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Forget extreme incentives, what do employees in the UK really want from their job?

New research conducted by facilities and building maintenance specialists Direct365 has revealed what perks UK employees really want from their employers, with a further survey showing that 61% of people believe they don’t receive enough incentives.

A new trend has seen some of the world’s biggest companies offering “extreme employee incentives”, from catered lunches to massages. Silicon Valley leaders like Google, who offer places to nap during the day and free childcare, Netflix who offer unlimited holidays, are good examples of businesses that are going above and beyond for their staff.

Phil Turner, head of digital at Direct365, said that while free lunches and yoga classes are all well and good, employers need to think about what would really make people happy, said: “Many companies tend to behave like ostriches when dealing with employee benefits. They stick their heads in the sand and believe that extreme benefits can make up for other shortcomings. However, the truth is that they aren’t necessarily offering perks that their employees really want. Much more thought needs to be put into considering exactly what the employees themselves need.”

More than a third of respondents (35%) said they would prefer flexible working – the most populous answer. More than a quarter (27%) said they wanted a company car. One in six (14%) said they would prefer a gym membership and 6% opted for childcare vouchers.

Phil Turner said: “It sounds so basic, but the best way to find out what your employees want is to ask them. Just talk to them and you’ll likely find that they will tell you, and that the same things will crop up regularly.

“The benefits of implementing employee incentives cannot be overlooked. By focusing more on staff and showing gratitude where it is deserved, employers could be rewarded themselves with an increase in productivity, reduced absences, improved customer service and, most importantly, a reduction in the number of staff looking to move jobs.”