Nontraditional benefits ‘highly significant’; flexible hours/schedule most important

September 04 2018

Nontraditional benefits such as flexible work schedules, unlimited paid time off and remote work options may help employers attract and retain employees, according to a survey released by professional employer organization TriNet Group Inc. (NYSE: TNET).

Nontraditional benefits include perks such as flexible work schedule, commuter benefits, unlimited paid time off, paid volunteer time and remote work options. Eight-five percent of survey respondents said that providing such incentives improves employee morale; 82% said it improves employee retention and 73% said it improves company culture.

“It is no longer just about compensation, as employees also view time spent with family and friends — and pursuing other aspects of their life — as highly significant,” said Catherine Wragg, senior VP of human resources at TriNet. “Nontraditional benefits can help employers stand out by offering uncommon perks that can be meaningful to employees, positively impact company culture, and potentially help retain top talent.”

The survey found flexible work hours/schedule is the most important nontraditional benefit — with a weighted average importance ranking of 4.38 out of 5.00 — when compared to commuter benefits, unlimited paid time off, paid volunteer time, remote work options, extended paid leave options or paid company shutdowns during major holidays. Paid company shutdowns during major holidays and having the option to work remotely also ranked high at 4.15 and 4.12, respectively.

When comparing categories of non-traditional benefits — such as education assistance, health and wellness assistance, transportation, paid leave and childcare benefits — employees put the highest priority on having a work-life balance with a weighted average importance ranking among surveyed respondents of 4.36. Paid leave (excluding vacation pay, sick pay and paid time off) followed at 4.31.

Childcare benefits rank as the least important category in the list, at a weighted average importance ranking of 2.76.

Respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 rated nontraditional benefits as “extremely important.” This age group ranked paid leave, health and wellness benefits and work/life balance as the most important non-traditional benefits categories when compared to education assistance, transportation and childcare benefits. 

TriNet conducted the survey between May 14 and May 21, 2018. The approximately 3,000 respondents are all employees of TriNet client companies. 

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