By November 13, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Incentives and Amenities in the Workplace – What does your company do for employees?

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While Facility Managers aren't always responsible for deciding what amenities to provide for the workplace, that's often the domain of the Human Resources group, those of us in Facilities & Corporate Real Estate certainly end up managing many of them.

Regardless of your FM or CRE responsibilities, you can certainly provide input and make suggestions about amenities in the work place an overall part of your responsibilities for the physical work environment, even if you aren't the one responsible for the ultimate decision. In fact, you may want to make sure you aren't the decision maker - it keeps the pressure off.

Recently, I came across an Infographic (scroll down to see it) with amenities other companies use, many of them very recognizable companies. Whether you are able to implement them or not, they are interesting to consider.

As well, there was an interesting discussion on LinkedIn on one of the many Facility Management groups recently on the topic. I've compiled some of the amenities the group members mentioned. I am very envious of some of them.

An interesting discussion revolved around providing alcohol in the workplace. There is clearly a different cultural bias on this subject, with participants either saying it is an opening to bad behaviour and lawsuits and others saying that it hasn't been an issue. Regardless, it's certainly a polarizing issue.

What I've found is that these amenities are more likely to be put in place by HR to attract and retain quality employees, mostly when the market for staff is highly competitive. I have been part of discussions about providing coffee for free in some of my workplaces, for instance, and most importantly, where the budget would come from. Generally, the companies were reluctant to make it an overall policy, so departments typically did their own thing and funded it out of their own budgets.

Whether some of the amenities truly work or not is uncertain. If you read the research about workplace motivation, and you should, employees are looking for more than just compensation from their workplace - interesting work and recognition are typically high on the list in surveys - as long as the pay is competitive. So as a Facility Manager, when looking at what you do in the workplace, keep that in mind. It may be appreciated, but if employees aren't happy with their work, boss and recognition, it probably won't matter for most employees. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the infographic for an interesting comparison between what employers think employees want and what employees actually want.

Of course, there are other reasons. Providing free coffee on each floor or a subsidized cafeteria in your building, for instance, will keep workers at their desks longer, boosting productivity.

Scroll down to see the infographic with amenities, and click it for a full sized version you can save and print out.

Below is some of the input directly from the LinkedIn discussion on a facilities management group. Keep in mind that these are from around the world, with very different cultures. For instance, when I visited Saudi Arabia to do some work, there was an office boy who fetched coffee and tea for workers. Not something I was used to in Canada.

  • Beer and Wine on Friday afternoon
  • First class subsidised staff cafeteria.
  • Free toast and butter every morning along with the usual beverages
  • Hot drinks at their desks, fruit bowls in workspace.
  • Cut Flowers in Ladies and Gents (washrooms) year round.
  • Every Friday at 3.00pm serve hot drinks and fresh jam donut.
  • Remote control R/c cars, Chess Set, and Crazy golf set to play with in the auditorium.
  • Offered valet shopping whist on other jobs off site, Valet driver service for those that needed collecting.
  • Grow lettuce, bananas, mangoes, breadfruit and zabocah (avocados) that we distribute to all staff when in season.
  • Alcohol available in the works canteens
  • Shuttle services (pick & drop from residence & between offices).
  • A wide spread buffet lunch & dinner
  • A shuttle service to the town every 15 minutes in the lunch hours.
  • Activities like Zumba and Yoga for our associates
  • Free high quality tea and coffee,
  • For free we have tea, instant coffee and milk available.
  • Shower and changing rooms provided at the building next door.
  • A pool table, table football, music in the office, BBQ's on the terrace, fruit, Beer (for after 5pm) soft drinks all available. we have a DJ both that looks like a shed for aspiring bedroom Dj's and several break out areas with different themes. farmyard, old time gents club.


What do you do?

Use the comment section below to let us know what kind of amenities your company provides in the workplace and what your role is in either the decision or the management of those amenities.

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