In the past, workers were expected to show up to work, complete their jobs and made very little demands or fuss as long as working conditions were average. Unions existed, but little was done to assure employees were happy and comfortable, even though they spent a majority of their day at the office.
However, recent years have a seen a shift in office culture and environment as companies are being applauded for their theme park like offices and exciting benefits. Things are no longer about casual Fridays and no-tie Wednesdays. The modern office is trending towards a casual and laid-back culture.
Want to work at a place that offers free gourmet lunches, car washes, photo processing, and on-site laundry at the office? There are some companies that seem to master the art of a good work-life balance. A recent infographic in Mashable does a great job of highlighting some unique on-site benefits offered by companies such as Google, Twitter and LinkedIn:
- Rock climbing wall
- Gym with fitness classes
- Running trails
- Beanbag lounge
- Zen/quiet rooms
- Rockband/Guitar Hero
- Ping-pong/Foosball machines
- Video Games
- Monthly wine tastings
All of the companies highlighted in the infographic offer full medical and retirement benefits in addition to certain stipends and reimbursements such as childcare and transportation, along with unlimited sick days in addition to paid vacation days.
While these are just a few of the perks of working at certain companies, they represent a shift of mentality in establishing a modern office culture. These companies embrace comfort at work and try to create an atmosphere that makes working long hours a little more bearable. They live by the mantra, “work hard, play hard” and it shows with what they offer their employees.
What are some other things (aside from yoga and pilates classes) that workers appreciate?
Flexibility for employees that travel to meet clients or prefer to telecommute is key in today’s work environment. If they only want to travel four days a week and be flown home to spend the weekend with their loved ones, most companies today are flexible in arranging such accommodations.
Some employees even like the option of working from home on a regular basis — and with all the technology available today, more and more companies are receptive to the idea. Whether they want to be close to their children, cannot manage the commute or recently had a child, many employees appreciate the ability to continue their careers from home. With so many companies being completely virtual, working full-time from home is a growing phenomenon.
Recognition is also become more prevalent in today’s office cultures. While hard work may have gone unnoticed in the past, today’s workers are quick to up and leave if they feel they are not appreciated by their bosses or colleagues. With companies experiencing high turnover rates because of a lack of recognition, it is important for organizations to find easy ways to give feedback. Many companies are turning to performance management software that make it easy make feedback collaborative and put it int he hands of colleagues instead of just managers.
Today’s workers are looking for great workplace cultures where colleagues are easy to get along with, employees are genuinely cared about and have work environments that are conducive to growth. Some companies tackle this by hiring exceptionally nice people while others companies develop elaborate office spaces. While the environments are unique, the overall casual and laid-back trend is overarching.
What are some of the coolest benefits and perks you have seen from companies?