U.S. News

What Office Perks Really Matter? You'd Be Surprised

Forget job perks like access to the company car or a cushy expense account. Keeping and recruiting employees might be as easy as keeping the bathrooms clean.

office worker at a desk

One-in-three employees surveyed by Blumberg Capital Partners, a U.S. investment firm that specializes in commercial real estate, have accepted or left a job due to the condition of the building or the amenities.

"Office conditions, indeed, directly impact employee retention, recruitment, and productivity," said Philip Blumberg, chairman and CEO of Blumberg Capital, in a statement.

The biggest complaint among the 500 office workers surveyed was extreme temperatures in the office followed closely by unclean restrooms, outdated furniture, persistent odors, leaky ceilings, crime and rodents or insect problems.

Among the amenities that are most desirable by office workers are a subsidized cafeteria or restaurant, followed by covered parking, a conference center, a food delivery service, fitness center and an on-site day care.

When asked to write-in their demands for a better workplace, they came up with some basic needs like hot water in bathrooms. Below are some of those requests:

  • "Mace for protection."
  • "Area to lay down for a quick nap during lunch."
  • "Men’s room instead of unisex bathroom."
  • "I wish the building had windows."
  • "Take better care of the grounds, fix the kitchen, and make it not seem like a nursing home."
  • "Security measures such as metal detectors and security guards.  Bullet-proof glass would be an asset."
  • "Some of the bathrooms don’t have hot water."
  • "Fix the roof so it doesn’t leak."
  • "Free parking."
  • "Better vending machine selection."

The survey, commissioned to gauge the impact of office building conditions on worker attitudes, also found that one-fifth of employees said their office building’s condition decreased their productivity and motivation.