June 15, 2016
Silicon Valley companies have been pushing the idea that employee happiness is about more than just salary. The tech industry is under pressure to keep their employees and encourage maximum productivity. The focus has shifted from financial perks to other ways of keeping staff sweet.
How amazing would it be to have a room of puppies at work? When you are feeling frazzled you can go and rub their furry tummies for a few minutes. Apparently, though, it’s a no from HR *HR nods in agreement*. However really fun places to work have introduced bring your pets to work policies and according to Central Michigan University, having dogs in the office reduces stress and increases morale and productivity. If it’s good enough for science … *Patiently waits for the HR response*…
I hate ping pong. Said no one ever. Which is why ping pong has become a staple, space willing, of the work games room. No longer just the decoration of the hipster offices of Shoreditch, London. Other popular choices are Foosball tables and giant Connect Four. Twister, however, is frowned upon for health and safety and, awkward office situation reasons. *Yes, nods HR*
Although Friday is the best day of the working week, Friday afternoon is the real hero. It stands as the gateway to Friday night. That time of the week when workers are unleashed from their computers and granted access to hours of running free, frolicking in the glow of the promise of Saturday and revelling in the pure unadulterated joy that only the onset of the weekend can bring. To celebrate this, many companies offer their employees Friday afternoons off over the summer months. A sort of day release for good behaviour. Treehouse even lets their workers take off a day of their choice each week in favour of compressed hours. And we salute them.
The UK isn’t widely known for its balmy summers, so it’s rare that British workers really need cooling down. All the same, whether you’re blessed with those Vitamin D rays or not, that familiar sound of an over chugging engine accompanied by a high pitched jingle brings back memories of childhood, and more carefree times. Savvy businesses know this kind of nostalgia will put smiles on the faces of their employees and a re-injection of enthusiasm. Supermarket ice creams and / or beer have the same effect. Nostalgia-o-clock.
Thought we were joking about Mariachi Monday? Nope – it’s genuinely a thing.
Net-A-Porter threw their retiring CEO a surprise leaving party. Complete with acrobats, dancers and yes you guessed it, a Mariachi band. *HR googles ‘Maracas for Sale’*. And the fun didn’t stop there – all the offices around the world took part in a live-streamed sing-a-long and dance routine *HR fills out risk assessment*.
Everyone deserves that little bit of attention every now and then to confirm not only are they in the right place but that their hard work is appreciated. For that warm fuzzy feeling of loving where you work, watch the video here. *HR confirms that this is a lunch break appropriate, then orders maracas.*
All of these perks add up to making a place more than just somewhere to work. They create a greater sense of engagement and wellbeing and help to make the work place somewhere that people don’t dread going to every day. We spend so much of our lives at the office so really we should be afforded a bit of fun and light relief whilst we’re there.
And that’s the point. Perks don’t have to be expensive or showy, it’s just to allow adults some kid time, let them relax a bit and have a break from the daily grind. Making us, in turn, far more productive: Highly engaged workforces generate, on average, 29% more revenue and are 50% more likely to enjoy above-average customer loyalty (source: Right Management).
Right, I’m off to convince everyone here to set up Mariachi Mondays. Wish me luck!