Going Beyond The Working Day - Employee Perks

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Author Image - Nicola Todd

By Nicola Todd

What do staff want from employers?

Having been in recruitment for nearly a decade, I’ve seen many changes over the years. Most of these relate to what a potential employee wants to see from their employer. When it comes to that point in an interview when a candidate asks what the company can provide for them, they’re looking for benefits that go above and beyond.

In the 2014 Most Popular Employee Perks, Forbes had highlighted that employees wanted things that make their working day a little bit different. The most popular employee perk being a games room, where staff can take a break from their working day - believing that it will increase productivity and creativity.

It’s not just about salary

The most obvious question for candidates to ask when assessing a job opportunity is ‘what will my salary be?’ Predominantly, this used to be the only factor that attracted potential employees to a position. But nowadays it’s increasingly about other perks with companies like Google offering;

  • Free food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • A fully equipped gym and swimming pool.
  • Video games and tables for ping pong, billiards and foosball.

Offering such benefits helped Google achieve a record 8,067 hires last year — boosting their total headcount by a third, and it's clear that employees are expecting more and more from their employers today. With true 21st century companies like Google setting the standards, it can be difficult for small or medium sized enterprises to keep up. Employees can be made to feel valued in a number of ways; from providing competitive salaries to activities outside the usual 9-5.

Going beyond the working day

With a solid company culture becoming more important for businesses, it’s good to make employees feel like part of a family. More and more digital firms are investing in team retreats and staff outings to get everyone together - forming relationships that aren't just based around work. Our own recent charity Coast to Coast bike ride, is an example of how something interesting arranged out of work time can build team spirit and attract employees who aren't just interested in a salary.

Last year AIG, the insurance giants took their staff to St. Regis Monarch Beach in Orange County, where they reportedly spent over $400,000 on an executive retreat — including over $23,000 in spa treatments and sporting activities such as a gorgeous 18-hole, ocean-view golf course, eight tennis courts, a renowned spa, an excellent business center with videoconferencing technology, and a high-tech boardroom (so it’s not all play and no work!).

Leighton Benefits

At Leighton, we want to make our staff feel valued and appreciated. We want every working day to be a good day. After all, the average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.

As much as it can be an overused phrase we believe in healthy body, healthy mind so we give our staff unlimited free fruit every week. But we also know how to treat ourselves too - with an event we call Fika Friday. Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning "to have coffee", often accompanied with pastries. The Leighton version is a half an hour break at 11am every Friday, where we get away from our desks and enjoy a weekly treat, catching up with colleagues along the way.

With our recent office move a few months back, we wanted to create a more relaxed and dynamic working environment. We invested in more space and break out areas, including setting an Xbox and Wii up in our kitchen area - bringing out a competitive streak in a fair few members of the team!

We believe that it’s really important to maintain focus and dedication in the workplace, however that doesn't always come from sitting at a desk for 7 hours a day. Humans are social creatures, who need interaction and social activity. Nothing is worse than something that isn't natural, activities that are forced and compulsory. So we’ve always been wary of this - we want to come up with ideas and see what grabs our employees attention.

Internally, we’ve successfully organised a 5 a-side football match every Thursday with our sister companies within the Leighton Group.  We also have a range of activities for the ladies (and men) with beauticians and masseuses coming on site during lunch times to keep our employees relaxed and refreshed.

Leighton offer a range of perks to all of our staff including competitive pension package, Christmas close down, a relaxing holiday entitlement, free eye examinations, technology purchasing scheme, childcare vouchers and flexible working hours to name a few!

Leighton are currently hiring! To see our full list of vacancies, click here.