There are certain things workers look for in a job -- competitive pay, great health benefits, and the little perks that make coming to work all the more pleasant. However, some of those perks might end up hurting employees more so than benefiting them. Here are a few your company might want to do away with.
1. Game rooms
Office game rooms seem like a cool idea at first. After all, what better way to take a mid-day break than by engaging in a friendly game of table tennis or pool? Here's the problem with game rooms, though: They're loud, they take away from work time, and there are often not enough activities to go around anyway. Think about it: A single game table for a 200-person company isn't going to give your employees a break; it'll give a small handful of workers a break if they're lucky enough to squeeze in there. And unless that game room is strategically situated, the noise that emanates from it might serve as a major distraction to those folks who are trying to plug away at their desks.
2. Nap rooms
There's data out there showing that napping at work is a great idea, as it can lead to an uptick in employee productivity. But a company nap room might not be the best way to go about it. If anything, employees have a better chance of getting some afternoon shut-eye in the privacy of their cars, especially when the constant opening and closing of the nap room door might render any attempt at sleep utterly useless. Also, unless they're well-maintained, nap rooms often contribute to the spread of germs. After all, if you have a company with 400 employees and a nap room with two futons and blankets, think about the number of bodies that'll have made contact with those surfaces in a given eight-hour period. Kind of makes you want to douse yourself in sanitizer and never set foot in the nap room again.
3. Team outings
At first, team outings might seem like a great way to fuel bonding and give workers exciting activities to look forward to. Much of the time, though, they're nothing more than a drag. When they occur during the week, they put employees in a position where they risk falling behind on deadlines. And when they're scheduled for weekends, they cut into workers' personal time. Before you spend money on team outings, ask your employees whether they actually think they're necessary. You might achieve the same goals by sponsoring team lunches or happy hours at a fraction of the cost instead.
4. Free lunch
Free food might seem like a great perk for workers, but when you provide lunch all the time, employees are less likely to snag a real daytime break. Furthermore, unless you're going to accommodate all of the dietary restrictions your workers have, many employees might feel slighted that their needs aren't being addressed in your free lunch program, thereby turning what's designed to be a positive thing into a negative.
As an employer, it's commendable that you'd want to make your workers' experience as positive as possible. Just be careful about the so-called perks you offer. At the end of the day, a little more scheduling flexibility could do a better job of making your employees happy than any of the aforementioned benefits, and it'll cost you less, too.