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Perk Up the Office Culture

Updated: Apr 5

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How Perks Can Be Game Changers to Millennial and Gen Z Workers

As tech companies start to tighten their finances and rein in the budget, they are deleting a few expenditures from their operating costs. Companies like Google, Twitter, and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) were once famous for the perks they offered their employees; free lunch and dinner, shuttle services, massages, and even laundry services all enticed employees to worry less and encouraged them, through convenience, to stay a little later.

As these companies look to free up their budget and eliminate unnecessary costs, those perks are disappearing. Yet, these small workday benefits appealed to younger workers and perhaps factored into their job choices.

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Company perks are nothing new, although tech companies took them to new levels. Free beverages, casual Fridays, and even the occasional free breakfast or lunch made workers feel more valued and also helped their employers stand out from the competition. After all, happy workers lead to better retention.

As the big tech companies eliminate their list of perks, should smaller companies follow suit? Are perks still perking up employees?

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The cost of offering additional benefits to employees adds to operating costs. Yet, these small benefits could add value to the company in the eyes of employees.

While smaller companies can’t afford more lavish perks like free lunch and dinner each day, offering free beverages could be a simple yet cost-efficient benefit that provides a bit of value to an employee’s experience. A company refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, tea or bottled water also lets employees save the money that they might have spent at the vending machine.

Company perks also don’t need to be tied to a monetary cost. That is, time is valuable to both employers and employees. Offering an extra personal day or even allowing employees to go home early on a Friday provides value in the form of time off.

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Some companies also offer a day when employees are allowed to bring a pet to work. According to the National Institutes of Health, time with our animals leads to lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and helps decrease stress. Allowing employees to take their pets to work could help employees feel less overwhelmed and happier. Some companies are pet-friendly every day.

Additional perks also can help companies compete for employees. Gen Z is the latest generation to move into the workforce, and this generation has its own preferences related to what they want from their employers. Zenefits reports that Gen Z wants a relaxed company dress code, and they want a mentor at the company; parties and events also are valued by this younger generation.

business and office perks

When considering the addition of benefits or ‘perks,’ companies also could look to their unique culture for direction. If the company loves pets, they might consider a ‘bring a pet to work’ day. If the culture is relaxed and fun, hosting after-hours social events or even incorporating more parties could be an option. Even offering something simple like free drinks could be a valuable perk to employees.

While tech companies might be ditching the perks offered to employees, small companies might embrace these ‘extras’ to appeal to younger workers. Not only could offering extra perks catch the eye of potential new hires, but these benefits also can help current employees feel more valued, too.

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Tabetha Sheaver is a CEO, executive coaching specialist, project management professional (PMI), and an award-winning business success partner. She helps CEOs regain control of their companies with organizational change management strategies. While helping entrepreneurial leadership teams to be open, honest, and healthy, Tabetha’s experience and insight have made her an in-demand public speaker and presenter nationwide.

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