Getting perky with office perks

Work.  Everybody does it.  Some people live to work.  Some people work to live.  No matter your outlook on your own work situation, I think we can all agree that we want to enjoy our workdays.

These days people have to work longer hours, and they spend more of their time at work than at home.  I am no stranger to 10 to 11 hour days, evening emailing and the occasional business trip.  However, during these past few weeks since moving to San Francisco, working from home temporarily, and now on the full-time job hunt, I’ve taken a step back from the stress of the working world.

Through online job research and stories from others, it certainly does seem that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are known for offering great in-office benefits and perks for their dedicated employees to make their workdays better.  Technology companies and start-ups are known to require unorthodox working hours, so it’s not unheard of for companies to be more flexible with their employees’ schedules.  But it goes further than that — someone’s out-of-the-blue idea dreamed up over a gourmet espresso in the employee cafeteria could become the next Facebook — that’s why it’s such a smart decision for a company to foster creativity and give its employees chances to feel good at work.

Over the past week I’ve been dabbling in the working world while putting in some time at a very wonderful place, called the Les Mills West Coast office.  In just seven days in the office, I’ve seen some great perks, which support a healthy lifestyle and perky employees.  There are weekly fresh fruit deliveries, providing not only organic produce, but instructions on how to eat some of the rarer pieces.  There is a workout space with equipment for employees to use at their leisure.  There is also a professional masseuse, who comes to the office weekly and gives employees a 5-10 minute shoulder, neck and back massage at their seats.  We all know the tense feeling you get while typing for hours on end, and this relaxing timeout is meant to relieve just that, in turn making employees reinvigorated and ready to take on their responsibilities refreshed.

Through his job with the Warriors, Dave has also seen some great perks while attending meetings at various local companies.  He recently visited a start-up technology company, which employed an on-site professional chef, who prepared and served all three meals of the day to the staff complimentary.  This company also offered unlimited snacks, a game room and a music studio for employees to play around and hang out.

These workplace benefits are something I never experienced in Orlando, even while working at one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world.  Surely now that I have seen some great benefits in action, I hope they are included in whatever full-time job I find.

With the wave of work/life balance studies and hypotheses in the news, I recently heard a great idea by a woman board member who suggested that one of the best things a company could offer its employees is a cleaning service for their home.  While that is not an in-office perk, it does take away some home responsibilities, which frees up an employee’s time to be creative and relax, even while away from the office.

What would be your choice of an in-office perk to help your day?

All I wanted at my last job was a shady spot to eat my lunch outside, which wasn’t also used as a smoking area.

The types of areas that I would have dreamed of are everywhere you look throughout the Financial District.  Take a look at this architectural feature near California Street in the City, which doubles as a seating structure for those who want to take a break from their desk.

Financial District
Great courtyard for Financial District employees to take a break.
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