Nearly half of US companies adding office perks to attract employees back, avoid burnout: survey

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Thursday, March 31, 2022
Survey: Nearly half of US companies adding 'office perks'
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Nearly a quarter of companies surveyed across the U.S. will require employees to be back in the office by this spring, some with great new perks.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Nearly a quarter of companies surveyed across the U.S. will require employees to be back in the office by this spring. But the Great Return will come with great new perks.

For most California companies, new perks have become a priority to make the commute worth it. Facing a tight job market, companies are forced to get creative to stay competitive. And with that, employees get more choice.

RELATED: 24% of CA companies will require employees back to office by spring, survey finds

"We're trying to make a more equitable experience for those in the office as well as the remote folks," said Maurice Bell, the head of People Operations at Lattice, a people-management software company which has headquarters in San Francisco, New York, and the UK.

Enhancing existing office space is one of the top priorities for California companies embracing the Great Return. Sequoia, a people-investment consulting, and platform company conducted a survey of more than 450 companies across the U.S., a majority of which are based in California.

New office perks

Of the 459 companies surveyed:

  • 90% of companies invested in new video conference technology to foster team collaboration.
  • 65% of companies are scheduling in-person meetings when needed.
  • 32% are regularly scheduling meetings
  • Another 30% are investing in new technology.

"What is the experience going to be like?" ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked.

"Folks can come in if they're visiting, they can submit a quick wellness form, get a badge and find a desk or schedule a new conference room." said Bell. "The idea behind it is to make work meaningful."

Especially -- the experience.

VIDEO: The Great Resignation 2022 - why fierce competition for talent in the SF Bay Area isn't going away

For Lattice employees, the office has new perks centered on convenience --- like a fully stocked snack bar, a kombucha bar, or any flavor of sparkling water at their fingertips. Other additions include a new room for expecting mothers, extra phone booths to take calls, and conference rooms enhanced with new video technology around the room. Unlike pre-pandemic, most of the conference rooms at Lattice are being used to communicate with people working remotely or in another office.

Avoiding burnout

Kaleana Quibell is the Vice President of Well-being and Platform Partners at Sequoia.

"It's not just about giving people tools and resources to support themselves, companies are asking how can we create policies that foster work-life balance," said Quibell. "And at the same time how do we bring people back into the workplace."

Quibell says to do that -- companies are prioritizing new policies to help reduce employee burnout.

RELATED: Employers take note: Most remote workers don't want to go back to the office

Of the 459 companies surveyed:

  • About 72% are prioritizing flexible and enhanced time-off policies.
  • Roughly half or 47% are increasing employee well-being services.
  • 30% are enforcing no meeting days.
  • 41% are still uncertain if these well-being policies are working.

"For many of these companies, there's still a lot of confusion about whether or not we're doing the right things," Quibell said. "We know we're adding policies, but we're not sure if they're being effective, a lot of that has to do with the fact people are still leaving jobs."

A high percentage of Americans were quitting their jobs last spring and into this fall. During that time the unemployment rate dropped, and job openings spiked--- also known as the "Great Resignation." But while employees were leaving, companies were not reducing their space. According to the survey, 60% of companies have not cut their lease or indicated they don't plan to in the future, whereas only 28% of companies have downsized their office space or have plans to do so.

RELATED: Bay Area outlook as record 4.5 million in US quit jobs in November

See the full survey here.

See more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area here.

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