In the past, a paycheck, pension scheme, and a water cooler or the odd work drink might have kept your employees happy. But, the office environment has refined and has become one of the most important things employees look for and expect from their workplace.
According to a study conducted in 2018 by the Association of Accounting Technician’s (AAT), British workers spend an average of 3,515 full days at work over their lifetime, and the average person works 188 days of overtime throughout their career. That’s a lot of a person’s lifetime spent at their job, which makes it all the more important to ensure your employees enjoy coming to work!
Office environment can be the difference between retaining good employees and losing them, and the future of your workplace and the happiness and productivity of your employees may depend on how you, as a business, offer perks and workplace benefits. However, recent CV Library research which surveyed 1,200 UK professionals has shown that almost two-thirds of British employees don’t receive work perks or benefits, despite 84.9% of employers believing that work perks are crucial.
So, why are work perks and office environment so important?
One of the most effective ways to heighten your companies’ public profile is taking care of your employees - in doing this, not only will you be looking after your current employees but the calibre of future candidates will increase. Having surveyed Pro’s recruitment consultants, 84% mentioned that company environment and benefits were one of the key factors in influencing a professionals decision on whether they would apply for a job or not.
If you’re an employer who has never really liked the idea of the office being ‘fun’ and casual, you can blame Google for that! Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford and founders of Google, began the workplace revolution that has now impacted so many companies across the corporate world, scrapping the traditional serious office mould and making work a fun place to be. This was the starting point which had a domino effect on the past ten years of HR innovation from flexible working arrangements, to ping pong tables and beer at work, to great emphasis and pride in individual achievements - all of which grew from Google’s mantra that ‘you can be serious without a suit’.
As Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library has argued, extra benefits are an important part of a job offer and contribute to your enjoyment in a role. When looking for a job, it’s important to have an idea of what you want from it, and perks and benefits are one of the key things that can attract a potential employee to your company - particularly when it comes to Millennials who now make up over 50% of the UK workforce!
What are the most popular work perks?
There are so many perks and incentives that can be introduced to make your workplace more productive, as well as somewhere people want to go. For example, simple things like giving employees the opportunity to refresh their mind, offering longer lunch breaks to allow for exercise during the day or providing ‘chill-out’ areas in the office can go a long way. Not only do these initiatives improve health and wellbeing, but they also allow employees flexibility in their routine.
As well as this, the majority of UK workers said flexible working was important, and more and more companies are beginning to offer flexible working arrangements to their employees, whether this be flexitime, working from home, half-days or job sharing. Countries like Germany and Sweden have even experimented with shorter, 6-hour working days and have reported a reduction in sick days and an increase in productivity.
Aside from working patterns and initiatives like bonus schemes, there are lots of creative work perks you can offer. In fact, in the recent Great Perk Search, ping pong tables ranked highest out of all office perks, scoring 95 out of 100 - and is probably one of the cheapest and easiest perks you can introduce! Another popular and easy work perk to introduce is free tea and coffee in the office, with 40% of people voting this as a top perk in a recent survey by Reed. Staff discounts, the odd free lunch in the office and birthdays off are all things which are rated popular among UK employees, and things that could really contribute towards your office environment.
People work harder in jobs they care about, and the right office environment can make or break this. Making work more enjoyable for your employees doesn’t always mean changing what they are doing, just how they are doing it.
Here at Pro, we have an office environment that reflects what our employees want from their workplace, as well as ‘Pro-Perks’. From team nights out and drinks every Friday, to flexible working arrangements and birthdays off, to free tea, coffee and fresh fruit in the office, and even “Pawternity Leave”, we offer everyone who works at Pro a long list of perks and benefits that motivate people and make work a dynamic, fun place to be. By getting our environment right, we have succeeded in creating a workplace where people are encouraged to thrive and develop, and everyone is a valued member of the Pro family.