Even though salary is a decisive factor in accepting a job offer, not everyone attaches the same importance to it. To some, it makes or breaks the deal; to others, a flexible working day and work-life balance matter most. Non-financial compensation is known as “emotional salary”, and it can be as important to workers as a paycheck.

Normally, salary is the first thing on someone’s mind when deciding to take a job offer.  But nowadays, because of general uncertainty, workers’ interests and goals are changing. Today, emotional salary is as important as financial compensation. Emotional salary is any non-financial incentive that allows workers to meet their needs, balance life at work and at home, continue their education and preserve their physical and mental health for optimal quality of living.

It’s subjective: every one values incentives differently. You might be interested in working for a company that gives you free time; but someone else might be drawn to training programmes. Both, however, are examples of non-financial incentives a company can offer its talent.

5 common emotional salary initiatives

Learning a company’s emotional salary offer is a good way to understand its corporate culture and if its working conditions meet your expectations. Whether you’re interested in working for a particular company or interviewing for a job, you can always ask a company about what emotional salary benefits it offers.  Here are some common emotional salary incentives.

Flexible working day

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Work-life balance nowadays is sacred. Remote work, hybrid work and flexible hours are a few ways to even out life inside and outside the office. They allow for greater autonomy to manage one’s time for work and personal or family needs, like taking the kids to school, getting exercise or studying.


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Aside from flexible working conditions, other popular emotional salary incentives are free or subsidized meals, transport, gym memberships and childcare in order to have time for running errands or avoid commuting. 

Training and career development plans

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Another emotional salary incentive is the chance to learn and develop soft skills, like leadership, communication or team building, in addition to hard skills. Talent development boosts a worker’s job profile, and companies take advantage of this to fill vacancies and promote professional growth.

Health and well-being

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Good health and a sound mind are essential to success on the job. Initiatives on healthy living, which include awareness campaigns and training about balanced nutrition, exercise, first aid and risk prevention, are highly valued examples of emotional salary incentives.

Friendly working environment

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More companies want workers to feel at home... at the office. In promoting a positive corporate setting, many run activities for things like team-building, volunteering, on-boarding, and diversity and inclusion. Job seekers can get a better idea of a company’s purpose and values to see how they resonate with them.

The pros of emotional salary

Emotional salary is great for workers and companies alike. Workers who see their non-financial needs matter to their company feel more appreciated. This translates into higher motivation, commitment and productivity. Emotional salary also proves an effective strategy in boosting brand value because it helps attract and retain the best talent, while reducing staff turnover, absences and related costs. People spend most of their time and energy working. The benefits of emotional salary might not be a monthly wage, but they make a difference in people’s lives both at home and at the office.

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