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Perks of Work: Creature Comfort Fans Lack Benefits Clout

Dec. 20, 2019, 10:46 AM

Time for Perks of Work, our weekly recap of intriguing data, surveys, and trends about the 21st century workplace.

Working on climbing the corporate ladder? Do you religiously Slack with work pals about dream benefits packages? Check this space every Friday to keep up with the latest water-cooler talk.

Dare to Dream

Negotiating business deals is a give and take.

Aim high. Lowball. Grumble loudly. Eventually meet somewhere in the middle.

The must-have benefits that employees shared with insurance company Unum Group—top priorities included “generous” paid leave (40%) and teleworking options (30%)—are perennial requests.

What’s most interesting is the crop of underdogs that can’t quite muster double-digit support.

Some of the candidates stuck in the “might be nice, but we’ll probably never know” category include: welcoming four-legged friends in the office (9%), chipping in for public transit (8%), and paying staff for volunteering outside of work (5%).

Stay strong, animal lovers.

The latest Society of Human Resource Management data shows that 11% of employers (a five-year high!) warmed to having Fido romp around HQ in 2019.

Jingle All the Way

Tis the season—to do anything but work while on the clock.

HR provider Hibob asked 1,000 employees how holidays affect their regular routine and what management does to spice things up.

A supermajority of the respondents (76%) said their offices look “festive” during the holiday season. Over two-thirds (68%) appreciate that the company hosts some sort of holiday party.

More than 60% of the respondents said they are taking time off around the holidays—something that seems to stress out half of those who report “having to work harder” to fill in for the vacationers. The team players shouldering the extra load are not likely to get much help from colleagues who admitted to feeling “distracted” (36%) throughout the holidays.

“Be realistic with your goals and plan ahead to ensure no one individual feels they have to take on the burden of the holidays,” Hibob CEO Ronni Zehavi counseled employers.

Lessons Learned

Workers went through a lot in the 2010s.

Educational service Udemy compiled a top-ten list of workplace trends from the closing decade, plucking out what it felt was the juiciest tidbit from assorted employee surveys.

Some of the highlights include: two-thirds of respondents oppose allowing co-workers to bring pets to work; one in seven (73%) millennials expect they’ll need additional education/skills training to advance in their careers; nearly half (43%) of office staff said they’re “bored or disengaged” at work; over a third (36%) of millennials admitted to spending two-plus hours of the work day glued to their phones; and 47% of all employees said they’re officially burnt out.

“Lying, bullying, boredom, stress, and generational conflict have all appeared prominently in Udemy reports from the past decade,” Udemy VP Shelley Osborne said of the sobering coda. “The next decade will be about workers adopting a flexible, growth mindset and employers creating an environment where change can thrive.”

Hungry for more? Send any tips, polls, or story pitches to wrojas@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Rojas in Washington at wrojas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Childers at achilders@bloomberglaw.com

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