On-site massage. Nap pods. Company-sponsored happy hours. Arcade games. Yoga classes. Personalised workspace design. In-house gyms.
Before the pandemic, workplaces were all about flashy perks.
The belief was that the more entertaining and generous the office environment, the higher the likelihood of employees dedicating their time and effort to the company’s growth.
Even today, if you were to search for “employee perks” on Google, you would be flooded with content praising the benefits of office perks, with many websites seeing them as some of the most important practices a business can implement.
These souped-up workspaces send a clear message to potential employees: “Our company is cool – come and work in our jazzy office and enjoy all these perks, including endless massages!”.
But as a new post-pandemic office culture is rising, the value of these perks has certainly changed.
Now to the crux of the matter; in a world where every aspect of work is evolving at a fast pace, are flashy perks still appealing to employees?
Read on to find out.
Table of contents:
1. Are Swanky Office Perks Obsolete?
You might have heard this a thousand times before, but remote work is here to stay.
Gone are the days of cookie-cutter corporate offices and 9-to-5 jobs.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in attitudes toward work practices, with increased emphasis placed on work-life balance and flexibility.
Many employers have begun to adopt agile, hybrid or fully remote work arrangements, which provide employees with greater autonomy over how they work.
This approach allows employees to split their time between the office and working from home, which can help to achieve a greater work-life balance.
So ask yourself – In an era where there is a clear trend to eliminate traditional offices and evolve towards virtual offices, is it worth spending money on fun workplace perks?
Short answer, no.
So why is that?
First and foremost, the rise of remote work has made many of these perks less relevant or even impossible to offer.
Free food, baristas, and ping-pong tables mean little to employees who are not commuting to work every day. Flashy perks are simply out of date in a modern workplace culture, which is much more agile and remote.
Not to mention that once the novelty wears off, these perks aren’t making workers feel valued and respected.
Secondly, employees now want a good quality of work life (QWL), not superficial benefits. They also expect employers to acknowledge they have personal lives and want to better coordinate their schedules and responsibilities.
Thirdly, Gen-Zers, who are also known as the “climate-change generation”, are more likely to prioritise a company’s moral stance and the potential to make a positive impact over swanky office perks.
All the lavish amenities in the world won’t help you attract the right talent if you’re unable to create a strong sustainability culture and promote values such as honesty, communication, and hard work.
Now, you might ask yourself, “If flashy office perks are dead, why do some companies still offer them to their employees?”
The short answer is – Perks are mostly about image. Originally popularised in Silicon Valley, they were used as a way to retain employees in a culture of long working hours. Nowadays, some companies still use them as a tool to attract top talent.
However, we are in an era of constant change, and offering-up superficial benefits without providing meaningful perks that truly benefit employees is no longer sufficient.
We are confident that many companies that are still offering office perks are well-versed in all of these matters and are willing to offer their employees long-term benefits and recognition.
As flashy perks will soon wear thin, companies that will thrive in the modern business environment are those who are able to provide unique benefits that support flexibility and work-life balance.
2. What Is Today’s Employee Really Looking for?
In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential for both employers and employees to seek a mutually beneficial arrangement, particularly if they plan to commit for the long term.
It’s therefore crucial to understand the benefits that truly matter to your employees.
Even though these benefits may not be tangible, such as time, energy, and genuine flexibility, your employees feel valued when you put their well-being at the heart of your company culture.
Investing in employees’ professional development and ensuring they enjoy their work are other critical factors in promoting long-term employee satisfaction.
Today’s employees don’t want free meals, but they might need the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work. They might also need changes to superannuation contributions, equal paternal and maternal leave rights, or non-traditional perks such as house cleaning, caregiver support, or a comfortable WFH setup.
Additionally, employees expect their work to be a significant source of purpose. According to Wrike’s Happiness Index Survey, “meaningful work” was identified as the top happiness factor among employees.
While we don’t expect small businesses to offer every modern perk that employees are seeking, it’s important to provide certain benefits such as remote work policies and flexible working hours.
These policies allow your employees the freedom and flexibility to take breaks, attend to personal commitments, and maintain a better work-life balance.
For example, in a survey, 51% of respondents say they wish their company provided them with more flexible work options.
Even if you’re running your business on a tight budget, offering flexible work schedules as an employee benefit can significantly boost employee satisfaction without incurring any significant costs.
Remember that the most valuable perks don’t always require a big budget. Instead, they have a significant impact on an employee’s life outside of work by promoting their health, well-being, and happiness.
The Bottom Line
Fancy office perks no longer hold the pulling power they once did.
In an increasingly remote work environment, it’s time to put away nap pods, indoor slides, and ping-pong tables.
Many workers today are seeking different kinds of perks, such as flexible work schedules, mental wellness aid, and opportunities for professional growth.
That’s why it is important for businesses to avoid relying solely on perks as a solution for addressing deeper issues, such as long-hours culture or limited opportunities for professional growth.
Instead, businesses should revamp their perk offerings to attract the next generation of talent and stay ahead of the competition.
Paradoxical as it may seem, the most attractive office perk for today’s employees is the ability to spend more time outside the office.
At B2B HQ, we understand that flexibility is the greatest perk for employees, and that’s exactly what our virtual offices offer. Get in touch with our team, and we’ll provide all the advice you need to find the right office package that works for your business. Plus, we offer flexible monthly subscriptions with no lock-in contracts. Simply contact us today and we’ll share our advice and expertise to help you embrace a modern office environment and become a future-ready company.