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A third of UK employers invest in ‘cool’ office features to boost staff morale and productivity

One in three employers have invested in their workspace with the aim of boosting staff morale and enhancing productivity, according to a new study by totaljobs.

The research highlights the importance of providing facilities such as showers and bike storage, as well as quirkier features such as bean bags and ‘quiet rooms’ to promote wellbeing and enhance employee efficiency.

The study revealed the significance of a modern workplace for staff retention, with 25 per cent of employers believing that their ability to keep hold of staff is aided by their office and its perks. This figure is supported by the fact that one in five workers have left a job due to not liking the space they work in.

The research also found that stylish or quirky workplaces are not just for the benefit of existing employees; one in 10 UK bosses say they help attract new talent, with 13 per cent stating that ‘cool’ offices are appealing to the younger generation in particular. A further nine per cent of employers invest in impressive features in their HQ to enthuse clients and other visitors.

Totaljobs’ research also found that 40 per cent of British bosses believe that offering perks, such as a games room, free lunchtime fitness classes, or even an indoor slide can reduce stress amongst employees. One in five employers also argue that these features enhance the productivity of employees. Other stress-busting perks introduced by employers include inspirational talks during lunch hours, a benefit offered to 10 per cent of UK workers, and allowing of pets at work, which is available to eight per cent.

The study also found that a quarter of employers are planning an office refurbishment in the next year, demonstrating the importance placed on office-space investment. In spite of this, many employers are not looking to invest in their workplace, citing reasons such as a lack of available space (40 per cent), a belief that ‘cool’ offices are just a ‘fad’, (17 per cent) and concerns over the financial cost (15 per cent).

Totaljobs’ research found that showers and washing areas topped the list of office facilities provided by employers, with 27 per cent of workers benefitting from these, closely followed by bike storage (26 per cent), and a quiet room (23 per cent). Employee wellbeing also ranked highly, as 12 per cent of workers are offered onsite sports equipment or a gym, or discounts at local gyms or restaurants.

Top 10 ‘cool’ office features:

  1. Showers/washing area – 27%
  2. Bike storage – 26%
  3. Quiet room – 23%
  4. Sofas/beanbags/cushions – 15%
  5. Large informal breakout areas – 12%
  6. Sports equipment/gym – 12%
  7. Discounts at local gyms/restaurants – 12%
  8. Unlimited snacks – 10%
  9. Inspirational talks at the office – 10%
  10. Games room – 10%

Lynn Cahillane, Head of Marketing at totaljobs, said: “Our working environment undoubtedly has an impact on both our mood and our output, and with the average working week meaning that many employees are spending over 40 hours in their offices, it is clear to see just how significant these spaces are.

“With mental health concerns within the UK workforce at an all-time high, paired with a national productivity crisis, our research reveals the importance of investing in office space as a method of reducing stress and boosting outputs. By providing perks, from something as practical as showers and bike storage, to the offer of unlimited snacks or a games room, employers can help to alleviate stress within the workplace and consequently boost morale and productivity.”

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