How Beneficial Are Your Work Perks?
4 April 2017
Recently, there has been much made of businesses opening lavish and outlandish new offices. There have been images on national news sites of bean bags, slides, hot air balloons and sports simulators. Certainly, these places look like fun to work in.
But, after the novelty has worn off, and you realise that attempting to take client calls whilst going down a helter skelter is impractical, what kind of benefits to these gimmicks really offer?
The bottom line is, there is still work to do. You will still have to be at your computer performing reports or admin duties or on the phone talking to clients.
Increasingly, when businesses are recruiting, they advertise their ‘culture’. “We’re so fun we have a fish tank in the office and no one has a desk.” It’s this need to come across as fun or edgy that is driving these more eccentric office fittings.
And, as companies compete to attract the brightest and best talent, workplaces up and down the country are only going to become more extraordinary.
So, whilst these fancy new spaces seem to offer the world on a plate, are they actually conducive to happy employees? Is it likely that you would choose to work in one place over another because one had a slide in the main foyer and one didn’t?
The short answer is no, in most cases.
Most people, when taking on a new job, want very simple things: Nice people to work with, access to the right facilities required to do the job and a decent level of pay. It really doesn’t go much further than that.
If it came down to work benefits, we imagine most employees would want useful perks, not just gimmicks. Businesses don’t have to spend big on lavish perks in order to please everyone or lure new talent. Sometimes, what employees want most isn’t something that will make work more fun, but rather more comfortable.
For example, access to tea and coffee making facilities or fresh fruit, clean bathrooms with showers (for those who go to the gym or cycle to work), IT that works efficiently and a chair that won’t land you with a trip to the chiropractors.
And, more often than not these days, employees would probably want access to a pension, a flexitime scheme or perhaps work from home one day.
It’s all very well having a ball pit round your desk but surely that will make you less productive than, say, access to drinking water? It really is the more practical things that will make the difference.
Employers have a duty of care towards their employees, and this does extend to offering the right facilities to ensure that work is carried out efficiently and safely. This does not mean flooding the office with over-the-top novelties.
Useful work perks, such as discounted gym membership or childcare vouchers are far more attractive to potential employees than having a quirky replacement for a staircase.
Yes, these spaces certainly look amazing and, perhaps, as you look around your relatively sedate desk and office, you may feel a bit hard done by.
But, unless these trendy trimmings actually help you in your working day, are they really worth it?
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Written By Mary Palmer