Most US Workers Value Time Off, Flexibility, Paid Leave

The top three non-insurance employee benefits U.S. workers want are paid time off (PTO), flexible work options and paid family leave, according to new research from employee-benefits leader Unum.

The top 3 non-insurance benefits Baby Boomers want: Generous paid time off, flexible/remote work options, and emergency savings.

For most employees in the United States, generous PTO and flexible or remote work topped the list in 2022. But for the first year, what workers want differs by generation with mental health resources/support topping the list for Millennials (39 percent) and Gen Z (42 percent).

Unum’s research found this year was the first time Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z have different priorities and needs.

“A multi-generational workforce is a huge benefit for companies,” said Liz Ahmed, executive vice president of People and Communications at Unum. “With the diversity of background, experiences, and thought employees bring, employers need to make sure there’s something in their benefits package for everyone’s different stage of life.”

Although the generations differ in their top three priorities, when opened to the top five, there is one common denominator: emergency savings.

Sixty-four percent do not have access to an emergency savings option through their employer. This benefit ranks third for Boomers (25 percent), third for Gen X (32 percent), and second for Gen Z (37 percent).

Emergency savings can help prepare for unexpected expenses – without dipping into retirement or using credit cards.

These are the top 15 non-insurance benefits for U.S. workers:

  1. Generous paid time off program (39 percent)
  2. Flexible/remote work options (32 percent)
  3. Paid family leave (for childcare or caring for adult family member) (31 percent)
  4. Mental health resources/support (30 percent)
  5. Emergency savings (28 percent)
  6. Professional development (18 percent)
  7. Financial planning resources (18 percent)
  8. Fitness or healthy lifestyle incentives (15 percent)
  9. ID theft prevention (14 percent)
  10. Gym membership or onsite fitness center (12 percent)
  11. Student loan repayment benefits (9 percent)
  12. Pet friendly offices (7 percent)
  13. Personalized health coaching (6 percent)
  14. Sabbatical leave (5 percent)
  15. Dedicated volunteer hours (3 percent)

To be competitive in the talent marketspace, employers should prioritize better work/life integration.

Employers should also continue to provide affordable and accessible benefits – if they don’t already – to fit personal or family structures.

Visit the Unum newsroom for more information.