Forget the kombucha on tap and the designated wellness rooms. Most office perks are overrated. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what do employees want in a workplace?
The answer is pretty simple, according to a new report from the commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE: they want to be able to see outside. That’s it!
Many offices lack views of the outdoors and natural light. And since people are biophilic, meaning we inherently seek to connect with nature, we need these views of the world beyond our desks (and our screens) to survive.
CBRE analyzed a survey conducted by human resources advisory firm Future Workplace and smart-building tech company View Inc. The survey polled 1,600 North American professionals. The subjects were asked to answer questions about workplace amenities, and how these elements impact their level of engagement with their job. Fifty-three percent of the polled workers said they valued natural light and views of nature most—”well above amenities like fitness centers and game rooms,” the report reads. The most important amenities after natural light and views were an on-site cafe or food (44%), followed by a nice kitchen (37%).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most prized amenities also seem to be among the scarcest. “Although employees placed the highest value on natural light and views, these are also areas that employees reported being the most dissatisfied with in their current environments,” the report reads.
The takeaway? If companies want to recruit and retain talent, they should skip the foosball tables and spend more time and money on thoughtful floor plans. “A workplace’s physical layout and amenities can signal and reinforce a company’s values for its employees,” said Damla Gerhart, Senior Managing Director of CBRE’s Workplace practice, in a statement. “Moving private offices away from the windows so that most of the floor has an outdoor view shows consideration for all employees.”