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Small Business Employees Prefer Long-Term Rewards

A new survey has revealed that drinks after work, staff meals out and other perks are being increasingly offered as rewards within small-to-medium UK businesses. But employees, however, are drawn more to long-term rewards of greater value.

The survey, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Cyclescheme, found that 43% of 1,000 employees surveyed feel that one-off perks are not having a sustained impact on their happiness and morale. Only 15% said that an increase to perks of this nature would lead to them becoming happier at work.

Instead, the survey found that more employees would feel motivated by receipt of more time to switch off mentally (28%), more time or opportunity to exercise (34 per cent) or the chance to enjoy a greater work-life balance (37%).

Happiness in the workplace has become a hot topic in the UK in recent times. Large recruitment firms such as Reed go so far as to hang entire marketing campaigns off the premise that anyone could find their ideal job if they gave themselves a chance to find it; the idea that we could all ‘love Mondays.’

At Westmorland Packaging, we believe that if one of our small team is looking for a happier Monday, then we’re not doing our jobs right. Part of our own effort to help improve morale is to provide as much flexibility as possible when it comes to our staff members’ children, with flexible hours offered and the kids even being regularly invited into the office in cases where a team member is unable to arrange an alternative.

While an office creche might sound a bit crazy, it’s probably not even close to being the most ‘out-there’ workplace perk in the UK. Manchester web hosting company UKFast, for example, had a sauna installed at their offices to go alongside their gym, console games room and company bar. It’s a wonder they get any work done when you consider they also created a beach, complete with volleyball net and deck chairs, in their car park a couple of summers ago...!

What keeps you engaged at work, and what kinds of perks would you like introduced to your workplace? Would a game of table tennis make the team meeting more interesting? Or do the long-term benefits like bonuses, childcare or group life insurance improve your morale?