’t be a core perk on your list of benefits. These are things that should simply be available to those who want them (and need an incentive to stay hydrated or avoid losing their ID card).

A better benefit would be to give employees access to a fund that will improve their workday. Whether it’s to spend on a monitor to improve working from home conditions or an e-scooter to ease the office commute, the employee has free reign. By allowing people to make their own choices with minimal ground rules, you can learn a lot to help improve your benefits package going forward.