You're online, searching for employment and you stumble upon a position that sounds good. What solidifies the decision for you? Is it the pay? The boast about "culture"? Maybe it's the perks that come from working with XYZ.
Let's be honest when searching for employment, looking at the job scope is half the work. What we're really looking at is what deals as prospective employees are we getting. Whether it's full health coverage, mental health days, or those Summer Friday opportunities, we want to know what are the perks we are getting from working 40-plus hours a week.
Employers know this. They entice us with these unlimited PTO days and office closures the week of Christmas as a way to boost morale and productivity. These are great offers, but you could do better.
The wonders of being in an Administrative position is that you hear and see everything. Employees are more likely to state their gripes to an Office/Admin Assistant than they are to their superiors because... well they don't trust you. They know that I'm the most under-appreciated position at this office and they are feeling that way themselves. Misery loves company.
Due to this impromptu venting session, these are a few incentives that I believe employees would appreciate:
When we were younger, we hated naps. Now as adults, all we can think about is sleep. For eight hours, we are glued to our seats, glaring at a computer screen where we are participating in endless meetings and responding to chains of emails that were clearly not read before being sent. The phone that won't stop ringing now has created a Pavlov effect.
We may be working eight hours a day, but we're up hours before our start time and are home later than expected. The idea of having a designated room so employees can take a 30-minute nap is not a terrible thought.
I don't know of any office that doesn't have that one room or space that's considered a junk room. Turn it into a nap room. Not much is needed. A cot. A pillow. Get a blanket (weighted if you're fancy). A white noise machine. Holy shit, do you not understand how much better employees will feel after resting for 30 minutes? If you want productivity, implement this incentive.
Does this really need to be explained? It's smart. We all have felt the pressure. The pressure of meeting a deadline. The pressure of working with a co-worker who doesn't pull their weight. The pressure of having one thing after another either not go our way or just being bombarded by so much that all you want to do is scream.
That's where the scream room comes in. Again, another junk room or space that isn't necessarily being used can be turned into a soundproof chamber. Imagine the relief employees will have from cursing to their hearts' content. The ability to yell out their grievances in an empty room without consequences is absolutely a perk.
Throw in a punching bag for physical release and I guarantee, the smiles that leave the room will be better than any mental health day given.
PAID LUNCH / FOOD ALLOWANCE
I don't know about other states, but New York is expensive as fuck. Rent takes up the majority of our monthly expenses. Aside from the other bills and subscriptions that we have to pay, we're somehow supposed to adhere to a set budget for food. Most of us are too tired to cook when we get home, so we can forget about having leftovers for work.
What about meal prep you ask? It's not as easy as it's displayed virally. I'm not a fan of eating the same thing every day for a week, let alone figuring out what I'm going to eat ahead of time.
If you're someone who buys lunch daily, you know it adds up. It would help a lot if employers offered to pay for employees' lunch. This can be done by offering a paid lunch incentive through a delivery app. Employers, you can set up a daily/weekly budget for employees allowing them to save money and to actually have lunch. If you wanted to go a step further, the company can have a meal prep service that either provides lunch or dinner for employees.
WORK FROM HOME
Covid has proved that completing one's work responsibilities is doable from home. Who knew?! Realistically, there is no reason to work out of an office eight hours a day. If all you're doing is working behind a desk on a computer answering emails and taking video calls with the occasional phone calls in the mix, then you can perform those tasks at home.
I understand the debate of working out of an office being the sense of community and collaborating in person and being social is the suppose positive of it all, but saving money on the commute, not having to perform all of your personal tasks for one day (doctor's appointment, personal errands, laundry, etc) and the ability to take care of the people you're providing for seems more of an upside than anything.
Working from home alleviates a lot of stress for employees. Whether you implement a hybrid schedule or allow your employees to not come in for whatever reason with the willingness to still work, this perk will go over very well.
The purpose of an incentive is to make employees feel they are valuable to a company. It's understanding that they are not just your employees. They are providers, sometimes the sole provider. They are people who feel undervalued at times. They are people who have lives outside of work and deserve an adequate balance.
What other perks should be included?
Check out the other chapters in the series:
Tales of a Receptionist Chapter 1: Phone Etiquette
Tales of a Receptionist Chapter 2: Respect
Tales of a Receptionist Chapter 3: Why I hate being an Administrative Assistant
Just an introvert sharing her thoughts and interest with the world