It irks me that we separate out financial benefits from non-financial benefits.
Because it stops employees from considering the financial gains they can make from what’s on offer in the workplace.
Here’s an example. Imagine your employer introduces fresh filter coffee and a home working scheme. We’ll tackle each one in turn.
Fresh filter coffee
You’re one of those people who needs your morning coffee, so you spend £2.50 on a drive-through Starbucks Americano to enjoy during your commute.
Assuming 20 days worked every month, this costs you £50 a month.
Then your workplace introduces fresh, bean-to-cup filter coffee that tastes amazing. So you wait and have your morning coffee when you get to work. And you have two cups instead of one, because hey, it’s now free.
Now you aren’t spending that £50 a month. Hold that figure in your head.
Working from home
Commuting drives you crazy. Literally crazy. But it’s not even the time that annoys you. It’s the £155 you spend in petrol each month and the £160 in parking – a monthly total of £315. Just for a 60 mile round trip!
Then your workplace introduces home working and you think, great, now I can work a couple of days a week in my pants without having to get up and go to the office. Winner!
Well, those two days of non-commuting per week save you £126 a month in commuting costs. Add that to the money saved on your coffee and…
Actively managing the savings
…that equals £176 saved per month. If you earn £25,000 a year, taking these two benefits would raise your salary, pre-tax, to £28,250.
You could spend the money, sure, but since it’s effectively a pay raise you don’t need it to maintain your lifestyle.
If you save the £176 a month in a peer-to-peer savings account, such as with RateSetter, which offers 5.44% post-tax, and stayed with your employee for five years, you’d have built up a nest-egg of £12,160.
Then you move on, and your new employer barely provides Tesco Value tea bags let alone fresh coffee, so you stop saving your £176 a month.
So you stop benefiting from your last employer’s generosity. Boo hoo.
Except you don’t. If you never ever add a single penny to the £12,160 you earned during your five years at the company, but leave it in an account earning 5.44% for 30 years, you’d end up with £62,000.
If you’re 25 at the time your employer introduces fresh filter coffee and home working, you could probably end up paying off your mortgage five years early.
Not bad for a couple of ‘non-financial’ benefits.