...makes for a dull day at the office. So can unusual perks benefit employees and employers? Helen Ives investigates
On a dreaded Monday morning, when we walk back into the office, what could be better than to be greeted by a big yellow slide and giant swing to put a smile back on your face? This is what many companies are increasingly aiming to achieve; the greatest workplace in the world where no one dreads Monday mornings.
The trend of creating a fun, inspiring and creative office, championed by the likes of Google and Innocent Smoothies, is a far cry from the idea of the traditional office. These offices encompass features such as a cinema, a BBQ deck and lounge area to inspire employees. Some may see this as a gimmick, created by marketing departments. But is there real value in pimping out your office?
With job expectations on the rise and the general slowdown on employee benefits over the past few years, it’s no wonder that staff generally aren’t too enthusiastic about their work.
PEER 1 Hosting recently conducted an independent survey on nurturing potential in the workplace that surprisingly found 87% of Brits would prefer more training and development opportunities, rather than receive a higher salary.
Meanwhile, only 10% of respondents claimed they were happy at work, suggesting there is real value for businesses to invest in the engagement of their employees. Investing in the culture of the office can make a real difference and make employees feel valued.
Happy employees = happy customers
Providing generous perks may be an expensive way of showing your appreciation, so it has been questioned whether there is any value to it, or if it’s simply a huge waste of money.
The purpose of these office themes was to create a workspace that inspires staff and makes everyone that little bit more excited to turn up for work every morning. Happy employees = happy customers. That makes fantastic business sense and the companies have the data on new customer acquisition and retention to prove it.
The key to nurturing a successful employee is ensuring they are in the right job, in the right environment, alongside the right people (leader included). But to ensure an effective, functioning work space, businesses need to realise that office life has changed drastically in recent years.
The way that workers communicate and engage with one another has evolved, to the point where the traditional set-up of someone sitting at their desk in silence is no longer effective.
The barriers between work and life have eroded and the HR department must strive to make sure that people can bring their whole self to work; to create a space where people can do their best work, achieve their potential and have fun.
With the arrival of new generations into the workplace, employers have to think of new ways to ensure that the culture of the office suits all staff members. Having an open, inspiring and engaging environment is critical to helping teams to work effectively and add value to the business.
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