I discussed this topical question with my colleagues over social media, which helped generate some great ideas, most of which revolve around fitness, food and fun.
Unsurprisingly, fitness benefits are high on the employee benefits wish list. Ideas include an onsite gym, a pool and a climbing wall. All great ideas, but I’m not sure they’ll work in our offices… unless we put the climbing wall along the side of the building! More practical ideas include offering exercise classes such as yoga or Kangoo jumps. One creative employee suggested exercising while working, but I’m not sure I could manage that.
Free breakfast, as well as subsidised balanced meals and fruit juice, are available to employees at our offices but when it comes to food, everyone always wants more. My favourite suggestions are a frozen yogurt machine and a popcorn machine. Add a cinema room and we’re set!
On the fun side, a slide, ping pong table, pool table and an office ball pit are all firm favourites. Personally, I would like a trampoline room, although I’m not really sure how that would fit into the office. Other ideas include experiences such as paid holidays and spa treatments. There is already a staff lottery in place that awards cash, so maybe employees can buy some of these ‘time off’ treats with this prize if they would like a bit of rest and relaxation.
I would suggest that even if an employer does not have a large budget to spend on employee benefits, it could still find ways to deliver a fun, fitness or food-related reward to its staff. Here’s an idea: take employees on a lovely walk (fitness), stop for lunch along the way (food) and end up at a trampoline centre for a bit of jumping (fun).
Debra Corey is group reward director at Reward Gateway