Stay Cool: UK employers invest in their work space to boost staff morale and productivity

• One in three employers invest in ‘cool’ office perks
• Employers taking steps to combat workplace stress, including fitness classes, games rooms, and allowing pets in the office
• A quarter of employers are planning an office refurbishment in the next 12 months

New research from totaljobs has revealed that one in three employers have invested in their work space with the aim of boosting staff morale and enhancing productivity. The research highlights the importance of providing facilities such as showers and bike storage, as well as quirkier features such as bean bags and ‘quiet rooms’ to promote wellbeing and enhance employee efficiency.

Retaining and attracting top talent

The research revealed the significance of a modern workplace for staff retention, with 25% of employers believing that their ability to keep hold of staff is aided by their office and its perks. This figure is supported by the fact that one in five workers have left a job due to not liking the space they work in.

The study also found that stylish or quirky workplaces are not just for the benefit of existing employees; one in ten UK bosses say they help attract new talent, with 13% stating that ‘cool’ offices are appealing to the younger generation in particular. A further 9% of employers invest in impressive features in their HQ to enthuse clients and other visitors.

Morale-boosting environments?

Totaljobs’ research found that 40% of British bosses believe that offering perks, such as a games room, free lunchtime fitness classes, or even an indoor slide can reduce stress amongst employees. One in five employers also argue that these features enhance the productivity of employees. Other stress-busting perks introduced by employers include inspirational talks during lunch hours, a benefit offered to 10% of UK workers, and allowing of pets at work, which is available to 8%.

The study also found that a quarter of employers are planning an office refurbishment in the next year, demonstrating the importance placed on office-space investment. In spite of this, many employers are not looking to invest in their workplace, citing reasons such as a lack of available space (40%), a belief that ‘cool’ offices are just a ‘fad’, (17%) and concerns over the financial cost (15%).

What is on offer?

Totaljobs’ research found that showers and washing areas topped the list of office facilities provided by employers, with 27% of workers benefitting from these, closely followed by bike storage (26%), and a quiet room (23%). Employee wellbeing also ranked highly, as 12% of workers are offered onsite sports equipment or a gym, or discounts at local gyms or restaurants.
Totaljobs’ research revealed the top 10 additional features provided by employers:

  • Top 10 ‘cool’ office features %
  • Showers / washing area 27
  • Bike Storage 26
  • Quiet room 23
  • Sofas / bean bags / cushions 15
  • Large informal breakout areas 12
  • Sports equipment / gym 12
  • Discounts at local gyms / restaurants 12
  • Unlimited snacks 10
  • Inspirational talks at the office 10
  • Games room 10

Lynn Cahillane, Head of Marketing at totaljobs, said: “Our working environment undoubtedly has an impact on both our mood and our output, and with the average working week meaning that many employees are spending over 40 hours in their offices, it is clear to see just how significant these spaces are.

“With mental health concerns within the UK workforce at an all-time high, paired with a national productivity crisis, our research reveals the importance of investing in office space as a method of reducing stress and boosting outputs. By providing perks, from something as practical as showers and bike storage, to the offer of unlimited snacks or a games room, employers can help to alleviate stress within the workplace and consequently boost morale and productivity.”

Totaljobs surveyed 1,005 employees and 260 employers between 6th – 14th of May 2018.

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