Employees worldwide tend to choose benefits that offer immediate gratification over those that deliver value long-term, according to a Mercer survey of 10,400 workers in 10 key markets around the world.

An extra week of paid time off was among the top-three employee choices in seven of the 10 markets surveyed. An increase in salary was the top benefit offering that workers wanted in all of the countries surveyed, except for Canada, which wanted more vacation time.

These preferences underscore the challenge faced by employers worldwide in empowering employees to make more of their own benefit choices while encouraging them to strike the right balance between the shorter and longer-term value of the benefits they choose, according to "Mercer Making Smart Benefit Choices."

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