While 78 per cent of U.S. employees are reporting increased stress levels and feelings of burnout, only 40 per cent said their employer offers mental-health benefits or resources, compared to 53 per cent in 2021, 46 per cent in 2020 and 45 per cent in 2019, according to a new survey by Employ Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 1,500 employees also found that, among employees who do receive mental-health benefits through their workplace, 27 per cent reported using them more since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Some 63 per cent said the pandemic has caused them to focus more on their own mental health, while 48 per cent said they feel comfortable disclosing their mental-health challenges.

Looking closer at that disclosure, the survey found technology workers (59 per cent) most likely to feel comfortable disclosing mental-health challenges to company leadership or human resources, followed by respondents with children under age 18 (57 per cent) and frontline or essential workers (56 per cent).

Read: Half of Canadians experiencing one work-related mental-health risk factor

The survey also asked employees what benefits they expect from their employers. The majority (66 per cent) of respondents cited health-care benefits, followed by a 401(k) program (49 per cent), bonuses and stipends (40 per cent), paid family leave (39 per cent) and remote work (32 per cent).

In terms of the benefits they currently receive, employees cited fair compensation (37 per cent), good work-life balance (35 per cent), flexible work arrangements (35 per cent), learning and development opportunities (24 per cent) and wellness offerings (22 per cent).

While 62 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their current employer, the survey asked job seekers for their top priorities in searching for another opportunity. These included: overall compensation (53 per cent); work-life balance, flex time, vacation time (30 per cent); company values and culture (23 per cent); health-care and other benefits (23 per cent); quality of work (22 per cent); and job security (22 per cent).

Read: What health benefits top wish list for Canadian plan members, sponsors?

When it comes to compensation, 71 per cent of respondents said they’re comfortable negotiating salaries in the current job market. More than two-thirds (67 per cent) said they want higher compensation from their employer today and 35 per cent who were denied their raise request left the job as a result.

The survey also found 40 per cent of employees would be willing to accept a lower salary to work remotely, while 30 per cent said their ideal work situation is 100 per cent remote. However, half (52 per cent) believe company culture is just as important as ever in an increasingly remote work environment.