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Can corporate goodies help to boost employee productivity?

Source- Confetti Gift Company

As a reward for their efforts, several fortunate employees are being showered with gifts ranging from Apple items to food hampers.

But, do corporate perks really increase productivity and work satisfaction?

It's long been understood that working for a multinational tech behemoth like Google or Facebook entitles you to perks like free food, pool tables, video games, and social events. When deciding where to apply, job seekers will also compare companies based on the benefits they provide.

The idea, which originated in the US, is that if staff spend more time in the workplace, even if they're having fun, they will be more likely to do more work.

That Silicon Valley-style thinking spread to tech firms across the pond, but during the pandemic, other industries have started to look offering at non-monetary benefits too.

Employees at investment bank Jefferies were recently told they could choose between a Peloton exercise bike and a "Apple kit" consisting of an Apple Watch, iPad Air, and AirPods Plus as a reward for their hard work under challenging circumstances.

Others have given away everything from tea bags, cookies, and Easter eggs to augmented reality headsets, takeaway app gift cards, and meditation app subscriptions.

BrightCarbon, a Manchester-based design firm that specializes in producing e-learning content, employs John Bevan as a consultant.

Throughout the pandemic, the company has sent out surveys every two weeks to gauge employee sentiment. One question raised was whether workers were interested in virtual reality (VR), a technology that the department was considering incorporating into its work.

All employees who showed an interest were given Oculus Quest 2 headsets to try out, and nearly all of the company's 80 employees now have one.

Source- The Pen Company

BrightCarbon employees have held virtual social activities ranging from VR rock climbing and archery to dance games, exercise, and fishing trips to help each other cope emotionally during lockdowns.

"It's absolutely boosted my morale and my family's and all of my team's as well," Mr. Bevan tells the BBC.
"It really has connected people with others in the business they don't talk to."

As an added bonus, the firm was able to leverage what it learned from employee experiences to help create new offerings for its clients.

Jordan Roe works as a client manager at Equilibrium, a Cheshire-based financial planning firm with less than 100 employees.

Since the pandemic began, the company has been sending him potted plants, seeds for growing herbs, handwritten cards containing motivational messages, positivity pin badges and a variety of food, as well as putting on after work activities like pub quizzes and bingo on Zoom.

Equilibrium even has an annual tradition of treating its staff to fish and chips on Blue Monday - a day in January reputed to be the most depressing of the year (although there is no scientific basis to this).

Since employees were working from home this year, the organization sent over custom-made fish and chip boxes, with the meal packaged in "The Equilibrium Times," a fictitious company newspaper listing staff accomplishments and jokes.

"It made a difference - it reinforced the fact that the company really does care for you and you still feel connected to your team, even though you're by yourself," says Mr. Roe, who has worked for Equilibrium for three years.
"It was a main driver for me in coming to work here - it was the company's culture, and its reputation with both staff and clients."

However, regardless of the size of the donation, recent research reveals that employees are always very happy to motivate themselves.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), working from home improves rather than decreases efficiency.

The organization, which represents HR practitioners, polled 2,000 employers and discovered that two-thirds believe remote working has either increased or had no negative effect on productivity.

"The evidence between productivity and gifts is patchy," Charles Cotton, the CIPD's senior reward and performance adviser tells the BBC.

"Whilst there can be some short term boost to commitment and loyalty, over the medium to longer term, that feeling can dissipate, unless the gift is particularly memorable."

He points out that some of the perks are "one size fits all" - food hampers, for example, may not be appropriate for those with a food allergy, so managers must ensure that such gifts are tailored to workers' needs when selecting such gifts.

Most importantly, according to the CIPD, the research shows that flexible working is no longer a taboo subject.

According to the report, 63 percent of employers plan to increase their use of flexible working arrangements in the future.

Mr. Cotton believes that following the pandemic, a "win-win situation" for both employers and employees could arise.

"It is unlikely that employers will be looking to flog off their buildings because they will still need them for some days of the week, but it's also unlikely that everyone will be working Monday to Friday in the office.
"There's a balance to be struck between the two extremes - it's a case of allowing employees the flexibility and responsibility of managing themselves."


To help their work, Newsmusk allows writers to use primary sources. White papers, government data, initial reporting, and interviews with industry experts are only a few examples. Where relevant, we also cite original research from other respected publishers.

Source- BBC News


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