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Voice of the Employee

Liberty Games have surveyed office workers across the country to discover what factors or ‘perks’ would decrease their stress and increase their happiness at work.

The average employee will spend over 92,000 hours at work during their lifetime, so having a great working environment is important. Not only are happy employees more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety, but they’re also more productive. Not only are happier workers more productive, but they’re also more likely to be more creative, better at sales and customer service, and more likely to invest more into their work and contribution to their workplace as a whole.

In a recent study by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage found that happy staff increased their productivity by as much as 20%. Various factors such as well designed office spaces, flexi working hours and having daily stand-up meetings are all ways to improve office productivity that have been well tried and tested over the years.

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, which represents 300,000 HR professionals in more than 165 countries, found that 57 percent of its members offer flexible working hours. The group’s VP Lisa Horn comments “Managers who give it a try often find that employees’ morale, engagement and productivity all go up, because they are working at a time that works best for them, and able to get the most work done”.

By 2020, millennials are predicted to make up 35% of the global workforce, becoming the largest generation in the workforce with generation Z also beginning to enter the workforce. Whilst employers once retained top talent with generous compensation packages and promises of promotion, priorities in the younger workforce today focus more on personal development, flexibility and work-life balance.

With increasing job selections, millennials on the hunt for their perfect career now have the opportunity to interview and weigh up several companies before accepting their first offer. There are a whole range of workplace benefits and cultures that can set companies apart, that just didn’t exist 20 years ago.

In order to retain this top millennial talent and keep employees happy, there are several factors that employers could consider offering, ranging from smaller ‘perks such as cereal, snacks and fruit bowls in the office, ‘nap-pods’ and office games, to larger initiatives such as free parking, gym membership or flexible working schemes. All of these perks, large or small, are designed to make employees feel valued and invested in, and more likely to stay loyal to a company, in a job market where almost half of millennials are thought to leave a job within two years of joining.

Liberty Games investigated the top factors or ‘perks’ that office workers said would increase their happiness and decrease their stress, providing some insight into the type of things the current workforce are looking for from their ideal workplace.

The top ten factors or items that office workers said would increase their happiness and decrease their stress in 2019 were:

  1. Healthy Snacks and Drinks (33%)
  2. Perfect Climate (30%)
  3. Cleanliness (26%)
  4. Relaxation/Sleep zones (21%)
  5. Subsidised Food (21%)
  6. A Dog (20%)
  7. Office Games (19%)
  8. Parking (17%)
  9. Plants (17%)
  10. Gym (15%)

The top office items prioritised by men were office games (30%) which includes pool tables, arcade/retro games, and football tables; healthy snacks and drinks (37%) were most prioritised by women.

The most desirable office must-have was healthy snacks and drinks, with a third (33%) of respondents saying they’d be much happier in their workplace if their office provided nutritious nibbles to snack on. Today’s workforce are more health-conscious than ever before, and it’s universally known that a healthy mid-morning or mid-afternoon can prevent those dreaded blood sugar spikes and make you generally more productive.

Having the ‘perfect office climate’ was the second overall top choice for increased happiness at work, with just under a third (30%) of people saying they would be less stressed in a warmer or cooler office.This could reflect the recent debates over the correct office temperature, after the suggestion that room temperatures are inherently sexist and geared towards the comfort levels of men, with colder temperatures typically being favoured by men and warmer temperatures favoured by women.

In third place, 25% of respondents said that workplace cleanliness was a key factor in increasing the happiness of office workers. Studies have found that an untidy or unclean workspace can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health. A clutter-free, hygienic and organised workspace can promote focus, productivity and improved general health.

Which workplace perks would you like the most from your employer?

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