As we head into a whole new year, now could be a good time to think about whether giving a little something back to your employees could lift your business’ new year’s blues.
From ditching the corporate headquarters for a trendy London coworking space to providing employees with private healthcare, here are some of the professional benefits you should consider offering in 2018.
Get creative with your office space
Changing things up in the office may not sound like the most elaborate or exciting benefit to offer employees, but you may be surprised at the effect flexible office space solutions can have. Research by the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology found that people who work in an ‘enriched’ environment – essentially, one set up, laid out and decorated to be more enjoyable and pleasing than the traditional collection of drab cubicles – were up to 17% more productive as a result.
After all, there’s a reason that many of the world’s biggest companies, from Facebook to Google, have begun to stack their offices with everything from on-site gyms to breakout rooms and ping pong tables. A creative approach to your working environment could be as simple as improving your on-site facilities and options for leisure activities, or you could decide to…
Up sticks to a coworking space
For businesses who want to move away from the traditional office entirely and offer their employees a more flexible, collaborative working environment, coworking may well be the solution.
Once seen as the preserve of freelancers and tiny tech startups, now you’ll find companies ranging from global multinationals like KPMG to rising stars Deliveroo opting for coworking spaces over dedicated offices, and with good reason – 62% of workers using coworking spaces have reported that the experience improved their own performance.
The way in which we work is constantly changing, and the modern workforce cherishes flexibility and a level of control over their own working style – both of which are often aspects of coworking championed by its proponents.
Allow for more flexibility in the workplace
And while we’re on the subject of flexibility, have you ever considered giving your employees flexible working hours, the chance to work remotely, or even an unlimited holiday allowance? Some of these may sound rather drastic, not to mention counter-productive, but more and more companies are not only offering them to employees, but becoming convinced of their benefits – even startups like Songkick are trialling unlimited holidays for their employees, although we’d advise approaching that particular one with caution.
You don’t have to go overboard and allow employees uninhibited workplace freedom, but staggered start times or options to work from home may well be worth considering.
Look after your employee’s health
Providing benefits to your employees is about showing that you appreciate their part in your company’s success, and that you want to give something back in return – and there are few better ways to give back than to make sure their health is taken care of.
One increasingly common health benefit offered by companies is private health insurance for all their employees. In fact, the private healthcare providers Bupa even have their own range of insurance packages aimed specifically at small businesses, covering everything from dental plans to flu vaccinations.
It’s not the only way that businesses are looking after their employees’ health, however – gym and activity class discounts, bike-to-work initiatives and workplace wellness schemes to promote mental health are all becoming popular company perks.
At the end of the day, who doesn’t love free stuff? Whether it’s providing meals for your staff, putting on free classes and events, or reaching an arrangement with a client that sees them providing some top-quality supplies and snacks for the office, a few freebies can go a long way towards livening up a dull day in the office.
Whether you’re moving base to a coworking space in London, or incentivising your staff to bike to work, imaginative and creative perks are a simple, easy way to demonstrate to your staff that you appreciate their work enough to want to give something back.