The 2023 Drewberry™ Employee Benefits & Workplace Satisfaction Survey

We help businesses of all shapes & sizes reward their staff 🚀
Get My Quotes
15 mins

Welcome to the 2023 Drewberry™ Employee Benefits & Workplace Satisfaction Survey, conducted by YouGov. This is our third Employee Benefits survey — and the landscape has shifted significantly since the last edition in 2021.

Key Findings

  • Employees Are Happy In Their Jobs
    66% of UK employees are happy in their jobs. The top reasons given for what makes them happy were work life balance (66%), colleagues (62%), challenge and stimulation (46%) and income and bonuses (46%)
  • UK Employees Are Stressed And The Main Cause Is Work
    45% of employees reported feeling stressed. Work (53%) was given as the top cause, followed by money (43%) and family responsibilities (32%)
  • Employees Feel Financially Worse Off
    People are feeling the effects of the cost of living. Nearly half of UK employees feel financially worse off compared to this time last year, and 1 in 3 have had to borrow money to cover the cost of everyday bills
  • Nearly 1 In 5 Employees Couldn’t Survive On Savings For Longer Than A Week
    Worryingly, nearly 1 in 5 employees said that they either wouldn’t be able to survive at all (17%) or only for a week (2%) if they were unable to work
  • Mental Health And Performance At Work Impacted By Rising Costs
    47% of employees agree that their mental health has been impacted as a result of the cost of living crisis. 21% also feel it’s having an impact on their performance at work
  • Employees Aren’t Satisfied With Their Benefits
    25% of employees said that they aren’t satisfied with the benefits that they receive from their employer. When asked what benefits are most attractive to them, insurance policies which protect them and their loved ones came out top.
top employee benefit 2021 statistics

Top Stories From Our Survey

How Happy Are Your Employees?

Research tells us time and time again that a happy workforce is a more motivated and productive one. With this in mind, we wanted to find out just how happy UK employees are.

Employee Happiness


74% of workers said that they aren’t looking to leave their job in the next 12 months.


66% of workers agree or strongly agree that they are happy in their current job.


Work life balance tops the list when it comes to what makes employees happy. Up from 2nd previously.


Despite being knocked off the top spot, colleagues (62%) closely followed work life balance in making employees happy.


Being underpaid (46%) was the main cause of employees unhappiness.


Lack of recognition (36%) second main cause of employee unhappiness.

How Has The Cost Of Living Crisis Affected Employees?

With the cost of living at an all time high, we asked employees how it has affected them in terms of their financial, physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve outlined what they said below.

Cost Of Living Crisis


46% of workers said they felt worse off compared to this time last year.


73% of employees said they were either quite or very concerned about the current cost of living.


89.5% had seen a rise in the cost of groceries and food.


82.2% of employees had seen an increase in the cost of household heating and electricity costs.


68.3% of employees have seen an increase in the cost of petrol and diesel costs.


Nearly 1 in 3 employees have had to rely on a credit card, overdraft or borrowing from friends and family to pay everyday bills.


47% of employees feel that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the rises in cost of living.


1 in 5 employees feel that the cost of living crisis is impacting their performance at work.


19% of employees couldn’t survive on their savings for longer than a week if unable to work.

Employees Want More Support From Employers


Over half of employees said that their employers weren’t supporting them through the cost of living crisis.


Pay rises topped the list when it comes to the support employees want to see from their employers.


Second to a pay rise, 25% of employees said that they wanted their employees to offer one of payments.


23% of employees said they wanted their employers to increase remote working to help combat rising costs.


18.1% of employees said they had received a pay rise from thier employer.


16.3% said they had been given access to health and wellbeing services.

Are Employees Satisfied With The Benefits Their Employers Offer?

The last few years couldn’t have been more turbulent. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, lived through several lock downs, and now face a cost of living crisis.

There is no doubt these life events have had an impact, so we wanted to find out how its affected what employees want when it comes to employee benefits.

Employee Benefits Satisfaction


Pension (81%) and work from home options (48%) most common benefits employees receive.


Third most common benefit offered by employees is access to counselling (37%).


Nearly half of employees are satisfied with the benefits they receive from their employer.


When asked if they understood their benefits 70% of employees said that either agreed or strongly agreed.


Insurance policies which protect employees and their families most attractive benefits

Flexible hours (43%) takes the top spot when it comes to the benefit employees would most like to see their employer to introduce.


41% of employees would most like to see work-from-home options, this is closely followed by additional employer pension contributions (40%).


Private Medical and Critical Illness Insurance are in employees top 5 when it comes to benefits they would like.

Majority Of Employees Are Happy In Their Job

Despite the challenging time businesses and employees are facing, the majority of employees (66%) say they’re happy in their jobs.

Out of the 1,000 employees we surveyed, when asked “are you happy in your job?”:

  • 19% of respondents strongly agreed
  • 47% agreed
  • Only 4% of employees strongly disagreed.

Good Work Life Balance Makes Employees Happiest

When it comes to what makes employees happy, good work-life balance topped the list. Of those we asked, 66% said it’s what makes them happiest.

