Thursday, June 23, 2011

Work environment

I love to hear about companies who really spoil their employees, who wouldn’t like working at Google or Apple campuses, where you do not have to leave work to go to the hairdresser have a nice crèche for you little ones and lunch room with proper food that is delicious and healthy, where you have not only an on-site gym but also games rooms.  Or a party means really dressing up – you might even bring your spouse instead of a lukewarm buffet with lazy beer and a DJ who frankly belong at a children party.
Unfortunately I do not have the budget to create a coffee/juice bar, an onsite gym – or even a shower, although I would love to offer it. If I should have a coffee bar, the bare minimum the team would have to give up is their lunch- voucher arrangement (for each day they work the receive a lunch voucher worth 6 Euros – they pay themselves just under 3 Euros (but that is before tax)) so it almost works out at an extra 70 -80 Euros a month in the hand. Even for a “free” lunch people do not want to give up the lunch vouchers so certainly not for coffee or juice.  When the choice is either introducing small luxuries and cutting peoples salaries, or keep the salaries and introduce small gestures the latter wins for me.

I think we have a great workplace, people are nice, we have the tools we need, the offices are not spectacular by any measurement but we have loads of light, nice furniture, neat meeting rooms and as we do not have a cafeteria we do have arrangements with a couple of local sandwich shops who delivers if we order before 10. There is ample of space to eat your lunch and whilst you have to pay for sweets we do offer free fruit for everybody.  We changed coffee machines a couple of years ago after a survey showed that most of the people did not like the coffee. When it came to choosing the new coffee supplier we ask the employees to taste and choose and the one with most votes won. The same goes for chairs – this year we needed to change the chairs in the office we had 4 different chairs on trial and asked a panel to choose which one we should buy. So although we do not have a very fancy office environment it is nice, and we do try to involve many people in the bigger decisions.

1 comment:

duncan Verstraeten said...

I've got a fantastic customer who is leading in workplace design. They won a massive award with their work for Vodafone. They have completely understood the benefits of "workplace 2.0"