A survey by workplace consultants and office design specialists, Peldon Rose, of over 600 predominantly London office workers, has revealed that businesses are failing to provide the seasonal perks that can help employee productivity and motivation during the summer months.
The survey carried out in July also shows that workers are increasingly feeling less trusted and appreciated by their companies and reveal the most effective ways for businesses to address this trend. The current survey is the second in Peldon Rose’s series of ‘Happy Office’ surveys, with the first winter survey published in the first quarter of this year. The surveys are aimed at getting to the heart of what makes an office happy, motivated and productive – with the findings offering clear guidance to businesses on how to enhance their workplaces for the benefit of their employees and to highlight areas for improvement.
Summer Perks: 86 percent say their company offers no perks during the summer months
Summer Perks: Of those that were offered seasonal perks, summer hours, casual dress and free ice cream were the most common
Trust: A third of workers do not believe their company trusts them, with over half (55 percent) saying they wish they were more trusted to manage how and when they work – a significant increase on last year’s findings (23 percent)
Trust: 88 percent say that being more trusted would make them more productive at work
Appreciation: Less than half of workers (43 percent) feel they are appreciated by their company
Appreciation: Amongst the most important factors that make people feel appreciated, other than a good salary, are training and development and appropriate tools and technology
Home comforts: Close to a third (31 percent) say they have quiet zones for concentration, whilst 69 percent say this would make them feel more appreciated and productive at work
Frolleagues: 85 percent say that they count some of their colleagues as friends, and 91 percent value friendships in the workplace. Frolleagues: 81 percent say that friendships at work are important for their productivity.
Companies notably failing on providing summer perks
During the summer months, businesses can risk staff motivation slowing, as employees are distracted by seasonal summer events and count down the days until their next holiday. Offering summer perks can help boost morale and wellbeing. Of the companies that did offer such benefits, summer hours (47 percent), casual dress (37 percent) and ice cream rounds (31 percent) were the most popular, indicating that these benefits are the most highly valued by workers and help to boost motivation and productivity. However, 86 percent of respondents said that their company does not offer any such perks, meaning that businesses are missing a significant, inexpensive opportunity to make employees feel appreciated and boost happiness and morale in the summer months.
Businesses need to do more to boost trust – a key factor in raising productivity
With traditional working patterns and behaviours constantly evolving, office workers are placing increasing value on the trust employers have in them to manage how, where and when they work. Some 88 percent said that feeling they have the trust of their company is important to their productivity at work. Yet the survey findings reveal that a third of workers don’t feel trusted by their company, with a strong increase in the number of workers wishing that their companies trusted them more to manage how they work – up from 32 percent in the winter “Happy Office’ survey to 55 percent in the summer survey. With employees valuing flexibility to a greater extent in the summer months, businesses have a clear opportunity to show workers that they are trusted by allowing staff more autonomy
Demonstrate appreciation for staff to boost workplace happiness
The survey findings reveal that less than half of workers (43 percent) currently feel appreciated by their company, yet demonstrating to employees that their work is appreciated is recognised as one of the most effective ways to boost happiness and motivation in the workplace. Aside from salary, top ranked to make employees feel appreciated, were training and development, recognition and rewards, as well as the appropriate tools and technology to allow them to work effectively. By introducing some of these changes, businesses can help to ensure that employees feel they are a valued part of the business.
Home comforts – providing more quiet rooms and collaborative zones help boost staff performance
Companies seeking to use a greater range of home comforts to boost staff performance should consider introducing spaces such as quiet rooms and collaborative zones – 69 percent of workers say that quiet areas to work would make them more productive, though only a third of workers have such spaces available to them. It was also surprising that despite the drive to modernise offices and workplace wellbeing, very few companies offered even fairly basic amenities – over a quarter of respondents said that their company did not have full kitchen facilities (29 percent) over half (59 percent) said they did not have shower rooms, while less than a third (28 percent) were provided with fruit and breakfast.
Friendships with colleagues fosters cooperation and positive working environment
Its recognised that enjoying the company of colleagues helps foster cooperation and a positive, productive environment. With 91 percent saying they value workplace friendships and 81 percent saying that such friendships boost their productivity, fostering team work and bonding should be a top priority for businesses. Yet current workplaces could do more to address this, with half of respondents saying that informal break out areas and communal spaces would help them bond with their colleagues, yet only 31 percent of workers have collaborative zones that facilitate team work and bonding. With an increase in the number of workers valuing friendships in the summer, businesses should be mindful of ways to increase the opportunities for collaboration and bonding in the summer months, offering collaborative spaces and summer activities to bring together the team. As a Sunday Times 100 Best Small Company, Peldon Rose is committed to creating a work/love balance through happy, productive and motivated workplaces. Loving where you work, the company says, is key to transforming the working lives of people and the fortunes of businesses.
These new findings , along with 30 years’ experience delivering award-winning workplaces, have enabled Peldon Rose to tailor their unique Equation for the Happy Office for the summer months, offering businesses clear guidance on how to keep workers happy, productive and motivated at a time of year when productivity typically slows.
H = (T10 + A8) + (SP6 + HC5) + F7
Trust (T,) Appreciation (A), Summer Perks (SP), Home Comforts (HC) and Frolleagues (F)
It was clear from the survey data that workers are placing an increasingly high value in being trusted and appreciated by their company – two of the most important factors for delivering a happy office. Offering summer perks and home comforts in the workplace also go a long way to demonstrating trust and appreciation, allowing workers flexibility and recognition, which are key to boosting motivation in the summer months. With friendships with colleagues remaining a vital ingredient for workplace happiness, businesses should also consider further opportunities for workplace collaboration and bonding – a critical element of a happy office.
Jitesh Patel, Chief Executive at Peldon Rose, the office design specialists, commented: “Understanding what makes employees content and perform well at work is a critical concern for ambitious businesses and our surveys are designed to capture the insights and information from office workers to give companies the best opportunity to address their concerns and create happier and more productive offices. Clearly our survey findings reveal that businesses could do more to improve in such areas as providing seasonal benefits, while also there is a need to address office workers concerns that they are not sufficiently trusted and appreciated. By implementing some very straightforward changes, such as providing more quiet and collaborative zones, offering more facilities such as proper kitchens and shower rooms, training and development and the right tools and technology, companies can improve the sense of wellbeing and foster team work and boding, which are the key elements of a successful, happy and productive office.”