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Should You Be Offering ‘Whimsical’ Perks To Staff?’

Is kitting out a fantasy office in a castle the best way to entice and retain great people?

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Is kitting out a fantasy office in a castle the best way to entice and retain great people?

Opinions

Should You Be Offering ‘Whimsical’ Perks To Staff?’

Is kitting out a fantasy office in a castle the best way to entice and retain great people?

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You may have seen the story about the ‘best boss ever’ recently. Located in a Victorian castle, one business owner has made his workplace into the ‘office of dreams’ equipped with an on-site gym, games room, extravagantly decorated meeting rooms and a cinema to name just a few of its features.

Alongside this, the owner promises his staff a range of perks, including a bonus of up to 45 per cent, free breakfast, an all expenses-paid holiday once a year, monthly paid-for socials and more.

Of course, this is not achievable in all companies, but many businesses are increasingly looking at offering the more ‘whimsical’ perks to staff in order to attract, retain and reward their employees. Nowadays, the traditional perks such as a pension, free drinks and days off on your birthday may no longer suffice.

But, according to our research, nearly two thirds (62.1%) of employees state that workplace perks are important to them. It got me thinking: should all organisations be offering these sorts of perks to staff? I explore this in more detail below:

Keeping staff engaged

The issue with workplaces that have a variety of extra activities in place, such as ping pong or pool tables is that in some instances; employees can become distracted and are unable to manage their time effectively.

money.co.uk castle

The money.co.uk castle office, which earned founder Chris Morling the title "best boss"

I find that having set hours with little distractions means that my staff can complete their day-to-day tasks in their working day, and then leave at 5.30pm without the need to stay late or pick up work when they’re back home. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the benefits of having fun activities in the workplace as I recognise that it is important to have a short break from your computer every now and again.

What workers really want?

According to our findings, the top workplace perks that employees want to receive this year is flexible working (47.2%), followed by seasonal bonuses (39.1%) and extra holiday (37.3%).

All of these are perks that we do see in many businesses and it’s interesting to note that the more whimsical benefits, such as nap or games rooms and office dogs or pets appeared far lower on the spectrum. Furthermore, employees placed higher priority on other aspects such as casual dress codes, social activities and free snacks and drinks.

The best balance

It’s clear that what often works best is a balance of all areas. Employees want the basics. In today’s working world, they want the ability to work more flexibly, they want to be able to enjoy more time out of the office when they can and in many cases, they want to be financially rewarded for their hard work.

Money.co.uk headquarters: grade II-listed castle in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

You have to admit this is impressive...

For businesses, getting these simple areas right first is extremely important and then you can consider what you can do on top of that to set your business apart from the rest, this can go a long way. Ask yourself, how can you differ from your competitors?

For me, our structured working day is what often draws people to work for us, because we can guarantee that work/life balance that many other companies can’t. Find your niche, stick with it and make it work for you.

All in all, it’s important not to get too tied up with the more lavish benefits and instead, really understand what your employees want.

Conducting annual surveys amongst your workforce can help to see how well your current perks are going down, and consider ways to tweak them if necessary to better suit their needs. Every workplace is different and has different priorities, so stick with your gut and the rest will fall into place.

Lee Biggins is founder and managing director of CV-Library.

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Should You Be Offering ‘Whimsical’ Perks To Staff?’

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