Workplace perks women actually want

by | Aug 23, 2017

What workplace perks women really want

3Plus asked women at different stages in their careers to establish the workplace perks that women value most 

Now that salaries are stagnating, companies are starting to realise the power of  workplace perks to keep employees motivated.  If you can’t afford to give your employees a pay rise, then a half-price gym membership is better than nothing.  But the perks on offer aren’t necessarily the workplace perks women want.

Companies are offering women the opporunity to freeze their eggs, but is this really what is foremost in their thoughts? Dress-down Fridays can cause a lot of anxiety. Staff parties in the evening can be childcare hell for single parents. It’s a lovely idea to reward high performers with extra paid time off, but not if you’re so short-staffed that people can’t use their vacation time anyway. Even an Employee of the Month scheme can cause resentment if it isn’t handled properly. Google offers employees the opportunities to bring their pet pooch into work with them.

workplace perks

The workplace perks that offer increased employee engagement

So with a limited budget to spend on employee engagement, what are the best perks an employer can offer? 3Plus polled women at different stages in their careers to discover the workplace perks women actually want. Some of them are not that special.


Childcare came in at the absolute top. Having in-house childcare was a massive bonus. Subsidised childcare also played an important role in workpalce perks for women. “The main reason I stay in this job is the subsidised creche,” says Rachel, a university administrator.  “I could do a similar role almost anywhere, but childcare would cost me hundreds more every month, so it makes sense to be loyal.”

Read: Childcare costs are a long term investment


Flexible hours are very important and the facility to independently manage individual workloads is key for many women. Mina, an events manager, says, “Some weeks I’ve got enough work for three people, and some weeks I’ve got almost nothing to do. When it’s busy, I start early and stay late for no extra pay, yet I’m not allowed to leave early when it’s quiet.  I’m currently hunting for a job that’s more flexible.”

Genuine flexibility allows employees to adjust their schedules, with no downsides to deal with the unexpected ids, parents, school concerns. The most important element is to produce results. This results in a workplace culture that focuses on performance not presence and is a win/win for both employer and employee.

Read: Negotiating salary don’t forget employee benefits


For some unlimited access to refreshments can be a key motivator!  “My company provides free hot drinks: there’s a table in the staffroom with coffee and tea that gets tidied and restocked every evening,” says accountant Margaret.  “It probably costs them $10 a day and it makes a surprising difference to the team dynamics.  No more arguments about who used the last of the coffee!”


Many of the women we spoke to mentioned getting discounts or freebies through their work, from 10% off at a local coffee shop to free Amazon Prime. These are a cheap way for businesses to reward their staff, since many places will offer discounts at no cost in return for free advertising.

Read: Do employee perks matter anymore?


3Plus found women almost evenly split on whether they enjoyed workplace parties.  One woman said she had quit a job because of the pressure to attend workplace events: “I don’t care if the company is buying the drinks, it’s a punishment, not a perk.  I’ve already spent 50 hours with these people, I want to go home.”  Others described the company Christmas party or summer barbecue as an important chance to build relationships with colleagues.

However, research from organisations such as Glassdoor suggest:

“While benefits and perks are a great way to get employees interested in a company, they’re not among the leading factors that keep employees satisfied on the job long-term"

Take our poll here:

If you want your organisation to offer the best benefits to retain women  - contact 3PLUS NOW!


Alice Bell Subscriber
"Alice writes online about business, popular science, and women's lifestyle. After a few years working her way around the world, she has settled in the north of England and taken a day job as a maths teacher. Her life's ambition is to earn enough money to start repaying her student debt."

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