Emerging office perks that will attract top talent and keep employees happy

Emerging office perks that will attract top talent

Job seekers with top skills have more options than ever thanks to flexible opportunities and the rise of remote working.

Competing in this environment requires companies to understand a new generation of workers that want the benefits of their job to match up with their values. Managers that want to create an attractive space for recruitment should think outside the box and carefully consider the perks their company can offer.

Here are some ways tech giants are attracting top talent—and ensuring that they stay on task during office hours.

Office Design Trends

Custom workstations

Custom workstations for office space

Providing opportunities for autonomy and self-expression helps staff feel comfortable within a space. For example, offering a budget for staff to customize their stations allows new hires to embed their personality directly into the space, helping build a sense of ownership and connectedness to the company.

Asana has fully committed to this concept by providing employees with $10,000 in spending money to build their own workspace.

While this level of customization may not be necessary in every company, giving staff enough freedom to truly make a space their own will ensure you have a happy and loyal team.

Opportunities for self-development

Opportunities for self-development

Learning opportunities and professional development programs are workplace advantages that today's companies heavily emphasize. Managers can attract top talent by emphasizing the company’s willingness to help staff grow as leaders and add important skills to their wheelhouse. This might include hosting lessons from experts directly in the office or funding external courses.

Amazon is a good example of this. The company covers 95 percent of tuition for their fulfillment center employees to take courses on in-demand topics. To enhance the effectiveness of these workshops, managers should provide staff with an in-office learning environment that is conducive to different types of learners.

Unlimited vacation

Unlimited paid time off was popularized by Netflix and adopted by many major companies, including Groupon and Glassdoor

Staff with this benefit are able to take as much paid time off as they’d like. Doing this helps staff avoid the productivity slumps that come with burnout and allows for more flexibility in their lives. 

The concept of paying for unlimited time off may seem counter-intuitive, but companies that have done this successfully pair the benefit with a culture of high-performance and accountability.

Pets in the office

Bringing pets like dogs or cats to work can have a stress-reducing effect on staff. Pets have been shown to help reduce blood pressure, and improve self-esteem and overall health

Companies like Autodesk have implemented this perk, creating an office that can account for up to 25 dogs, which allows staff to worry less about being away from their pets during the day. 

Managers have to be careful when implementing this perk. Pet-friendly policies can cause allergic reactions, noise, and unpleasant smells—meaning companies should first consult their staff for approval and put comprehensive rules in place.

On-site daycare

Studies have shown that on-site daycare services improve focus and reduce absenteeism. Allowing this helps parents adapt to the needs of their growing children while reducing the amount of time taken off work to attend to childcare. Offering staff benefits like daycare can also reflect company culture and priorities.

Patagonia has provided on-site child care for over 33 years, "Taking care of our tribe is part of our culture and our commitment to helping our own people live the way they want."

The challenges of childcare disproportionately affect women in the workplace. Managers who are interested in improving representation, diversity, and inclusion in their offices should consider the merits of providing childcare for staff.

Catered in-office meals

Nourishing the minds and bodies of your staff starts with offering healthy meals. Airbnb, for example, goes above and beyond by offering house-made beverages, including their own healthy version of Red Bull called Redbnb. 

Offering a perk like this to employees shows them you care about their health and well-being. This perk may look different from company to company, depending on the size and budget, but employees that feel like they are taken care of are more likely to perform well.

Makerspaces

Many promising recruits are looking for companies that can cultivate their values and personal passions. One way offices can address this need is through the creation of a workshop or makerspace. These rooms host materials like art supplies, tools and work benches—equipment that can be difficult for individuals to invest in on their own.

Companies like Microsoft and Google have provided these spaces to employees to maintain a sense of innovation in their culture. Implementing a creative space that allows individuals to work on their hobbies helps build unlikely connections between staff while they develop projects they’re passionate about. It also signals to potential recruits that their interests are valued.

A culture that values work-life balance

Workplaces that prioritize work-life balance stand to become more attractive to highly-skilled talent in the workforce. Creating this balance is no easy feat; policies, culture, and space have to come together in a cohesive package that promotes a balanced lifestyle. Managers can use policies like flexible working hours or benefits like gym memberships to help staff stay healthy and motivated. Enabling new experiences is also a powerful way to draw in sought-after talent.

AirBnB for example, provides an annual travel credit to staff that allows them to book AirBnB properties around the world.

It’s clear that Airbnb values their employees as not just high-performers, but as human beings that need time to travel, take vacations, and do the things they love outside of work.

Providing the right benefits at work can significantly boost the productivity of staff. Benefits that improve wellness, flexibility, and trust all stand to enhance your team's output. By matching the right office perks to the office culture, facilities managers can help employees work more effectively and can attract stronger hires in the future.

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