The world of work is constantly evolving based on the changing requirements of both employers and employees. The rise of remote work has opened up the globe for forward-thinking employers, giving prospective employees the opportunity to work for anyone from anywhere.
This rapid transition to facilitate globally-distributed teams comes with some new HR challenges. Companies must offer diverse, equitable, and compliant benefit packages in multiple countries to attract and retain the best talent. Employers hiring internationally need to understand which benefits are required by law, and which benefits will be valued in each individual country.
Remote has conducted a study to help you get a better understanding of which benefits are most valued by employees looking for a remote job in 2022.
Through research and a survey conducted to 10,000 full-time workers in Europe and the USA, the report outlines the most in-demand employee benefits in 2022 split by gender, parental status, job function and industry sector, across France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA.
Learn how to build a global benefits plan to help you attract and retain top talent
The importance of remote and flexible working is undeniable in today’s world, but which employees place the most value on these provisions?
We have uncovered the most in-demand employee benefits in 2022 by surveying 10,000 full-time employees across different genders, industries, job functions, countries, and parental statuses. The following highlights give you an indication of the insights you can find from the full research report:
Parental status of employees
Full-time remote working
Part-time remote working
Flexible working hours
|Parent of a child||52.61%||68.29%||81.06%|
|Parent of multiple children||48.06%||64.15%||76.82%|
|Not a parent, planning to be within 5 years||42.75%||62.74%||75.39%|
|Not a parent, not planning to be within 5 years||36.07%||51.18%||72.72%|
Parental status of employees
Full-time remote working
Part-time remote working
Flexible working hours
|Parent of a child||20.28%||12.50%||4.46%|
|Parent of multiple children||22.92%||12.41%||5.57%|
|Not a parent, planning to be within 5 years||25.78%||13.66%||5.91%|
|Not a parent, not planning to be within 5 years||31.93%||21.72%||7.76%|
The opportunity to work remotely is most important to parents of one child, though most employees, regardless of family status or future plans, agree remote work is important. Remote work and flexible hours offer parents the opportunity to work in a way that best suits their family’s circumstances.
Companies should recognise that the most productive hours of many employees sit outside of the traditional 9 am-5 pm timeframe, often due to childcare or other external commitments.
Allowing staff to choose the hours that work best for them can decrease the likelihood of stress and burnout, reduce employee absences and improve job satisfaction.
By offering remote work and flexible hours, employers will have a better chance of attracting highly skilled professionals with young children that are actively searching for roles with these provisions.
|Country||Full-time remote working||Part-time remote working|
Dutch employers are more used to their staff adopting a fully-remote or hybrid working model. Even before the pandemic, the Netherlands maintained a highly flexible working culture. This could explain why out of all of the countries surveyed, employees from the Netherlands are more likely to see remote work as an important benefit. Employers hiring Dutch workers should facilitate remote work to attract and retain top talent.
The UK, Germany, and USA follow behind the Netherlands, with employees in France the least likely to say remote work is important whether offered partially or all of the time.
|Employee job function||Full-time remote working||Part-time remote working|
|Finance and Accounts||54.91%||18.27%||74.93%||7.09%|
Full-time remote work is most important to employees in advertising roles, while part-time remote work is most important to those in IT roles.
Whether part-time or full time, remote work is significantly less desired by employees in production and sales roles than any other. This could highlight that employers need to make remote work more accessible for people working these job functions so that they too can discover and enjoy the benefits remote work brings.
This shows the importance of offering remote work opportunities in at least a part-time capacity when it aligns with the function of the role. The best benefits packages are the ones that take into consideration the types of employees they will be offered to, and are tailored accordingly.
We surveyed 10,000 full-time employees in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US to uncover which benefits are deemed the most desirable when considering a job move, across different genders, parental statuses, job roles, and industries.
When considering a change in employment, the workforce tends to compare their current benefits packages with those offered by alternative employers. This helps them decide whether to stay or whether to go, and once they’ve made their mind up to leave, it informs which positions are worth applying for.
Whether an employer’s primary aim is to attract top talent or retain it, flexible working hours, company-sponsored retirement plans or pensions, and early finishes on Fridays are the top three perks to consider including in their benefits packages, based on our survey of 10,000 full-time employees in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.
From an employee health-related benefit perspective, employees in the US see paid time off for self-care/mental health and private and family health insurance as more important than employees in any of the European countries we surveyed.
Those living in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK all have access to universal healthcare, whereas, in the US, medical fees are an individual cost.
It is therefore crucial as an employer to develop customized benefits packages based on what is most valued in your business region.
