Enterprises through the years have spent a lot of time and money trying to get their office environments just right. The goal, of course, is to make employees more productive and happy — which, theoretically, benefits the enterprise’s bottom line.
Office perks and features can range from the archetypal foosball table to stand-up desks to office gyms and more.
But as Workplace Insight reports, the vast majority (79%) of employees surveyed by British relocation firm Kiwi Movers say “reliable and modern technology is more important to them than office aesthetics.” Even more, while accessories “such as ping pong tables, slides, hammocks and wacky office designs may look good in pictures…they don’t necessarily make employees any happier or productive.”
Indeed, the survey found that the only office perk used daily by more than half of employees (77%) was “free coffee.” One good guess as to why coffee is (or at least is perceived as) a productivity enhancer? You drink coffee while you’re working.
And working is just what most employees (including millennials) want and expect to do when they’re in the office. Consequently, they vastly prefer being allowed to use the technology tools of their choice to do their jobs — whether it’s a personal smartphone, mobile apps, collaboration tools or cloud storage.
Still, some employers can’t resist the siren call of gimmicky (and inexpensive) office perks. Among the “unusual office features” found to have no real value to employees were:
- Hay bales for sitting on instead of chairs
- Fake grass in meeting rooms
- Deck chairs
- An indoor picnic table with a parasol
- Motivational quotes on walls
- Music themed meeting rooms with song lyrics on the wall
- A throne in reception that nobody wants to sit on
- Beach huts
Admittedly, reliable wireless connectivity lacks the novelty factor of hay bale chairs and a reception room “throne,” but you’ll probably get a better ROI for your investment. Just sayin’.