March 2, 2021

The Future of Work: Do’s and Don’ts of Office Perks

Collaboration space

Office perks come in many forms. They can range from physical perks like complimentary office snacks to mental perks like unlimited PTO plans. If you offer office perks, have you ever wondered how effective they are?

Or if you don’t provide them, have you ever wondered which ones are the most effective?

Here are the do’s and don’ts of office perks. 

Office Perks Do’s

Employee Security Badges

Employee security badges are helpful office perks for many reasons. First, employee IDs provide your employees with a sense of identity within your company. Similar to a company logo or uniform, the employee ID unites your employees under your mission. 

Second, IDs differentiate employees from guests. 

Third, employee security badges help businesses track employee movement. HR can identify employees who swipe into work, sit at their desk all day, and go home. These employees aren’t engaging with office perks and can be considered stagnant employees. 

Stagnant employees typically feel overstressed, overworked, and unhappy in the office.  HR can use security badge data to find employees who never leave the office to go to lunch or go for a walk, who never use the perks to decompress, who never leave certain quadrants of the office.  

By identifying stagnant employees early on, HR and management can proactively address this behavior and work toward a solution. 

Finally, HR can also identify employees who come to work and use the office perks. These employees serve as helpful reminders of which office perks are most effective. 

Ping Pong Tables, Pool Tables, Arcade Games

Ping pong tables, pool tables, or arcade games are great office perks for building collaboration and company culture. These “play” areas attract new talent and encourage movement in the office space. Plus, ping pong tables and other table games act as Team Building Elements, which is a new office trend to in 2021.

Employees should be able to get up from their desks and stretch their legs, and these design elements serve as great outlets. Providing spaces to decompress also helps reset mental energy. 

If your office has a room with ping pong tables, pool tables or arcade games, security badges can also track the usage. By tracking movement, businesses understand what percentage of employees use perks. 

Vending Machines

Complimentary snacks, sodas, and coffee bars are great office perks. But sometimes, it’s just not in the budget to provide unlimited snacks and beverages. But, including vending machines is a great alternative. 

Additionally, providing vending machines that allow for one free soda / beverage and one free snack per day yield improved employee satisfaction. A “use it or lose it” approach to perks tells employees that certain distractions (like a trip to the vending machines) are actually encouraged.

Office Perks Don’ts

Messaging platforms like slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or Facebook Workplace are designed to help your team with real-time collaboration, audio or video calls, and file-sharing. Whether your employees work in the office, remotely, or a combination of both, communication tools should simplify your life. 

Many times, providing slack or Teams to your employees is a great office perk. Sending one-off chats can be easier than sending multiple emails back and forth. 

However, there’s a rising concern that over-relying on messaging platforms indicates a cultural problem in your office. 

Over-Reliance on Messaging Platforms

If you’ve noticed your staff’s slack usage increasing, it could mean one of two things. Productivity is increasing, or social interactions are completely moving into the digital space. If it’s the latter, your company may have a culture problem. 

What does that mean for the future of work?

Replacing face-to-face socializing with digital socializing reduces the cultural benefits your office provides. It also reduces employee engagement. When employees are engaged, companies are 21% more profitable. However, disengaged employees hurt productivity and profitability. 

It is one thing to rely on messaging apps when your workforce is remote, but it is another thing to continue the pattern once employees return to the office. When employees rely on slack messages to catch up, instead of gathering in shared spaces in your office design, they miss out on your office perks. 

Over-relying on messaging apps also is shown to reduce employee loyalty and happiness. Messaging apps like slack facilitate “meme culture,” which is an inherently cynical and disingenuous form of communication that breeds discontent and frustration.

Memes are easily distributed on slack, and other chat apps. The more familiar your team is with slack, the more frequently the memes are used in daily communications. Meme culture often rewards those who aim to mock or insult and suppresses positive reinforcement.  

The Future of Work

Are your employees engaging with your office perks? If you need a more accurate assessment of your employees’ opinions of your office perks or office design, take our WorkforceDiagnostics™ assessment. Each employee will receive a survey to complete about how they envision the future of work. Sign up today!