For the vast majority of us, happiness in the form of workplace perks boils down to a nice place to work at with proper lighting, a pantry, fresh and clean washrooms, and maybe a ref and a microwave.
Of course, there are the mandated perks like healthcare and social security.
But otherwise, we don’t expect much from where we work as long as we’re paid.
Many of us are also pretty cool with sick leaves and even vacation time as added benefits.
But did you know there are companies that are happy to give new parents a year off? One whole year off and it’s fully paid too. If that weren’t enough to get you thinking, we found 9 companies that give the best perks in the world (all these based on Glassdoor surveys.)
Already quite beloved by everyone looking to burn off a whole weekend or just looking to chill, Netflix received a pretty high rating on Glassdoor. That’s because the TV-streaming company is the one that offers the one year paid leave to all new mums and dads. They still have the option to work part-time or full-time within that year, but they’d still be able to take time out and away should they need it.
Another immensely popular streaming service, for music this time, and yet another company that’s kind to newly minted parents. Their package is half of Netflix’s at six months of paid parental leave, but it also includes flexibility in their work options when they come back as a way of easing parents back into the workforce. On top of that, they actually cover the costs for fertility assistance if it’s needed.
3. The World Wildlife Fund
When working for a non-profit, you don’t expect much in the way of perks given that these organisations rely on external funding to keep going. The WWF is, in a way, no exception. To compensate, they give every other Friday off. These “Panda Fridays” might not seem like much, but ask anyone who has had to endure a week’s worth of stress and they’ll tell you that long weekends twice a month aren’t bad at all.
While not a non-profit, this software giant is all heart. Its employees get six days out of a year that they can spend volunteering for the charity of their choice—all of that being fully paid for by the company. This, in turn, passes on the spirit of giving to their employees. If that wasn’t cool enough, Salesforce also gives their employees over USD 1,000 to pass on to their charity of choice.
They say that the most effective way to work for a company is to fully understand how it works. AirBnb employees have the best possible way to experience first-hand the way their company operates. AirBnb gives their people USD 2,000 annually to let them travel anywhere in the world. The only condition for this unbelievable generosity is that they stay at a place listed on Airbnb—a small trade-off, really, all things considered.
This audit, assurance, consulting, and tax service company is lauded for providing support for one of the United States’ biggest economic problems: student debt. Workers at this company get a USD 1,200 as part of their student loan debt reimbursement program. This goes a long way toward alleviating a heavy burden on most employees nowadays.
For all the perceived difficulties they say this social media giant has been experiencing, there’s no shortage of perks. Employees enjoy three free meals per day, for one. This certainly helps with expense management. On top of that, you can get on-site acupuncture to help fight off stress. They even offer improv classes if that happens to be your thing.
8. The Walt Disney Company
Who would have thought that the happiest place on earth would, in fact, be the happiest place on earth for its employees? Apart from the expected discounts on Disney merchandise and discounts on hotel accommodations, employees actually get to enjoy the park they work in via free entrances. It might not seem like much, but they get high Glassdoor ratings (at 4.0) for all of that!
Without a doubt one of the biggest tech companies in the world today, the dominant social media company is another one that is kind to parents. Apart from the obvious leave time, Facebook offers employees with infants “Baby Cash” to the tune of USD 4,000. That’s a lot of money that goes a long way when you consider the cost of an infant’s many needs combined.
If you’re a company looking to up the ante when it comes to employee perks—but can’t quite go too far like these 9—then give Alsco a call.
We offer many products and packages that provide added benefits of comfort and better health. We can help you find the ones that provide your workers with the best they can expect.
For one, Alsco can make your workplace greener, healthier and safer. Those are not the perks that people take lightly, especially if they spend a big portion of their day at their office.
Now, if you’re new to this going ‘green’ thing for your workplace, don’t worry. Here is a list of the best plants to get started with:
1. Jade Plant
The jade plant is a small succulent with small flowers and requires only minimal watering. Also called Crassula ovata, this plant is known as the “money plant” in Japanese folklore. It is said to bring financial success so it makes a lot of sense why it’s the number one plant you need to have in your office!
