This month we launched our ‘Future of benefits’ campaign, which took a look at the benefits on offer today and what employees wanted in the future. We interviewed over 1,000 employees and 220 HR managers to find out what they really thought about benefits provision here in the UK.

The research revealed that improving work/life balance and flexible working will be a future priority for half of the UK’s workforce. In fact many ‘nice to have’ benefits such as free gym membership or extra days off were completely overlooked in favour of the ability to work more freely with almost half of employees (49%) hoping to achieve an improved lifestyle balance in the future.

Key to offering flexible working practices is the ability for the employee to work whenever and wherever they want. Two thirds either want the freedom to do this or at least have some degree of flexibility within a fixed working period. The freedom required by the gig economy is also reflected in 46% claiming they’d like to be able to balance two jobs in the future.

For many employees, flexible working will require a change of mindset and a building a higher degree of trust with their staff. On a practical level, staff will need the tools to enable flexible working such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. For some businesses, the capital outlay required to provide staff with these devices might be prohibitive. However, salary sacrifice schemes such as Phonescheme and Techscheme that offer employees access to the latest technology and smartphones at discounted rates and paid for monthly, could provide the solution.

So what else made the top ten list of benefits? Will employers need to offer duvet days, a quiet place for meditation, or even an hour a day for millennials to manage their social media feeds. Or do they just want a guaranteed car parking space and free tea and biscuits? Find out more about what companies need to consider when compiling their benefits packages by downloading our ‘Future of Benefits’ report.