In this article about luxury offices, we shall examine:
- The things that luxury offices contain
- Why employers need to provide this
- How the millennial generation has a different outlook from previous generations
- What is the meaning of bleisure?
- What are the most valuable office perks?
- How Gyms and work canteens benefit the employee and the employer
Is the perk of a luxury office worth the cost to employers?
Modern working environments have come a long way from the traditional, open plan farm of divided cubicles that were popular in the 1980’s. Today, modern offices can include high tech office furniture such as treadmill desks and nap pods. Employees can enjoy numerous perks such as the use of on site gyms, restaurants and even bars. Are all these perks worth the cost to employers?
Let’s take a look at what a luxury, modern office can contain
Successful companies need to have the most up to date working facilities for their employees in order to attract the best possible work force. Offices have come a long way from the past with employers renting and creating office spaces that can resemble boutique hotels.
Many office spaces have private parking facilities, fitness suites, eateries and other high end facilities. Other perks such as games rooms, outside spaces and laundry facilities are all features of modern offices that are designed to keep employees happy.
Today, modern offices can include high tech office furniture such as treadmill desks and nap pods.
Some tech firms go much further by adding swings and slides to connect to different floors. Others have bowing alleys and even skate parks. A new office development in Glasgow’s business district has installed a golf range situated in a suite filled with tables and seating, with fridges full of cool beverages to entertain staff and clients.
What are the reasons that employers need to provide these kind of environments?
When an employee works in a space that has had money invested in it, it can make them feel more valued by the company that employs them. This will inspire employees to be more loyal. Companies have to spend small fortunes training staff to perform at high levels and if they are unhappy in the work place then it is quite often an excuse to leave and seek employment elsewhere from a more accommodating employer.
A beautiful workspace can inspire employees
A recent study by research firm Ipsos, found that almost 90% of workers around the globe are unsatisfied with their work environment. Of the 11% that reported to be happy in the workplace, 88% of them expressed that being able to work in different areas depending on their tasks, having private space to concentrate and feeling a bond to their employers were some of the reasons that made them satisfied in the work place. A beautiful working environment helps employees feel valued and produces higher productivity.
The millennial generation sees the work place differently
The millennial generation has drastically different views on the workplace environment than graduates would have had even 10 years ago. The emerging work force see the workplace as a combination of work and pleasure. We do, after all spend the best part of our lives at work. They predict that the traditional 9 to 5 working office culture will soon end due to increased connectivity, meaning that people are working anytime, anywhere, with flexible working hours.
The “bleisure” revolution that is taking the world by storm – What is it?
Meaning a combination of business and leisure, the new term being used in the business world is “bleisure”. Due to global tech giants like Google, Twitter and Facebook embracing this concept of working, other big companies are following suit, as their successes prove that this way of allowing employees to work can be highly productive. Most senior business people agree that many employees are seeing work as an experience as opposed to a place. Companies that will be successful in the future are those who will follow this trend and go with the transformation.
What have we learned so far?
- Modern office spaces are completely different to what they were years ago
- Companies have to have cutting edge offices to attract the best staff
- Offices can contain swings, slides, bowling alleys and free cafeterias
- Providing nice working conditions makes employees feel valued and inspires loyalty
- The millennial generation expects better conditions and flexible working hours
- The term “bleisure”, is used for companies that incorporate business and leisure into the workplace
Let’s take a look at the companies who have adopted these work ethics
Google was the first large company to create a bleisure working atmosphere by allowing all employees to dress ultra casually, meaning that top executives were indistinguishable from the other employees. Multicoloured bicycles, cupcake sculptures and a free employee canteen are just some of the things that Google believes enhances productivity. Discretely hidden behind screens, workers can catch up on sleep in specially designed nap pods. Their new London based headquarters will have a terraced garden with a running track, shops, market halls and an auditorium.
Anthony Ravitz, one of Google’s team leaders, explains that what appears to be silly to others is actually born from data driven decisions to provide the most productive workplace. Productivity is not measured on how many lines of computer code are written, or how fast a person can type. Their focus is on how a person feels about the work that they have produced and that they are happy and relaxed enough to go home after work and enjoy time playing with their children.
