An exclusive poll for Newsweek has revealed that millennials want their workplace to pay for their daily commute, and their lunches too.
In a poll conducted on behalf of Newsweek by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, 1,500 eligible voters in the U.S. were asked about benefits that employers should offer.
When asked if employers should pay to help cover commuting costs, 58 percent of respondents agreed. Moreover, 62 percent said that employers should offer free meals to staff working on-site.
While the majority of adults agreed that these benefits should be offered by companies, there was a distinct difference in how different generations felt.
Millennials were overwhelmingly more likely to say that commute costs and lunch should be paid for by their employer.
Of those aged 25-34, 74 percent agreed that their workplace should help cover the costs of them getting to and from the office, and 73 percent of those aged 35-44 agreed.
Similarly, 72 percent of 23-34 year olds said that free meals should be available for employees working in an office, and 74 percent of those aged 35-44 agreed.
By contrast, older generations were less likely to say that their employer should cover costs like travel and food. Of those aged 55-64, only 42 percent said that employers should pay for their employee’s commute and lunch in the office.
Attitudes to the workplace have shifted since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to rethink their everyday lives. Throughout 2021, what was dubbed the “great resignation” affected the U.S. as a record number of people left their jobs.
Abakar Saidov is the co-founder and CEO of Beamery, a management software company that assists with employee management. He told Newsweek that younger workers want more from their employers.
“We are seeing a trend of younger generations demanding more from their employers,” said Saidov. “While benefits like free lunches and travel expenses might be important perks for some employees, if you scratch the surface of what they are really calling out for at work, it is more meaningful than this.
“The majority of younger employees want their employer to prioritize opportunities for training, development, fair compensation, career progression and a value-driven workplace.”
A poll from March 2023 revealed that more than a third of Americans were practicing “quiet quitting.” Defined as doing the absolute bare minimum at work, the quiet quitting movement has boomed in recent years.
Despite signs that the coming year could see more mass layoffs in tech companies and the public sector, alongside fears of a recession, it seems that workers are still demanding employee benefits.
Saidov said that keeping employees happy is about more than basic benefits packages.
“Rather than focusing on short-term fixes, employers should be prioritizing progress, pay and personal development alongside a personalized approach to talent management if they truly want to enhance their employee’s experience, while future-proofing their talent pipeline,” he said.
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