Looking to increase employee happiness and job retention? In that case, company perks may be for you. Having a wheelchair lift installed in your office is a great start but workplace perks are yet another great addition. If you are a business owner who is looking at bringing in some employee benefits in the UK but don’t know where to start, this guide can help.
What are workplace schemes and company perks?
Workplace schemes come under any number of titles, from employee benefits to company perks and more but they all mean the same thing: extra incentives employers offer to their staff which are intended to increase happiness and maximise a positive work/life balance.
These perks and schemes can be more company orientated, for example offering flexible working for those who’d prefer to work in their home office, to contracting outside companies in to provide schemes. In this article, we look at why these perks can be important and offer suggestions for the best schemes businesses in the UK could consider.
Why are perks important?
Perks are important because they can increase employee happiness in the business, increase employee retention as happy employees are less likely to seek other employment and can even help with bringing in new hires as your perks make you stand out from the competition.
According to job-hunting site Reed, “half of UK workers say employee benefits would make them feel happier at work.” In fact, it’s not just that employees believe perks will make them happier, but many are willing to take a pay cut if the perks are right, Reed reports, “1 in 6 people willing to take a pay cut in exchange for summer perks.”
The best workplace schemes and company perks in the UK
Flexible working hours
Flexible working hours will be something that many businesses may have implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic as working from home became the norm but, upon returning to the office, may be looking to go back to ‘how things were’. However, offering flexible working hours to your employees can be a great way to help them create a better work-life balance and make them happier in the long run.
And remember, flexible working hours doesn’t need to mean completely flexible. It could simply be allowing workers to start an hour earlier or later so they are able to beat the traffic or pick up their little ones from school. Although these changes won’t make a large difference to you as a business, they can make a real difference in a person’s life.
READ MORE: How to make your return to work successful
One great way to benefit all who use the office is through expanding the office comforts you provide. Whether this be free tea or coffee making facilities, break out rooms and more comfortable spaces, or even just a more relaxed dress code, these in-office perks can make your workforce more comfortable in the space and therefore happier.
Talking about which office comforts are most popular, Reed exposes: “When it comes to office comforts, caffeine came out on top – with 40% of people voting free tea and coffee as the perk they value most.
“A third of us placed precedence on a seat with a view, with a similar amount naming peace and quiet as all it takes to be successful at work. Other popular perks included a casual dress code, subsidised gym memberships and free fruit.”
Being able to make full use of the sunshine during the summer months is something many people who work full time feel unable to do. But many employers are now looking at offering summer perks that can allow their staff to have a more desirable work-life balance during the hotter months and give them time off to spend how they please, or just in-office perks that can help take the edge off.
Andrew Sykes looked into summer perks and found that: “The most wanted summer perks that workers are after are flexible hours (43%), summer hours (41%) and a tasty 33% for free ice cream/treats – with those aged 25-34 the most attracted to these.
Andrew Sykes also found that people would prefer these perks over others: “38% would sacrifice free tea and coffee for their desired summer perks, 28% company discounts at the pub or gym, and 31% would give up 30 minutes of their daily lunch break.”
Having medical worries can be a large contributor to stress and, for workplaces that want to help alleviate this offering some kind of medical support can be incredibly beneficial. Whether it’s simply an initiative to improve staff quality of life or your employees are more likely to take on straining roles, bringing in medical support perks can be a great perk.
Whether it’s offering some kind of dental plan, access to private doctors or even more complex packages for those who suffer from long-lasting or life-threatening illnesses; whilst arranging a medical-type perk may not be quick and easy to set up, it can be a great way to retain employees and improve quality of life for all.
Access to fitness facilities
It’s often been thought that keeping active and fit will help people feel mentally healthier and happier also. As well as that, fitness can offer many people a way to unwind, destress and socialise with others, whether it’s meeting friends for a yoga class or playing some football.
Offering your employees access to fitness facilities, whether on-site at the place of employment or off-site at a third-party facility can be a great way to give them the tools they need to succeed. After all, gym memberships can be pricey, and people can end up having to go well out of their way to access the facilities they want to use. So, whether you choose to initiate fitness classes on-site (be sure you have a shower handy too!) or offer gym memberships or club payments, you are sure to find a healthier and happier workforce because of it.
Workplace schemes and perks to introduce in your business
- Flexible working hours
- Office comforts
- Summer perks
- Medical support
- Access to fitness facilities
With schemes like those mentioned above, you can help improve your employees’ work-life balance, create a happier workforce and retain and gain more staff in the long run.
For another great way to improve your employees’ lives, why not introduce a disabled lift to your business to make sure you are inclusive and accessible to all? Cibes are experts in passenger lifts and can create the perfect solution for your space.
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