The Business Case for Perk Design
Why should you care about whether your employees want a ping-pong table? We’ll be honest – the game room will probably not make or break top performers’ experience. However, with unemployment at a half-century low, the stakes are high. And, more and more frequently, attracting and retaining top talent comes down to who offers the best workplace amenities.
But every workplace can’t – and shouldn’t – offer every amenity. And, relative to the available examples, we’d wager that most businesses are smaller and less-capitalized. Finally, with increasing urbanization, the cost to develop amenity-rich workspaces is rising.
So, with feasibility in mind, what investments will add value for all your stakeholders? We think the best workplace amenities are first strategic; maximizing the incremental value for both the organization and the employee. Second, we think that quality office amenities are planned through the lens of a thoroughly considered cultural perspective.
The Best Workplace Amenities
Workplace amenities are the facilities and services provided in the company’s individual workspace or the wider building / complex the office is in, generally managed by the workspace provider or operator. According to Leesman, the highest-ranked amenities aren’t extravagant: they represent basic human needs. And we support those findings; in our experience, people want three things at a base level. People want their work to be convenient, to belong to a community and to take care of themselves.
Thus, we think the most effective workplace amenities are within the realms of convenience, community and care.
Convenience of the Office
Choice & Flexibility in the Office:
Today, top performers are masters of seamlessly shifting gears to balance their responsibilities. Thus, we think the best workplace amenity strategies prioritize flexibility. Greater mobility is associated with increased performance and engagement – which is ultimately your organization’s goal. In addition, flexible office design offers organizational benefits like reduced cost with improved utilization.
Providing a variety of workspace alternatives and enabling people to make appropriate use of them accommodates changing business demands – as well as how employees want to work.
Service Features of the Workplace:
Service amenities in the workplace are among the most flexible that companies can offer – and the data supports their use. 65% of occupiers regard service-oriented workplace amenities as more important than fixed space amenities. Put simply, the value of good coffee, tidiness and reliable Wifi cannot be understated.
Proximity to External Amenities:
Creating a sought-after experience doesn’t stop at the doors of your workplace. Consider your proximity to external amenities that will add value to your employees’ experience by making their routines more convenient. In a 2018 survey by CBRE, more than a third of respondents rank public transportation and quality of environment among the top three most important aspects of a workplace.
According to Leesman, 81% of workers ranked a clean office as their most valued workspace feature.
79% of employees globally rank tea, coffee and other refreshment facilities as an important workplace feature.
69% of workers globally rank good wifi connection as an important amenity.
Community in the Workplace
According to 2014 data from the Harvard Business review, only 34% of interactions take place in a planned way. To facilitate a sense of belonging that stimulates those organic, spontaneous interactions, businesses are turning to workplace amenities. Flex spaces and communal areas provide both a workspace alternative and an outlet for chance encounters to spark creativity.
Shared workplace amenities that encourage networking and collaboration makes invaluable peer support and advice more readily available, which contributes to individuals’ personal development and team cohesion.
Self-Care in Employees’ Routine
In a survey by Leesman, workers reported the comfortability of their chairs and desks as the top two most important physical features affecting their productivity. Additionally, 54% of employees rank the ability to personalize their workstation as an important factor for feeling comfortable.
Three commonly overlooked features of the workplace are lighting, noise levels and temperature control. Generally, less than half of employees globally are satisfied with the way their office utilizes these features.
Health & Wellbeing:
In a 2018 study by CBRE, 84% of people at least marginally favor buildings with enhanced wellness offerings in 2018, up from 47% in 2017. When it comes to workplace culture, wellbeing is about supporting employees to find a good work-life balance – and today’s workforce is more health-aware than ever before.
The retirement age seems to be moving further and further away, insurance is not inexpensive and those entering the workforce are not terribly hopeful for social security benefits. So, providing high-quality workplace amenities for wellness in addition to encouraging general wellbeing is paramount.
Low-investment implements that are achievable by most organizations include bike storage, reusable containers, access to the outdoors. Increased urbanization will make maintaining a connection to nature increasingly desirable – which works out for businesses. Exposure to green space has been linked to employee well-being and productivity.
Creating Effective Strategies for Workplace Amenities
Thanks for reading! Creating targeted strategies for attracting and retaining top talent in the built environment can be intimidating – it’s only your future success, right? While offering the best workplace amenities around may seem less than attainable, we guarantee a workspace that works hard to keep top performers around is within your reach. All it takes is thorough planning with partners that are thoroughly committed to your success.
If you’ve got a transition on the horizon (or just on the brain), tell us about your project. We’ll help you map out an end-to-end solution that incorporates your goals for the built environment as well as your workforce. Remember – we’re here to make your workspace work as hard as you do.
The Day-to-Day Impact of Office Amenities
80% of tenants perceive workplace amenities as crucial. (CBRE 2018)
78% say flexible workspace with high choice contributes to community (Leesman 2018)
87% of employees report “having a great office makes them want to go to work.” (GCUC 2019)