Summer Fridays, company swag, sparking water…the options for “workplace perks” are endless.
According to a 2015 Gallup survey, more than half of all American workers are “disengaged” from their work. If every other employee is just going through the motions, it’s not a stretch to assume most companies’ productivity levels and office morale could be improved.
There are many small changes you can make to give your office vibe a boost, while fostering a feeling of comradery and appreciation for your team.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to rush out and buy a foosball table or build a new-age meditation room. We’ve put together a list of a few small (and inexpensive) office perks that make a BIG impact:
Fill the Fridge:
Coffee is boring. Having access to a free cup o’ joe isn’t a perk anymore — it’s almost a requirement. Expanding your repertoire of office snacks and drinks can be a relatively inexpensive way to give your employees something to talk about. To make it meaningful, try sending out a survey to see what is preferred in your office. From old-fashioned Coca-Cola to coconut water, giving your employees this option is an easy way to break the monotony of the day.
This one is easy—but can be the most dangerous. It’s the dawn of the digital age: in most cases your employees can work from anywhere as long as they have access to a screen and a solid Wi-Fi connection. Whether it’s scheduling these days far in advance, or a spur-of-the-moment dismissal when to-do lists are short (and the weather’s nice!), this is a fantastic way to give back while keeping productivity moving. Granted, this isn’t for everyone and can easily be abused. Keep a close eye on your inbox to make sure work is still being done!
Pack a Lunch:
What could inspire comradery more than share a meal? All too often, employees fall into a habit of eating lunch alone at their desks, which only builds silos across your workplace. A casual conversation at a communal lunch table or a regular all-team lunch is critical to fostering collaboration. Of course, every office is different. The key is offering a forum for your employees to interact with people that they do not sit next to or usually talk to. Doing so will help you team grow together outside of the scope of their day-to-day task lists.
Plant a Tree:
Seriously. Giving your employees an avenue to giving back to their communities is one of the best ways to make a tangible impact in their personal lives. With social responsibility playing a larger role in corporate boardrooms than ever before, establishing a program for your company to either contribute or volunteer to a worthy cause can motivate your employees to reach new heights.
Hoist the Colors:
Is your logo nowhere to be seen throughout your office? Your branding is your corporate battle flag—be proud of it. Believe it or not, your logo and colors are one of the few things that represent the bind that tie your employees together. Whenever possible try to incorporate your colors into your office and the products you buy. It doesn’t take a 5 ft. by 5 ft. reproduction of your logo on the wall, but instead a small reminder to reiterate the unity throughout the office. If you want to take this one step even further, explore some swag adorned with your logo to give to your employees. Aside from the marketing benefits, having your coffee every morning in a company mug or wearing a vest emblazoned with your logo can give a gentle reminder that “we’re all in this together.”
Balance the needs of your employees with yours:
The key throughout this list is balancing business considerations (cost, productivity, time, etc.) with social considerations (happiness, chemistry, etc.). Some slight concessions on your part, however, can go a long way in helping your employees. Let’s face it: Friday afternoons are not the most productive time for many employees in a company (especially when it’s sunny out!). Why not decide to let your employees leave early every other Friday? You won’t miss out on much productivity, but you will likely create a lot of goodwill and appreciation with your most valued assets. Some small decisions like these can go a long way in building a better company culture.
Let’s be honest, the office is not just devoted to work. We spend the majority of our waking hours behind a computer screen or reading ink printed on 8.5” x 11” paper. Companies that give their employees an outlet to escape the doldrums of corporate America truly separate themselves from the pack. These few ideas will bring you one step closer to making your office environment a “home away of home” for you and your team.