The rise of the work perk: it’s not all about salaries and pension schemes

Hannah Watkins
Hannah Watkins|Updated September 4th 2018

It’s becoming less of a bonus and more of a necessity for companies to offer their employees work perks. Indeed, a recent report on behalf of Glassdoor found that over a third of people believe that perks are their most important consideration before accepting a job at a company, prompting businesses in search of top talent to place an emphasis on the extras they offer their employees as opposed to purely financial incentives.

And it’s not just a question of finding new talent; it’s also increasingly acknowledged that workplace benefits are crucial in keeping a happy and motivated workforce, one that feels appreciated by its employers, and capable of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you take a look at our in-depth study into the future of the workplace, you’ll see that key elements of the future of work revolve around employee wellness and ensuring an sustainable work-life balance. This is something that’s already noticeable in the way that companies of all sizes are attracting and retaining their employees. Certain perks are commonplace, e.g. health insurance, gym deals, flexible working, and employee discounts. And at the end of the day, such incentives all contribute to the happy and healthy work lifestyle we predict to be non-negotiable in years to come.

A number of London companies provide some pretty unique and innovative features to their employees already. Like many other progressive businesses, TransferWise offer their team free breakfasts, movie nights, and team lunches, and they even have an in-office sauna (which apparently is actually used).

TransferWise sauna

But not all companies – notably young startups and SMEs – have the means to incentivise their employees in the same way as big corporates capable of splashing out on company holidays, expensive team lunches, and travel funds. Nevertheless, there are numerous other ways of replicating the effects that such perks bring about, thus promoting the same work culture. It’s all about picking the right workspace.

Intelligent designs

The way that workspaces are designed is key to encouraging a happy work life. This encompasses a huge array of factors. The following elements are worth considering when deciding upon a new base for your company:

Biophilia

Biophilic design, or the incorporation of nature into the built environment, has been proven to reduce stress levels and avoid ill-health, making it a wise addition if you’re looking to improve the wellbeing of your team. And it’s not hard to achieve: a number of UK workspaces have embraced the concept. Second Home are definable by the fact that their three London offices are filled with thousands of plants, carefully tended to to ensure that both they and their human counterparts remain happy and healthy.

Second Home Holland Park

Breakout spaces

Opting for offices that offer a variety of space in which employees can work can also be highly beneficial to work culture. Different tasks call for different environments, and whilst an open plan office might foster collaboration and team bonding, it may not always be appropriate for focus or concentration. Giving a team the freedom to choose between various spaces gives them more control over their work and will ultimately boost productivity.

Workspace providers like TOG pride themselves on the range of areas available to tenants. Take their Tintagel House space: they’ve got breakout spaces, coworking areas, phone booths, an art gallery, and even a “secret” members club available for use.

A rooftop or terrace can also do wonders for morale –  though the British weather might not be quite as bright as we’d like, occasionally the sun will make an appearance and a little vitamin D never did anyone any harm.

City Pav

Innovative facilities

One of the benefits of serviced offices is the ease with which you can move your company in and enjoy the facilities without lifting a finger. For instance, if you feel that an office with a fitness suite would benefit your team’s physical and mental health, but don’t want to have to spend the time and money getting it kitted out. A number of workspaces on our platform have onsite gyms and still remain excellent value – meaning that you can provide your team with the benefits without having to build one yourself.

Other innovative facilities on offer at listings on our site include an inhouse bakery, piano room, and unlimited yoga classes at Benk + Bo, onsite bookshops at Second Home, and a cinema at brand new The Ministry – facilities which can all contribute to a good quality of life for your team.

Cinema Ministry

Allowing flexibility

Other common work perks amongst the big names facilitate a flexible work lifestyle. Whilst many of these may have to come from the company internally, there are certainly elements that a workspace can provide that make such flexibility possible.

Pets at work

We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people wanting to be able to bring their pets to work. Pet-friendly workspaces are definitely on the up – with mutual benefits for employees with animals, colleagues of employees with animals, and the animals themselves. Work.Life are particularly fond of allowing their tenants to bring their furry friends to work, alongside many others: almost a third of the listings on our site allow pets.

Airspace

24-hour access

Another key trend in the work sphere that shows no signs of going away is flexible hours. Allowing employees to fit their work around their own schedule is hugely popular, especially for parents. However, it’s all well and good saying that employees can pick and choose when they work – but if the opening hours of your workspace only give you a 10 hour window then such flexibility is drastically hindered.

Here’s a wide selection of workspaces that are open 24 hours a day.

Encouraging sociability

Huckletree2

Events and networking opportunities

Many workspaces offer regular events, meetups and networking sessions to their members. The benefits of this are manifold: as well as ensuring that teams feel valued with opportunities to grow both personally and professionally, if you’re a small company they also provide individuals with the possibility to meet new people.

Huckletree are a fantastic example of this – they have a weekly wellbeing schedule, workspace breakfasts, tech and cultural events, and more, all available to their members.

Freebies

Rather than forking out yourself, many workspaces will even provide companies with those extra perks that users will truly appreciate…namely those that are alcohol-based. Evening drinks on the house are a popular one, providing ready-made team bonding and relaxation for teams without having to organise anything.

Some workspaces don’t even limit it to an evening. WeWork offer their tenants unlimited beer on tap from midday, every day.

WeWork Paddington

So there you have it – ensuring that your company keeps up with the times and enjoys the workplace perks enjoyed by the Googles and Virgins of this world doesn’t have to cripple you. Choosing the right office space can set you well on your way to creating a happy, healthy, and stable team.

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What about Hubble? 

We practice what we preach at Hubble. Work/life balance and a “friends first, colleagues second” mantra are central to the way we operate. And whilst a huge proportion of this comes from within our company culture, our surroundings certainly have an impact. We’re based in RocketSpace, where regular workshops enable the team to continue personal development, and free drinks on Thursdays, well – that doesn’t really need explaining. The option to use the nap room is also a huge bonus in motivating our team…!

Sound like the kind of company you’d like to work for? Check out our current vacancies here if you want to join our team.