What’s In Store For The Office Of The Future? (infographic)

Wages are creeping up but they aren’t keeping pace with the cost of living. The economy is strong but the bottom could fall out at any minute. Employees are leaving long-time jobs in search of higher pay and better opportunities, and many companies can’t compete in such a strong labor market. If you want to keep employees around and there’s no room left in the coffers for raises, the next best thing is perks.

The Evolution Of Office Culture

For most offices, something like free coffee and a water cooler has always been a staple. In the postwar era offices were designed to delineate between executives and regular workers through the use of a bullpen and corner offices, but the coffee station and the water cooler were still where people would gather. By the 1970s the bullpen had given way to cubical farms, which eventually came to be associated with cost cutting. By the 1990s many offices had started to experiment with open office concepts, which ended up being too distracting for many workers.

Today, the office has options. Many have private areas like conference rooms that can be used by everyone, areas designated for collaboration, and separate work areas where distractions can be kept at a minimum. The one constant that has endured in the American office has been coffee and a water cooler, but even that is starting to change.

Why Perks Matter

Tech giants like Facebook and Google have led the way in office culture over the past decade, offering workers everything from free meals to dry cleaning, and that’s not all. At Epic, the office is complete with a tree house, an Indiana Jones-themed tunnel, a moat, and outdoor spaces.

But that’s not to say you have to hit the lumber yard after lunch and start building a treehouse to keep your employees around. Modern office do have to offer more than just coffee and water to remain competitive, but even just adding in free snacks and breakfast items can help your employees maintain a better work/life balance. Flexi-work, working from home, and paid lunch breaks can all help workers feel more connected to their workplaces.

When people are hungry or tired their productivity drops. When employees have to do extra work - go to a store or leave the building to get something to eat - eventually that resistance becomes part of their daily lives and chips away at their well-being.

Healthy snacks boost productivity, and giving people options without having to leave the office frees up their time and their minds to conquer other things. Healthy snacks in the breakroom along with good coffee is the path of least resistance.

Workplace Culture Matters

More than three quarters of American workers are open to new opportunities, and in July 2018 alone 3.5 million people quit their jobs - a record high. But more than 90% of workers prefer perks to higher pay, as it helps them to better balance work and lifestyle.

If you want to attract and retain top talent, salary is only one piece of that puzzle. Money definitely matters, but perks and lifestyle balancing options can attract just as much top talent as high salaries. Remote working and free food, coffee, and snacks are the most popular of these options, but there are others as well.

Wellness perks, like yoga rooms and healthy food options, can encourage healthy behavior and boost productivity. Creating community spaces where there are pool tables or ping pong tables or some sort of activity that brings people together can spur creativity.

Learn more about the office of the future from the infographic below.

The Future of Work - infographic

The Future of Work - infographic

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