Elevating the employment experience: what IT teams need to know

Joe Svetlik

Monday 23 May 2016

Unlimited holidays, flexible working, free food… it’s all in a day’s work for these companies. Find out how to get the best out of your workforce.

When perks become essential

Nowadays, employees are demanding more from their employer than ever before. Where most workers were formerly content to work long hours in return for a regular paycheque, that’s no longer the case.

Inspired by Californian technology startups, companies are offering all kinds of employee benefits, from amazing on-site facilities to flexible working arrangements and more holiday days. And it works. According to a recent study by Glassdoor, nearly three in five (57 per cent) say benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job.

If you want to attract and keep the best talent, you need to offer some pretty great benefits.

Getting away from rigid working routines

Netflix offers unlimited maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child’s birth or adoption, while Asana employees have free executive and life coaching services. Airbnb, meanwhile, gifts employees $2000 (£1373) every year to travel anywhere in the world. But Ask.com goes a step further – it has no holiday policy at all, and lets employees take as much time off as they think they deserve. As long as they’re performing and hitting their targets, the firm doesn’t ask questions.

As well as an amazing cafeteria, Google offers its staff bikes to ride around campus, volleyball courts, heated swimming pools, massages, a gym, fitness classes and an indoor slide. Staff also get one day a week to work on their own personal projects – as long as they benefit Google – in what’s been dubbed ’20 per cent time’.

Such perks not only make the working day more enjoyable, they engender a sense of trust in the employees. And trust is central to any working relationship. By giving employees as much holiday time as they want, for example, companies are sending a message that it’s a two-way relationship, and they expect them to only take what’s reasonable.

Evernote is one firm that offers unlimited holiday time. Its executive chairman Phil Libin explains: “If you take the attitude that being in the office isn’t a punishment, then spending days outside the office isn’t a reward.”

Such a shift in dynamic makes for a much healthier relationship, better work-life balance and happier and more productive employees.

Ensure you nail IT

With such perks rapidly becoming the norm, it’s important a company’s IT offering doesn’t lag behind the times. The Lenovo Yoga 900 Business Edition lets companies bring the best of a consumer device into a business environment – not only is it ultra-lightweight (weighing just over a kilogram) but it’s also colourful, coming in champagne, orange and silver colour schemes.

While it looks as stylish as a consumer device, it offers enterprise-level security thanks to the Trusted Platform Module embedded within – this lets your company encrypt your data securely. Employees will love the device’s look and performance, while IT departments will be happy it’s easily supported within their infrastructure.

The world of work is changing. To keep up, you need to offer employees a flexible, perk-driven package, with the hardware to match. To find out how you can stay competitive, check out our online eBook series outlining the challenges and opportunities facing 21st-century organisations.

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