This has risen by 26% percentage since our 2021 survey, knocking colleagues to 2nd place.

  • Work / life balance (66%)
  • Colleagues (62%)
  • Challenge and stimulation (46%).

Underpaid & Under Appreciated: Top Reasons For Employees Unhappiness

When it comes to what makes employees unhappy, being underpaid (46%) was the number one reason given.

This is up from 40.7% previously, no surprise considering the cost of living crisis we find ourselves in. Being underpaid was followed by:

  • Lack of recognition (36%)
  • Lack of work life balance (32%)
  • Not enough support (32%)
  • Lack of progression (32%).
Nadeem Farid Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Not all employers can afford to give big pay rises, especially in today’s challenging market. However, there are other ways you can help an employee’s money go further.

Employee discount platforms are a cost-effective benefit, which could help save employees thousands of pounds a year.

Nadeem Farid
Head Of Health & Wellbeing

UK Employees Feel Stressed Due To Work

Stress levels have reduced since 2021. When asked “Do you feel stressed?” 45% of employees agreed or strongly agreed. This is down from 58% in our last survey.

This is good news, however, a large proportion of the UK work force still feel stressed.

What Causes Employees To Feel Stressed?

When asked what causes employees stress, the top reasons given were:

  • Work (53%, down by 14%)
  • Money (43%, down by 17%)
  • Family Responsibilities (32%, down 14%)

Importance Of Combatting Stress

Despite work being the main issue causing employees stress, only 26% of respondents said that they were looking to move jobs in the next 12 months. Although this is good news for employers, it’s still important that measures are put in place to help combat stress.

It’s well known it has a negative impact on mental and physical health. If not addressed, it can lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety. This has a knock on effect when it comes to work, as it can affect motivation, productivity levels, and overall workplace morale.

It can also result in employees having to take long periods of time off sick. A cost that you as an employer would have to bear.

Many group risk products offer free additional benefits, which can help your staff manage stress levels. Examples include free counselling services, mediation practices, fitness classes and more.

The Impact Cost Of Living Is Having On Employees

The cost of living is taking its toll on UK employees. Out of the 1,000 respondents we asked, 96% said they are concerned about the crisis.

When asked “How concerned are you about the current cost of living?”:

  • 33% said they are very concerned
  • 41% said they were quite concerned
  • 22% said they were a little concerned.

Only 4% of employees said that they’re weren’t concerned, with 1% saying they didn’t know.

Nearly 50% Of Employees Feel Financially Worse Off

Unfortunately, these concerns are a reality for 46% of respondents who said they felt financially worse off compared to this time last year.

When asked “Which rises in cost of living are you experiencing?”, the top three responses were:

  • Groceries and food costs (90%)
  • Household heating / electricity costs (82%)
  • Petrol / diesel costs (68%).

1 In 5 Couldn’t Survive On Savings For Longer Than A Week

With costs at an all time high, savings are likely to be dipped into to help cover increasing costs. With this in mind, we were intrigued to see how long people could survive on their savings if they were unable to work.

Positively 39% said that they could survive for over 3 months. However, 1 in 5 said they wouldn’t survive for more than a week.

It’s no surprise then, that to help cope with the increase in cost of living, 33% employees have found themselves having to borrow money in order to pay everyday bills.

  • 16% have used a credit card
  • 11% have used an overdraft
  • 5% have borrowed money from friends and family
  • 1% have used a pay day loan.

Work Performance & Mental Health Impacted By Crisis

The cost of living crisis isn’t just taking its toll on people’s bank accounts, it’s also impacting their mental health.

When asked “Do you think your mental health has been negatively impacted by rises in the cost of living?”, 47% agreed or strongly agreed. 1 in 5 respondents also said that they felt their performance at work had been impacted.

Has Your Performance At Work Been Impacted?

Employees Don’t Think Employers Are Providing Enough Support

With employees mental health and performance at work being impacted, it’s in an employers best interest to try and support staff through the crisis. However, when asked whether or not employees felt that their employers were doing enough to support them, 37% disagreed.

50% Of Employees Aren’t Getting Any Support From Their Employers

53% of respondents said that their employers weren’t supporting them at all. Out of those who were receiving support, pay rises and access to health and wellbeing services were the most common forms.

  • 18% have received a pay rise
  • 16% have access to new Health and wellbeing services
  • 12% have received a one off payment.

Employees Want More Money To Help With The Cost Of Living

When asked what support employees would like from their employer the top five responses were:

  • Pay rise (67%)
  • One-off payment (25%)
  • Increase in remote working (23%)
  • Travel subsidy (16%)
  • Providing food & drink in the office (16%).

Not supporting employees could potentially be very damaging. Feeling undervalued can lead to low levels of motivation and poor physical and mental health. This can result in a negative workplace culture.

Whilst it’s not always possible to give everyone big pay rises there are plenty of other cost effective benefits to help staff through these difficult times. Workplace financial education is a great example of this, yet only 9% of employers are offering financial wellbeing support.

