To stand out in the job market and attract top talent, it isn’t enough these days to simply offer a competitive salary – you need to offer irresistible perks and benefits too. Once you have your dream team in the office, hopefully your perks and benefits will keep them happy and their morale up. After all, a happy team is a productive one. But have you thought about providing perks that can naturally boost productivity? We’re not talking about performance-related bonuses here, although extra cash is always handy of course, but perks your team will surely love and will also naturally boost their productivity, creativity, and focus.
Here are a seven different option you could consider to boost your team’s productivity whether they’re office-based or working remotely.
A library of brain-boosting books
The word ‘library’ conjures up images of dusty oak-panelled rooms with books covering every inch of shelved-lined walls from floor to ceiling. If your budget stretches to this, great! If not, then fill a bookcase or shelf in a communal area with books relating to productivity, time management, leadership and other business skills for your staff to read at their leisure. They’ll get ideas on how to do their jobs better, they’ll learn something, they’ll be inspired and it’s cheaper than sending them on courses.
A book club can be set up in conjunction with this ‘library’ for employees to discuss the books they’ve read and how they can implement the ideas and strategies from the books.
For the remote worker: Ebooks and online meetings could be a great idea.
Google and Amazon are just two of the large companies with a pet-friendly policy. Researchers have found allowing dogs in the office reduces stress and creates a lighthearted atmosphere which is conducive to creativity and productivity. It doesn’t have to be dogs though, perhaps an office cat is more your thing or, for something less high maintenance and more furniture-friendly, consider a hamster, budgie or some fish instead.
For the remote worker: They’re at home and can have whatever animals they like around them. If they like the company of animals that much, they could even work from their local zoo’s café!
When it comes to the working day, it can get quite frustrating and stressful to be sitting front of a computer waiting for a page or piece of software to load. Clicking away impatiently at an unresponsive screen or watching the spinning wheel of death isn’t only unproductive at that particular moment but it’ll have a knock-on effect on mood and therefore motivation for the rest of the day. Ensure your staff has decent technology to work with and they’ll be happy and productive. New technology is faster and therefore more work will get done.
For the remote worker: If they use their own equipment, offer to pay for a software upgrade. If you’ve provided their IT equipment, make sure they have the same up-to-date technology their office counterparts enjoy, and not just their battered old cast-offs.
Sugary snacks such as donuts, crisps and chocolate may seem like a treat, but it’ll be a better reward to your staff if you supply them with food that will boost their brain power, such as fresh fruit and nuts. Not only is it better for their health but they’ll avoid that 3pm sugar spike slump and will keep their focus for the rest of the day. Supply them with a weekly fruit and veg box, put a juicer and blender in the kitchen and they can drink productivity-boosting juices and smoothies throughout the day.
For the remote worker: Arrange for a weekly fruit and veg box to be delivered to their home.
Fit and energised staff are productive staff. If you haven’t got an on-site gym, supply your team with a gym membership or organise a lunchtime or after work running club for runners of all abilities to get fit in the fresh air with their colleagues.
You could also take your team out for the day for a fun activity such as kayaking or canoeing.
For the remote worker: Pay for them to join their local gym or encourage them with DIY home workout routines.
Not everyone is at their best first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, so allowing your team to choose their own hours or work from home will allow them to work when they’re at their most productive.
For the remote worker: They’re already at home, so they’ve got a headstart on this.
Your team isn’t going to be at their best if they’re spending time in the morning worrying about looking smart or rushing to iron a suit or shirt. Having a casual dress policy that allows them to wear their ‘own’ clothes will help them feel more like themselves, they’ll be less self-conscious and it’ll free their mind to focus on the job at hand.
For the remote worker: They’re already at home, wearing whatever they like.
These are just a few of the many ways you can improve the mood of your staff and boost productivity without it costing you too much – in some cases, nothing at all.
Author bio: Gary Bury is co-founder and CEO of Timetastic, an independent and profitable web app for managing time off work.