Offering medical insurance to support US employees with healthcare expenses will demonstrate your care and maintain equity across your global team.
|To what extent do you agree the following should be provided by your workplace?||Male employees||Female employees|
|Flexible work hours||74.15%||78.79%|
|4-day working week||59.55%||66.96%|
|Private health insurance||59.22%||64.98%|
|Family health insurance||58.00%||66.34%|
|Remote work from anywhere policy||55.86%||57.61%|
|Private life insurance||54.79%||57.88%|
|Paid self-care days or time off for mental health||54.46%||63.09%|
|Private dental insurance||54.46%||60.70%|
|Childcare assistance (employees can pay care expenses for children with pre-tax money)||52.40%||61.38%|
Flexible working is the most important employee benefit when considering a job change across the 10,000 full-time male and female employees we surveyed in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.
This could mean employees who currently have flexible work are less likely to switch to a company without it, and those who do not have the opportunity to work flexible hours at their current job are likely to be attracted to jobs that do offer this. Therefore, employers will see improvements in both their recruitment and retention by offering flexible work.
|To what extent do you agree the following should be provided by your workplace?||Employees who are parents||Employees with no children|
|Flexible work hours||77.97%||75.05%|
|Company-sponsored retirement plan or pension||75.37%||74.47%|
|Family health insurance||67.56%||56.78%|
|Early finish on Fridays||65.070%||61.93%|
|Childcare assistance (employees can pay care expenses for children with pre-tax money)||65.11%||48.56%|
|4-day working week||65.08%||61.57%|
|Private health insurance||64.25%||60.01%|
|Healthcare cost reimbursements||63.31%||58.83%|
|Paid self-care days or time off for mental health||61.25%||56.43%|
Flexible working is the most important benefit to both parents and non-parents, highlighting the importance of allowing all employees the freedom to work in a way that suits their circumstances best.
From the rest of the survey results, we can see that whilst they are valued by both groups, family health insurance, childcare assistance, and miscarriage leave are significantly more important to parents than non-parents.
To aid employee retention, businesses should implement benefits that not only cater to employees without children, but also remain valuable should they decide to start families. This reduces the likelihood of employees that are preparing to start families leaving the company to look for new jobs that better accommodate their changing circumstances.
Flexible working is also the most important benefit in every job function except production and other roles. Employers with high numbers of staff working in production roles and roles not listed specifically in our survey could be better off incorporating company-sponsored retirement plans or pensions into their benefit packages.
Looking at the rest of the survey results, we can see that access to dedicated breastfeeding rooms in the office is the most important to employees in advertising roles.
However, no matter the industry you’re in, employers should always consider creating dedicated private spaces for parents to breastfeed. Whilst promoting inclusion, this also helps welcome and support new parents returning to the workplace, and is likely to attract a more diverse range of high quality candidates.
Learn how to build a global benefits plan to help you attract and retain top talent
We surveyed 10,000 full-time employees in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US across different genders, job roles, industries, parental status and countries to discover which wellness-specific benefits were the most important.
|Most important employee wellness benefits by country|
|Hours off every month specifically for mental health improvement||65.55%||57.75%||58.15%||61.55%||62.10%|
|Confidential paid therapy or coaching||53.35%||46.00%||55.55%||51.10%||55.10%|
|Healthy food in the office, home deliveries, or meal stipends||70.15%||62.95%||66.55%||52.75%||52.75%|
|Virtual mindfulness sessions||42.55%||30.80%||38.30%||47.25%||43.85%|
|Physical therapy / massages||61.15%||53.15%||50.90%||43.00%||46.65%|
|Virtual Yoga sessions||42.40%||28.85%||31.50%||32.35%||32.40%|
In the UK and the US, access to hours off work each month for mental health improvement is the most important employee wellness benefit for companies to offer. Today, society’s focus on mental wellness is more prevalent than ever. It is vital for employers to follow suit in prioritizing the mental health of their staff, and removing the blockages some employees may face in seeking support for mental health improvement, such as time restraints.
In France, Germany and the Netherlands, however, employees see healthy food in the office, home deliveries or meal stipends as the most important. Therefore, employers of people in these regions should prioritize healthy food in their wellness packages.
Our survey of all 10,000 employees has revealed the most important benefits when considering a change in job, but what matters most when it comes to wellness specifically?
According to Emma Dolby, Head of Recruitment and Apprenticeships at Direct Air, “Employees now place a high value in wellness perks such as access to mental health support, health care, and support for personal growth. Businesses offering benefits focused on employee wellness tend to have an employee-focused culture, meaning a healthy and happy work environment."
With healthy food in the office, home deliveries and meal stipends being the most important wellness benefits overall, it’s a good idea for global employers to consider adding this to their wellness perks packages.
