The great resignation and war for talent have brought out the best in employers. From better pay to flexible hours, and resources for managing work/life balance. But, where do they draw the line?

A new poll commissioned by Trusaic, and conducted by YouGov, ranks the kind of unusual new job benefits that employees would like to see employers offer – including both “Hangover leave” and “Houseplant Bereavement Leave.” Yep, you read that right.

Nearly a quarter of all respondents in the poll voted for “Paid celebration recovery leave,” otherwise known as “Hangover leave” as a fantasy job perk they would like to see employers offer. When applied across the U.S. population, this represents some 59 million Americans. 

Some of the other unusual job perks employees are looking for include:

Breakup leave: Breakups happen and they’re almost always hard. As such, 17% of all respondents and roughly 44 million Americans chose “Breakup leave” as a desired job perk for employers to begin offering.

Social media detox days: It’s no secret that the internet has become divisive. Naturally, folks are looking to unplug and recover from the stimulation overload that is social media. Roughly 12% of respondents, representing 31 million individuals chose “Social media detox days” as a job perk that they would like to see from their employers.

Leave for heartsick sports fans: Sporting events occur throughout the year, every year. From baseball to basketball and football, die-hard fans know the pain is real when their team doesn’t live up to their expectations. Some 9% of respondents opted for this perk, equivalent to 23 million Americans.

House plant bereavement leave: It’s completely normal to develop an attachment to our children, pets, and even prized possessions, but house plants? Is the loss of a special house plant so significant that you would need to call out of work the next day to mourn and recover? Evidently, it is, as 5% of respondents, or roughly 13 million Americans would like to see “House plant bereavement.”

For a complete understanding of respondents’ views towards fantasy job perks and benefits, view the infographic below.

Job Perks Survey Results

Connecting poll results and the working world

So, what do these outlandish job perks say about the current labor market? It shows that employees are looking for more from their employers, and organizations are going to need to deliver on these requests if they want to attract and maintain talent. 

While new, creative job perks like those we’ve discussed today may be effective in helping organizations differentiate themselves from the competition, research shows that the biggest selling point employees look for in an employer is fair compensation. 

In fact, the number one HR trend in 2022, according to Harvard Business Review, is that “Fairness and equity will be the defining issues for organizations.” 

Josh Bersin, the HR analyst, saw this coming too. In his HR Predictions for 2022 report, the thought leader said,  “… equitable and fair pay is among the greatest drivers of employee satisfaction … if you want to win the war for talent in 2022, fair pay may be one of your biggest techniques.”

Bersin’s commentary echoes a sentiment from Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, which says “Companies that fail to address pay inequality may not only see reputational damage, but may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage as talent migrates to those companies that prioritize fair pay and opportunities for career advancement.”

It benefits to pay equitably

A study conducted by finds that 75% of employees are more likely to apply for a job that promotes pay transparency. Pay transparency includes things like salary ranges in job listings, organizational certifications that verify pay equity, and general openness around compensation are the signs employees look for when evaluating an employer. 

The benefits of paying equitably go beyond attracting and retaining workers too. Organizations experience a wealth of positive business improvements when they prioritize pay equity as a strategic initiative. That same study points out that over 80% of workers are more productive and involved when they perceive themselves as paid fairly.

Nearly 48 million Americans quit their jobs last year, an all-time record. Studies currently show there are now two jobs for every candidate. If employers want to win the war for talent during this incredibly tight labor market, pay equity will be their strongest angle. 

To learn more about how pay equity is shaping the current labor market, download our research report, Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, conducted by Harvard Business Review.

Download: Trusaic and HBR Research Report

Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1,230 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 20 – 22, 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).