A new survey of more than 4,000 white-collar employees revealed what they want the most in returning to the office. Surprisingly, ping-pong tables and fun and games were among the least desired perks. Fifty-seven percent of surveyed workers said access to privacy is the best office perk, and employees also cited fitness benefits such as yoga studios and gyms (46 percent) as high on the list.
The survey was commissioned back in May by Framery, a manufacturer of soundproof private spaces for offices, so there are certainly some conflicts of interest there. But the survey gathered answers from a rather large group of 4,044 white-collar employees in all U.S. states between 18 and 75 years old. Many employees seemed concerned about returning to open-plan offices, with 41 percent saying their ability to concentrate in open-floor plans has worsened during the pandemic. Thirty-five percent of office workers said communal games like ping-pong and gaming consoles are the least desired office perk, and nearly half (44 percent) said the commute is what they dread the most in returning to the office.
Companies have been trying everything to lure employees back to the office, even offering private concerts, but the Silicon Valley-style glamorous perks may be a thing of the past. “The findings should put a final nail in the coffin of the ping pong tables, beer kegs, scooters, and other artifacts of ‘mandatory fun’ office culture,” said Framery’s Founder & CEO, Samu Hällfors. Remote workers can find it hard at times to do quality work without as many interruptions, so occupiers and landlords may want to focus that when rolling out return-to-office plans.