Summer perks keep employees productive and motivated

19 July 2017. Feature.

This June we conducted our bi-annual Happy Office Survey to discover what makes the UK workforce happy, productive and motivated.

Surveying over 600 office workers, the findings reveal that by failing to provide summer perks and the right office environment, UK firms risk damaging staff morale and their bottom line. The survey also highlights that some staff are willing to sacrifice their salary and spend more time in the office in exchange for a refurbished office with enhanced facilities.

The importance of improving an office environment should not be underestimated, and the findings of our survey will ultimately help businesses identify key areas to improve, offering clear guidance on how to address staff motivation, especially during the summer months.

Summer perks boost productivity

Despite 84% of employees stating summer perks would boost their productivity, a third of respondents say they don’t have any form of seasonal benefits. Our survey revealed employees most value the little things such as flexibility with summer hours which supports their work-life balance, as well as ice cream deliveries – proof that simple, cost-friendly measures have great potential to boost staff morale, creating a more productive workplace. 

Functioning facilities

It is vital for employers to provide their staff with the right facilities to help them keep mentally and physically healthy during the warmer months. Two thirds of staff claim the office environment is a key factor in keeping them happy at work yet, despite this, employers are failing to offer them the facilities to do so. Staff value air conditioning the most (60%), followed by outdoor spaces (57%) and natural light (40%), yet a worrying 37% do not have air conditioning, nor outdoor spaces (66%), nor access to natural light (39%) during the working day. Furthermore, 34% appreciate showers and changing facilities to help them keep active and healthy, yet 65% don’t have any. To appeal to and keep the best talent under their roof, employers must provide their staff with a comfortable environment in the summer months, with the means to maintain both their physical and mental wellbeing. Why not analyse how staff use your office to see whether underutilised spaces can be transformed in to wellbeing facilities?

Salary sacrifice and longer hours

Our survey discovered the sad reality that only 36% of the UK workforce enjoy coming to work every day, and 42% feel their current office does not have a positive impact on their happiness. This is a worrying trend given two thirds see the office environment as a key factor in keeping them happy at work. Yet, when asked how to address this issue, our survey generated some surprising responses. 31% of employees revealed they would sacrifice at least 1% of their salary for an office refurbishment with enhanced facilities, and 66% claimed they would spend more hours in the office if extra facilities were provided. Employers should take note, as our statistics have shown the vast benefits that a strategic allocation of funds to improve the workplace, by introducing facilities such as a canteen, gym or showers, can bring.

Team bonding

Providing staff with facilities that motivate them to spend more time in the workplace will in turn present them with more opportunities to bond with their colleagues and strengthen their team – essential criteria for a happy office. Imperative to staff happiness is building relationships with peers and colleagues (75%) and those managing them (68%) - a factor accentuated in the summer months, with 87% of staff stating summer perks would help them bond with their colleagues. Firms should take advantage of this during the warmer weather and ensure there are adequate opportunities for their employees to do so, by planning simple, relaxing and fun events for their workforce to get to know each other, boosting collaboration and building stronger teams. 

Survey takeaways

From our Happy Office Survey, we recommend these top 5 takeaways:

  1. Get the basics right with air conditioning, outdoor spaces and natural light
  2. Help staff keep active and healthy with showers and changing facilities
  3. Create a social workplace to help team bonding
  4. Support a healthy work-life balance with summer hours
  5. Some employees will offer salary sacrifice and longer hours in the office in exchange for an office refurbishment with enhanced facilities

If you would like to know more about our latest Happy Office Survey, or how we can help make your office a happy office, please drop us a line. We’d be happy to give you some more advice.

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