Second on the list of the most important employee wellness benefits is access to time off work each month to spend on mental health improvement, which highlights just how vital it is for companies to actively support both the physical and mental health of employees.
|Most important employee wellness benefits||Male employees||Female employees|
|Healthy food in the office, home deliveries, or meal stipends||60.70%||61.34%|
|Hours off every month specifically for mental health improvement||56.97%||64.84%|
|Physical therapy / massages||50.65%||51.27%|
|Confidential paid therapy or coaching||50.36%||51.27%|
|Virtual mindfulness sessions||38.56%||42.43%|
|Virtual yoga sessions||31.66%||53.24%|
For male employees, the most important wellness benefit is healthy food in the office, home deliveries or meal stipends. However, female employees are generally most interested in having time off of work specifically to improve their mental health. From one perspective, our survey results could suggest that female employees could face greater mental health challenges in the workplace than their male counterparts, or on the other hand, they could simply suggest that they value mental wellbeing more than male employees do.
Regardless, employers have a responsibility to monitor the mental wellbeing of all their staff through regular one-to-one interviews, surveys, reviews, and other initiatives that detect any instances of inequity that could result in any group struggling disproportionately with their mental health.The importance of monitoring and providing wellness and mental health benefits to employees is more important than ever.
In our survey to 10,000 full-time employees in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US, we wanted to find out which employee training benefits are the most important across genders, job roles, industries, and parental statuses. Technical courses or training for skills growth in specific work fields emerged as the most important.
|Most important employee training benefits||Employees that agree||Employees that disagree|
|Technical courses or trainings for growing skills in my specific work field||74.97%||6.21%|
|Leadership courses or training to help employees advance their careers||71.42%||7.13%|
|Software courses or training (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, video conference tools like Zoom or Teams, engineering training, design tools, etc.)||70.28%||7.69%|
|Remote work communication courses or training||61.28%||11.74%|
|Remote work specific leadership courses or training||59.75%||12.14%|
|Diversity and inclusion courses or training||57.84%||13.95%|
Our research revealed that overall, the top employee training specific benefit is technical courses or training for skills growth in specific work fields. But how does this differ when we look at different employee characteristics such as gender, different industry sectors and job functions?
Companies should note that diversity and inclusion training came in below other courses. While this could be an indication that employees have not seen much value from diversity training in the past, it may also mean they do not see value in diversity or inclusion, which would be a sign that more and better training should be provided.
|Most important leadership courses or training courses to help employees advance their careers by gender||Male employees||Female employees|
|Technical courses or trainings for growing skills in my specific work field||72.19%||77.59%|
|Leadership courses or training to help employees advance their careers||68.26%||74.40%|
|Software courses or training (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, video conference tools like Zoom or Teams, engineering training, design tools, etc.)||67.89%||72.54%|
|Remote work communication courses or training||60.02%||62.47%|
|Remote work specific leadership courses or training||59.32%||60.16%|
|Diversity and inclusion courses or training||52.67%||62.72%|
The most important training-related benefit for both males and females is the opportunity to take part in technical courses or training for skills growth in their specific work field. This is a perk that benefits both employees and employers, staff will benefit from greater job satisfaction and improved knowledge, whilst employers will see better efficiency and increased staff retention.
Whether your workforce is more male or female dominated, providing career-specific training is crucial.
|Most important employee training benefits by country|
|Technical courses or trainings for growing skills in my specific work field||79.15%||70.85%||73.95%||77.15%||73.75%|
|Leadership courses or training to help employees advance their careers||74.25%||67.55%||69.75%||73.20%||72.35%|
|Software courses or training (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, video conference tools like Zoom or Teams, engineering training, design tools, etc.)||74.10%||66.55%||70.20%||71.25%||69.30%|
|Diversity and inclusion courses or training||59.10%||49.25%||55.05%||64.45%||61.35%|
|Remote work communication courses or training||63.50%||56.35%||64.40%||62.45%||59.70%|
|Remote work specific leadership courses or training||57.05%||61.90%||61.95%||61.05%||56.80%|
Employees in every country we surveyed agreed that technical courses or training for growing skills in their specific work field is the most important. Global companies with employees living in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK or the USA should include this within their benefits packages.
Parental leave beyond statutory requirements is important to employees who have children and employees without, whether they plan to start a family within the next five years or not. This shows how much workers value employers that offer them flexibility in relation to changes in life circumstances beyond the workplace.
Setting up a home office can be an expensive cost for employees to take on, especially if the role requires specialist equipment. Which is why many of the employees we surveyed, especially those in the Netherlands, see it as important that monitors, desks, chairs and other equipment needed for remote work, is paid for at least partially by their employer.
Global remote employers that do not currently offer partial or full funding for home office equipment should consider including it in their benefits package, as across all of the workers we surveyed, 62.73% of employees feel it’s important for employers to finance at least part of their home office set up.
|To what extent do you agree that employers should finance at least part of a work from home office setup?||Employees that agree||Employees that disagree|
Looking from a regional level, partial financing for a home office setup is important to almost 70% of employees in the Netherlands, however it’s important to just over half of employees in the USA. This, once again, stresses the importance of a curated global benefit plan adjusted to the desires of the local population.
Sources and Methodology
We conducted a survey to 10,000 workers across the UK, the USA, Germany, France and The Netherlands