Facebook has bleisure working conditions too
Facebook has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a college dorm. The first few years of business were conducted from a small modest home, now it has its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The casual, inspiring layout of the offices has been designed to get employees thinking and coming up with new ideas. Traditional conference rooms have been replaced by stylish seating areas and many meetings are encouraged to be held on the go, wherever a group may be at the time, in order to be short and conclusive.
The Facebook campus consists of 11 separate buildings, that have been designed around a square, with a two way promenade. The complex contains a barbecue joint, taco, pizza and burger stands, a sweet shop, a cupcake shop and two cafeterias. There are three additional restaurants, a print shop, a wood shop and an arcade.
Twitter offices are snappy and stylish
The @birdfeeder is the name of the swanky cafeteria in the Twitter offices. It is not only used as place to eat but also as a workplace, with beanbags and casual seating areas scattered around in order to house impromptu meetings. Employees can be seen working on laptops and chatting on phones in a happy, relaxed manner. Twitter encourage meetings and work to be done in this casual atmosphere and believe that many great ideas are born in this kind of relaxed work space.
Transferring the positive vibes from holidaying to the workplace
Many offices are beginning to resemble the five star resorts that their employees traditionally retreat to in order to escape the stresses of the workplace. Modern design, using textures and colours chosen to evoke well-being, calmness and warmth, are being used to create workplaces that employees love to be in. This is said to increase productiveness and cut down on the absent days at work that cost industries a fortune every year.
The latest trend is to capture the positive vibes from holidaying and transfer it to the workplace.
Could the most valuable office luxuries be time saving incentives?
To many people, time is more important than money. Many perks of the workplace such as gyms, free cafeterias, laundry services and child care can take away some of the stresses that employees have to deal with, and allow them to be more focused on the job. This is one of the main reasons that makes it worthwhile for employers to provide these perks, as it removes distractions and actually keeps people at work for longer. While financial bonuses are always welcome, perks such as these that allow employees to have more free time which can be worth its weight in gold.
Here are the top five activities that are considered to make the workplace more fun:
- Dress down Fridays
- Nights out and office parties
- A pool table
- An office pet
- Well being massage days
Would you pay for a gym membership otherwise?
Having a corporate gym in the workplace can serve as an attractive perk to employees who can save hundreds of pounds a year in Gym memberships. Research has found that companies that invest in a gym at work for their employees use, maintain a much happier, healthy workforce. Regular exercise causes the body to release mood enhancing endorphins, feel good hormones that promote more energy and general well-being. In return , healthy, happy employees will have more energy at work and be less likely to take days off due to sickness.
Having a gym at work gives employees a great way to work off stress during a lunch break. It will also save them having to drive to their local fitness centre after work and give them more valuable free time. After a long working day, is is very tempting not to go to the extra effort of visiting the gym. More forward thinking companies offer yoga classes during lunch time. The benefits of yoga are many and by providing this activity at work employees can have a chance to relax their minds and bodies and return to work more focused and productive.
Free canteens in the workplace, sounds great
A free canteen is a great workplace perk, that many employees will look for, along with gym membership and good health insurance. Free food can save a lot of money and time spent preparing a cooked meal when you return home. When a couple can eat their main meal of the day at work, it can substantially reduce food bills in the home making great savings. The convenience of not having to leave the building on a dull, cold winter’s day, is also very appealing.
All these benefits are great for the employee, but have you ever considered that your employer has more to gain by feeding you correctly? Our brains need glucose to function at their highest levels and many people rush out of their homes to work every morning and skip breakfast. By providing the option to have a quick breakfast at work, the brain can be fed, enhancing memory and increasing concentration.
During the day, once glucose levels start to drop, employees can get a top up from the canteen. Providing a relaxed atmosphere during lunch will keep them in the workplace as opposed to having to leave and perhaps miss deadlines. By feeding the workforce healthy meals, happier and healthier employees will take less sick time off work.
Lifestyle and work are blending together
Due to the advances of digital communications, many employees find themselves being on call 24 hours a day, as intrusive emails and calls to smartphones mean that they are available all the time for their jobs. This has led to more domestic tasks needing to be carried out at work. By taking advantage of the many perks that today’s employers are willing to provide, life can be made a little bit easier for people trying to hold down a full time job and have a life at the same time.