This could be an opportunity missed, especially as nearly 1 in 5 employees said that benefits which provide them with additional financial support and knowledge are some of the most attractive.

Educating staff about money can help them to make informed decisions when it comes to their finances. This can help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which could have otherwise led to absences from work.

Benefits & Support: Employees Wishlist Vs Reality

After auto-enrolment it became a legal obligation for employers to provide employees with a workplace pension. With this in mind it will come as no surprise that when asked what benefits employees currently receive, pensions topped the list (81%).

After pensions, the three most common benefits employees received were:

  • Work-from-home options (48%)
  • Access to counselling (37%)
  • Flexible hours (36%).

Although 81% of employees said that their employer offers a pension, through auto-enrolment every eligible UK worker should have access to a workplace pension. It’s an employers legal obligation to ensure that the right staff get enrolled and receive all the relevant pension scheme information.

Access to counselling is the third most common benefit employers are offering. This is positive to see considering 47% of employees said that their mental health had been negatively impacted as a result of cost rises.

25% Of Employees Unsatisfied With Their Workplace Benefits

70% of employees we asked said that they understood what benefits were on offer and how to use them. However when asked if they were satisfied with them, 35% said that they weren’t.

  • 8% fully unsatisfied
  • 17% somewhat unsatisfied.

If employees don’t value the benefits on offer the likelihood is that they won’t use them. If they don’t use them what is the point in offering them?

An employee benefits package should benefit staff and employers, however in order for this to happen employers need to have a clear strategy to align benefits with the needs of employees but also with the overall objectives of their business.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

A Total Rewards Strategy is one way of ensuring benefits work hard for your business and employees.

By outlining a clear plan of action, it helps make your benefits more effective in terms of employee satisfaction and pushing forward with company goals.

Joseph Toft
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

Benefits That Protect Employees & Their Families Seen As Most Attractive

So what benefits do employees want? When asked which benefits employees found most attractive, the top three were:

  • Insurance policies which protect employees and their loved ones (19%)
  • Those that provide employees with additional financial support and knowledge (18%)
  • Rewards and gifts that can be used outside of work, such as discounts or event tickets (16%).

Employees’ Priorities Are Changing

There has clearly been a shift in employees priorities when it comes to benefits. In our 2021 survey the top 2 most attractive benefits for employees were those that helped to:

  • Maintain their health and wellbeing (down to 4th place)
  • Train or educate them in areas relevant to their career aspirations (down to 6th place).

Economic and personal factors will impact what employees value when it comes to employee benefits. As a result, in order for benefits to remain effective employers need to measure engagement and regularly review what’s on offer.

Group Life, Critical Illness & Health Insurance Tops List Of Paid For Benefits

With benefits that protect employees and their family being seen as the most attractive, it’s no surprise that company health and critical illness insurance made it into the top 5 benefits employees wanted to see at their company.

Flexible Working, work-from-home options and addition pension contributions also made it to the top of the list.

Company paid group life insurance followed closely behind critical illness cover with 26% of respondents saying they would like their company to introduce it. Other than additional pension contributions, group risk products are the top paid for benefits employees want to see.

Benefits Attracting Employees To Jobs: Pay & Work-From-Home Options

It’s important to get benefits right, if not employers could find themselves losing top talent. When asked ‘what benefits would attract you to a job role’ salary came out on top. However work-from-home flexibility (64%) and work environment (57%) were the next most attractive.

In todays market, attracting and retaining top talent isn’t just about providing a good salary. Employees want other benefits such as those listed below. By not considering the needs of employees you could find that they choose to work for a competitor that does.

Benefits Aren’t Being Communicated Effectively

In order for benefits to be effective staff need to be told about what’s on offer and not just once. They need to be consistently reminded. However this isn’t happening.

When asked ‘how often do employers communicate their benefits?’ 46% of employees said they either didn’t get any communication or only received information once / when joining.

This could go someway to explaining why 25% of employees said they were unsatisfied with their benefits. Without regular reminders, it’s easy to forget whats on offer.

One way of avoiding this from happening is to implement a total rewards statement. This will outline all the benefits / rewards employees get and the total value of them. It can provide employees with a holistic picture of their benefits package and clearly show how much their employer is investing in them.

Some benefits won’t be of value to employees. If after implementing a strong communication plan engagement levels remain low its time to do a review.

As part of this you should get feedback from your staff to fully understand their wants and needs and align these with your wider business goals.

Nick Nelms
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

Share Our Survey Results

Contact Us

Head Office & Pensions and Investments
Senator House
85 Queen Victoria Street
Personal Insurance & Accounts Payable
Telecom House
125-135 Preston Road
Drewberry London Office MapDrewberry Brighton Office Map

If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is

Drewberry Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Companies House No. 06675912

Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

Drewberry Ltd (Financial Conduct Authority No. 505473) is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Wealth Limited and Quilter Mortgage Planning

Limited, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Drewberry™ uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website you agree to the use of cookies including for ad personalization.

If you would like to know more about cookies and how to manage them please view our privacy & cookie policy.