Is Your Work Perk Actually a Perk or Just Standard Practice? Here’s the Difference

work perk

For those of us who are non-essential workers, what used to be a nice perk — working from home — became standard practice last year, and for some, continues to be one this year. Thanks to COVID, and snap-lockdowns, it could continue to be so for months to come, until we’re fully vaccinated. What comes after? We can’t predict that, we don’t even know when international borders are opening.

What about other perks, versus practices? Career website SEEK has you covered there, as it published a survey in March clarifying the two — and revealing exactly what a perk is.

It turns out, that by their definition, a perk is considered as “nice-to-have” — not a necessity in the workplace, but they are important to job satisfaction and important in terms of people’s attitudes towards an organisation. Almost a quarter of Australians say that in addition to salary, employee benefits play a significant role in terms of deciding on a role.

In fact, SEEK‘s survey found that 69% of Australian workers would be happier at work if their workplace offered more perks, and 62% would be more loyal to an employer if they were to receive more perks.

As for what is considered a perk nowadays? The most agreed-upon perks include a company car (74%), free meals (72%) and free events and activities (70%). People valued health-related perks, with onsite gym access being considered a perk by 69% of respondents, and 68% of participants seeing a discounted gym or club membership as a perk.

And yes, Australia’s drink culture was taken into account here — Friday drinks are considered a perk by 68% of people, and people are also looking for discounts, and a day off on their birthday.

If you’re curious as to what constitutes standard practice today? Mental health is first on the list — a necessity, being as we’re more stressed, burnt out and unbalanced (in terms of work-life, not literally), than ever before.

Learning and development programs received 68%, and mentorship and coaching were considered by 57% to be standard practice. As for extended parental leave, 58% are on board for that being the standard — something that unions have long campaigned for. Work flexibility is now considered standard instead of a perk, in terms of both hours and location.

27% of respondents said they would never negotiate perks with employers — time to tackle whatever’s holding you back, former group, and negotiate perks before signing that dotted line. Join that 41% of people that said they would negotiate!

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