3 Perks Your Office Can Actually Afford

Free massages, nap pods, on-site gyms, free food from professional chefs — the list of employee amenities offered at companies like Google and Facebook can read like the sales pitch for a luxury resort. Stingy business owners may roll their eyes at these perks, but there’s no denying the impact they have on employee retention and morale.

But, as a small-business owner, it can be difficult to provide such costly amenities — or even determine whether your employees would want them. Here are a few office extras you can implement without busting your budget.

Build a Breakfast and Lunch Bar
Most businesses’ food options are in a sad state of affairs, amounting to a few abandoned lunches rotting in the office fridge. You don’t have to bring a gourmet cook on staff, but you should at least offer a few tasty and healthy choices to team members who forget their Tupperware lunch at home. Set up a sandwich bar with different toppings in the community fridge or keep a few healthy cereals on hand, along with bowls and milk. Yogurt, bagels, oatmeal, instant rice — it’s easy and inexpensive to keep the office stocked with a few essentials that will make your employees feel well-fed and cared for.

Institute a Pet-Friendly Office Policy
Maybe you balk at the idea of pooches running amok in the office, but a look at the data might change your tune. According to a 2016 survey by the Banfield Pet Hospital, 53 percent of employees said that they’d be “more likely” to stay with their company if they were allowed to bring in their pets. In addition, the report found that pet-friendly workplaces lift positive morale by 88 percent and, perhaps most surprisingly, boost productivity by 67 percent.

Give Them a Gym Membership
Regular exercise can boost everything from happiness to focus, but not every business can afford its own volleyball court. However, you likely can afford to hook up your team with a membership at a local fitness center or reimburse them for any fitness classes they attend. You might also consider starting your own sports team. Not only is this healthy, but it’s excellent for team building. At the very least, allow your employees to go on regular walks and step outside every now and then. You’ll be amazed by the results.