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Office perks come in different shapes and sizes these days. It’s no longer all about the bonus cheque at the end of the quarter (although an extra dollar never hurt!). Companies need to have more on offer to keep young, dynamic employees not only driven but committed and happy in their roles.
Having meaningful perks on offer can go a long way in promoting the right balance of work and play. Shared benefits are shared pleasures and can create a sense of belonging amongst co-workers. These don’t need to be expensive overheads for an employer and staff shouldn’t be shy to hit up their boss for improved perks! Here are some of our favourites that every employer should be offering up.
We aren’t talking about the re-purposed storage room with bad lighting and a few chairs strewn about. Some beanbags, indoor plants, a good coffee machine or a juicer, perhaps a pool table or pinball machine to offer a real sense of office escapism. So simple!
In an age where we take multi-tasking to an extreme and everything seems to pose as a possible distraction, it makes perfect sense for companies to provide a designated space for controlled distraction. A break room should be that place onsite where you can find a moment to switch off and recharge but stay connected to colleagues.
Whilst some companies have great spaces full of both relaxing and fun items, it only takes a few well-thought out purchases to make a real difference.
Whilst some might not think of development as a 'perk', for us it's the ultimate benefit! Growth is unbelievably important, not only for a company but the individuals who comprise it. Offering employees development opportunities is paramount. Whether it’s new software, experimental technology, workshops, hackathons, BarCamps, educational programmes or teaching skill sets like public speaking and presentation, there is always room for improvement and greater understanding.
Investing in staff only instills the faith that you have in them and what they can do for the company. What works best is leveraging current staff to teach others - it's cost effective and a great way to transfer and build knowledge.
Healthy bodies equal healthy minds. Whether companies offer a gym allowance, complimentary yoga class or discounted personal training sessions, a focus on employee fitness and wellness is going to yield plenty of positivity. Signing up to a local 5-a-side football league and getting some company t-shirts printed up for players and supporters brings a great social element to the office whilst encouraging a healthy atmosphere.
Have a few things laid out in the staff calendar that employees can look forward too. This can be beers on a Friday afternoon, an end of the month BBQ, or something as simple as TimTam Tuesday (it’s a thing, trust us). Any small social gatherings without fuss or pretense, that break up the working week.
Every company policy is a little different in this area. Teabags seem to be fairly standard. An accompanying biscuit sometimes on offer. A full fruit bowl is always welcome. Some companies go above and beyond with selections of muesli and multigrain breads, snacks and treats and bottomless jars of jellybeans. Either way, some kitchen necessities are certainly nice to have at hand - particularly when enjoying views like these.
Bringing your pets, partners, children or parents to work days always makes everyone in the office far more personable. What easier way than to exit the angst and turn up the friendly atmosphere in any office space?
Company branding can seem a bit tedious when it comes to letterheads and envelope seals. But the minute that same logo is plastered on a t-shirt with your company’s name brandishing the front and back, it's solid gold! What’s more to say, people love a freebie. So splash your branding about on a few caps and t-shirts, hoodies and mugs, and see the smiles spread whilst sporting their home team.
Some people hate change, others itch for it. Offer a flexible seating arrangement that allow staff to work in alternate environments. Sometimes it's nice to be at the stand up tables near the window, in the quiet of the media room, or on the other side of the office with easier access to the printer.
Whatever the case may be, a flexible working arrangement is becoming more and more sought after. It doesn’t have to be a “hot-desking” environment but having a set up of casual, communal meeting spaces in and around the office open up options for employees to both collaborate and have quiet time, and lessens the sense of being chained to their desks.
If staff are signing up for charity challenges there is often a drive to raise funds. It’s great if companies get behind staff in their outreach endeavors and match any fundraising donations. Not only is it charitable but extremely encouraging to staff. There are great team challenges and often this sort of initiative can drive colleagues to enter together and motivate one another. Team building and morale-boosting all around and often some great publicity for the company at the same time.
There are statutory requirements in every country for employee leave benefits. Going over and above the bare minimum by allotting staff birthday leave, or adding a half day or two around a public holiday will be a welcome gesture. It also pays to look generously upon company policy around parental leave. Staff don’t want life to get in the way of work but having an allowance to deal with unforeseen circumstances will leave a debt of gratitude.
It's impossible to keep everyone happy but having a number of perks on offer will breed a culture of generosity and willingness - hopefully returned ten fold in staff output, efficiency and productivity.