Extracurricular clubs and activities are the most desired workplace perks, according to research by employee benefits platform Perkbox.
A study of 2,315 UK workers asked respondents to rate a number of employee benefits out of 100, and extracurricular clubs such as arts and crafts and book clubs scored 97.57, ahead of a pool table (92.03), a ping-pong table (89.38) and office sports teams (88.59).
Hobby-related perks appealed to a total of 83% of respondents, with 48% saying they could improve the way their teams work together. However, despite the popularity of clubs and activities, just 3% of employers offer them, according to the survey.
Chieu Cao, CMO and co-founder at Perkbox, said: “It’s interesting to see that extracurricular clubs and activities such as book clubs are in such high demand by UK employees. This is good news for many employers. As the data has shown, clubs and activities can actually have broader positive effects on the workforce than simply keeping employees happy. These more sociable benefits can actually help teams bond and work better together, creating a more positive company culture where employees feel engaged.”
Language classes were the hobby-based perk respondents were most interested in (29%), followed by cooking or baking classes (20%), crafts classes or workshops (18%), dance classes (17%) and art classes or workshops (15%).
The most common workplace perks received by employees were free coffee or hot drinks and Christmas parties (both 30%), which in terms of popularity scored 84.63 (ninth place) and 72.76 (34th) out of 100 respectively, followed by flexi-hours (29%), scoring 82.83 (11th).
More than one in three (34%) respondents said organisations offer perks that might sound good, but that employees do not actually use them.
Cao said: “Interestingly, this research has shown a bit of disconnect between what employees want and what employers believe they want. In order to ensure the budget being put into offering employee benefits is being used as effectively as it can, this is something that employers should pay closer attention to. If a benefit or perk that is being offered isn’t something the majority of the workforce are interested in, it begs the question of whether it is the best use of this budget.”