All I want for Christmas.. extra days off!

Other than more pay, 38% of Australian workers prefer more annual leave, 32% more flexible working hours and 16% more training opportunities.

All I want for Christmas.. extra days off!

Employees want different benefits than their employers think.

The holidays are coming up which is a great opportunity for employers to look at their employees’ wish list for 2016. Independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half shows, however, that the advantages employees want do not quite match employers’ expectations. 

When asking 1,000 Australian office workers which workplace benefits – other than additional pay - they are most interested in receiving, 38% said more holidays, 32% preferred more flexible work hours and 16% said more professional development opportunities. 

Australian CFOs and finance directors, however, appear to have a slightly different picture of their employees’ wish list. In a separate survey among 300 Australian CFOs and finance directors more flexible work hours (43%) edged out better benefits (33%) as most desired and merely 4% believes that employees prefer more training and development opportunities.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half Asia Pacific explained: “As the focus on employee recruitment and retention sharpens in a competitive market, many companies may be undervaluing a benefit their employees want most.”

“It’s vital that companies truly understand what benefits are attractive to employees because it may come down to the difference on whether you attract and retain the best and the brightest in your team.” 

“Companies can differentiate themselves by offering little extras, such as flexible working hours, home office and more holidays. Such benefits, which fit within work life balance, have gained in popularity in recent years, and companies are also increasingly taking measures to go with this trend, in part because they constitute an attractive alternative to salary increases,” said David Jones.

Other than additional compensation, which one of the following would top your (employees’) wish list?

   Office Workers  CFOs and finance directors
 More holiday / annual leave 38% 33%
 More flexible work hours 32% 43%
 More training or professional development  opportunities 16% 4%
 Home office / telecommuting 11% 14%
 Other corporate benefits, such as childcare,  laundry,  ironing services, fitness centre 3% 6%

Source: independent survey commissioned by Robert Half in September 2015 among 1,000 Australian office workers and in June 2015 among 300 Australian CFOs and finance directors

The interest in work life balance is also leading to concrete non-financial benefits that extend far beyond offering flexible working hours and options for home workers/remote workers. Other benefits, such as childcare facilities, laundry and ironing services, sports facilities and medical care, also fall in this category, even if only 3% of Australian office workers put this at the top of their wish list. 

Notes to editors

About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in June 2015 by an independent research firm, surveying 300 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance directors in Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

The study was initiated by Robert Half and was conducted in September 2015 anonymously by an independent research firm, among 1,000 Australian office workers.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]