Did you know that the average person spends about one-third of their life at work? Long gone are the days where employees were willing to work strict hours in one location that offered little to no perks. A one-pot coffee maker and water cooler will no longer fit the bill. Today, workers expect to have a more optimal workplace filled with amenities that promote wellness, happiness, and satisfaction.
This is especially true with younger workers and millennials. They seek employers that provide the technology and flexibility they need to be successful - and they might be onto something. It's been shown that good benefits have an impact on employee job satisfaction, and the same goes for a healthy office atmosphere. When employees are satisfied with their job and work environment, all kinds of good things happen: stress is decreased, which leads to higher engagement and innovation. Productivity increases and brings the bottom line with it. And employees stay with the company longer.
So what kinds of amenities do companies need to provide to create a positive office environment? Certainly, not all businesses can afford nap pods or volleyball courts like Google, but there are more fundamental and attainable amenities that won't break the bank. We'll explore those as well as some others that can really make companies stand out from competitors.
- Technology and IT support. It's non-negotiable to supply proper, modern computers; adequately sized monitors; reliable Wi-Fi; functional printers/scanners/copiers; and even things like video conferencing capabilities and wireless charging.
- Food. Beyond coffee and tea, consider a broader array of snacks, refreshments, and even lunches – taking food allergies and healthy options into account.
- Comfortable seating. Uncomfortable workers with back pain won't do their best work.
- An appealing design. No one wants to stare at a bleak wall under the sad glow of fluorescent lighting. Well, thought out office design and can have a direct impact on employee recruiting and retention.
- Natural light. Offices lacking natural light can be detrimental to workers' productivity and well-being.
- A pumping room. Supply a private, clean space for breastfeeding moms.
- Dedicated collaboration spaces. Employees need a place to brainstorm and be creative without being disturbed by other coworkers.
The Extra Mile
- Sit-to-stand desks. This increasingly popular setup can help increase productivity and wellness.
- Wellness programs. Consider things like gym reimbursement, free flu shots, smoking cessation programs, weight loss assistance, and stress management coaching.
- Outdoor space. This may not be possible in every office building, but being outside has many benefits, including improving memory, focus, mental wellbeing, and creativity.
- Child care. Free or discounted childcare can make a world of difference for working parents.
- Wellness/nap spaces. You don't have to supply futuristic recliners, but areas for relaxation – and even napping – can go a long way.
- Games. Who wouldn't want to blow off some steam with a rousing game of ping pong, pool, foosball, or Mario Kart?
Above and Beyond
- Commuter shuttles. Commuting is rough. A shuttle for employees would yield many benefits, such as decreased stress levels, more time in the office, and increased productivity.
- On-site fitness centers and classes. Finding time to work out can be impossible for busy employees – helping them reap the many benefits from exercise will, in turn, make them happier, more productive workers.
- On-site healthcare. According to Fortune, "Studies have found that on-site health care clinics can lower medical costs for companies, encourage better long-term employee health, reduce absenteeism, and improve productivity."
- Treadmill desks. Take the sit-to-stand desk one step further.
- Concierge services. Forget picking up dry cleaning, booking a flight, or grabbing some groceries – more and more companies are offering a service to help with those pesky life tasks.
Before throwing a whole host of amenities at employees, some companies opt to determine what they really want by offering a survey. In addition, it's important to be strategic about designing new amenity spaces – taking things into consideration such as the location of quiet vs. social places.
Remember, companies don't necessarily need more space to add meaningful amenities – they just need to use the space they have wisely. Maybe, your business is actively looking for new space, let us help manage the process.