Here’s a list of the popular perks that big and small companies are rolling out to entice employees into the office.
There’s no way around it — remote working is the new normal in the modern workplace.
That doesn’t mean, though, that your business doesn’t have an office space or lease that you’re not interested in letting go of. So, then, how do you ensure that your (costly) space is being used without mandating an unpopular return to the office?
Perks, that’s how! In a remote working world, companies have to rethink what it takes to draw employees back to the office. Free coffee just isn’t going to cut it anymore when people have coffee makers at home.
These days, companies have to think outside of the box when it comes to office amenities. The best part? This isn’t just about making your current workers happy. Rethinking office amenities can offer a significant boost to your talent acquisition efforts, too.
What workers want
According to Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, a whopping 91% of workers said that the most recent reason they left a job was for greater work-life balance. Plus, 63% of respondents said that they’re confident that they can find a job that’s as good as — or better than! — the job they have now.
This means that employees have options. And being forced to go into an office isn’t what they’re looking for. But perks and amenities that they want to take advantage of? That’s another story. Here’s a list of the popular perks that big and small companies are rolling out to entice employees into the office.
Naturally, this isn’t a must-have list. But it is intended to inspire. Think about what you see here and how you might be able to make something similar work within the confines of your unique business.
Monthly company-wide drop-ins
The one thing many workers miss when they’re working from home is the social connections that in-office work provides. So why not still offer ways for those connections to develop and thrive?
This could be anything from monthly happy hours to company-wide drop-ins where members of all teams can come to the office and co-mingle. This allows workers to break out of the social confines of their group alone.
Doggy daycare for pandemic pups
The Washington Post reports that more than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic. They’ve spent billions on pet food and products since 2020. Now that life is moving back to in-person, those expenses are expanding to include daycare and pet sitting services.
If you want to entice people with pandemic pups back into the office, consider offering doggy daycare. Occasional dog walking services can be a win, too, if full-time doggie daycare isn’t an option. Not only does this cut down on costs, but it makes coming into the office easier for those with pandemic pups.
Daycare for kids
The essential role of childcare was highlighted by the pandemic. After spending years juggling work and childcare from home, parents welcome a break.
Anything you can do to provide on-site childcare helps. Subsidizing the cost of external daycare can help employees have the time and space to go back to the office, too.
Free snacks have been around for a while. People still love them, but they aren’t enough to woo work-from-home-ers back into the office. Free meals, however, can do the trick.
Even a simple cereal or salad bar can make the commute worthwhile by eliminating the need to factor in food before you go.
Coffee with the CEO
Thoughtful in-person experiences with leadership can go a long way. There’s undeniably something about meeting in person that Zoom can never replace, even if it can handle the basic functions of interacting.
Thoughtful in-person experiences with leadership can make a big difference.
Offer amenities like coffee with the CEO or other key leadership figures in the office on certain days. Face time with leadership is a perk that promotion- and development-focused employees will relish.
Quiet work spaces
There’s one thing about working from home that’s a challenge, and that’s finding quiet space. Whether you’re sharing your home office with a partner, have distracting pets, or have demanding children, the ability to focus at home can be… compromised.
Regular offices might not be much better, especially those centered around open concepts. So why not create some quiet space where your employees can come to focus without distractions? This can be as simple as designating a conference room for silent work. But it doesn’t have to stop there. You could create a full-blown library room.
Like traditional libraries, silence is key, but it doesn’t mean only work can happen there. It can be a place of solace and quiet enjoyment, too.
An on-site fitness center
Subsidized gym memberships are great, but they don’t do much for getting employees into the office. One thing you can offer is the ability to eliminate the commute element of gym memberships. By providing on-site fitness amenities, your employees can move seamlessly from work to the gym and back again.
A few investments can go a long way.
Don’t worry if you’re not a big business with the money or space to invest in a major fitness center. A few investments can go a long way. Consider providing low-impact things like yoga mats or kettlebells. Maybe you could consider investing in a couple of water rowers or Peloton bikes.
A simple sign-up sheet that can be digital through Google Docs can make splitting up the time on shared amenities a breeze.
Beyond just workout equipment, there are other wellness amenities you can add. Juice bars are popular options among health-focused employees. There are other options, too, like bringing in meditation or yoga teachers for weekly in-office classes or sessions.
While organized social gatherings might be what some employees want, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people prefer things to be a bit more organic. So why not help those connections along?
Set up a coffee bar where employees can make their own beverages, complete with an inviting seating area. When you have social spaces people want to use, you can bring that coffee shop vibe in-house.
Showers and bike storage
Plenty of people got used to driving way less during the pandemic. Instead, people have taken to biking and other forms of transportation. When it comes to wooing workers back to the office, consider amenities that support these lifestyle changes.
Offer bike storage, so that bike commuters have a safe and secure place to store their bike while working. Consider adding shower facilities or partnering with a nearby gym rather than installing it yourself. This way, those who want to bike to work can freshen up when they arrive. Otherwise, if people have to choose between being sweaty all day or staying home, they might very well choose the latter.
Making decisions about what’s best
If you’re not quite sure what amenities will truly draw your unique employees back into the office, just ask! Have direct conversations, encourage your managers and team leads to do so too, or send out an employee survey. Once you know what your workers want, you can find ways to accommodate their desires in a budget-friendly way.
It also helps to be honest about what you can address now and what will have to be worked towards in the future. Transparency and open and honest communication go a long way.