If you’re in the mood for an ornamental and flowering plant, go for the Bromeliad. Bromeliads come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and foliage colours, making them great indoor plants. When placed in the right area, their rigid fleshy leaves can easily liven up a dull office space.
3. African Violet
The African violets, or Saintpaulia, are great plants to add colour and cheer to any area. While these flowering plants require a bit more maintenance than others, they’re only going to take up very little space, making them perfect for desks.
4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
If you want to add a tropical flair to your workspace, then get a peace lily or Spathiphyllum. These plants can grow and bloom even in low lighting conditions. They are perfect for offices that do not have big windows. No wonder why they are one of the most popular office decors.
Also known as “Mauna Loa,” these plants prefer to be kept away from direct sunlight. They also grow best in moist conditions with lower levels of light, making them great for offices that are heavy on the air conditioning.
5. Chinese Evergreen
Also called “Aglaonema”, these plants make great office additions because they require very little maintenance and thrive in low light conditions. They also remove toxins from the air.
6. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria)
These plants can grow up to be two meters tall. They are linear plants with upright leaves. They can be perfect desk plants too as they can withstand most conditions and can even last for years when properly taken care of.
7. English Ivy
The English Ivy is also known as Hedera helix. It’s a clinging vine that can reduce airborne faecal matter particles and filter out formaldehyde.
As disturbing as it is to know those airborne particles exist, it’s good English Ivy can take care of it. This is another plant ideal for those stale office environments lacking a lot of fresh air circulating.
8. Walking Iris (Neomarica bicolour gracillis)
Also known as Apostle Plants, Walking Irises are hardy plants with leaves that arch and look like swords. They can grow up to be 60 cm long. Their orchid-like flowers grow at the tip of stems and usually last for only a day. These plants need lots of moisture and they look perfect indoors.
9. Parlor Palm
The Parlor Palm is actually a small palm tree, also known as Chamaedorea elegans. If you’re looking for ways to separate spaces in your office, this plant is your best bet. The Parlor Palm is perfect for offices because it adds a relaxing, tropical feel and doesn’t require a lot of light.
10. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The leaves of a snake plant can grow fairly tall. They come with shooting dark green leaves that have bands of a bright yellow-green on the outside. These plants are great as natural partitions in the workplace.
11. Gerber Daisy
Aside from being attractive decors to your office, Gerber Daisies, also known as Gerbara, are also great at filtering toxins like benzene (a substance that can be emitted by some printing systems.)
If you would like to add some height to small areas in the office, get these large climbers. The best part is, these plants can survive even with very little maintenance.
These plants come in different varieties, sizes, and shapes. They look great on desks but take note that they require a lot of sunlight. So, if your office is dimly lit, make sure they are placed near a window so they still get a lot of sunlight.
14. Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena reflexa)
These shrubs can grow tall enough to be perfect dividers for different office areas. They help combat pollutants from varnishes and oils. This plant is ideal for offices with hardwood floors.
15. Ming Aralia
Also great for offices that require privacy between workstations. The Ming Aralia or Polyscias fruticosa are also tall, bushy plants that doesn’t require too much maintenance. Just water it every couple of weeks.
16. Spider Plant
Spider plants are also known as Chlorophytum comosum. They are often displayed in hanging baskets and are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors, making them great office space decor.
17. Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
Fiddle-leaf Figs also have a tropical look with their long stems and large glossy leaves. They are actually one of the trendiest plants to have right now. These plants are best placed where there is plenty of light as it tends to stretch in low light conditions.
18. Weeping Fig
The weeping figs are large plants that can filter pollutants such as such as formaldehyde and benzene as well as other pollutants found in carpets and furniture.
These plants are usually small in size so they easily fit on desks. Their air-filtering qualities also have the ability to remove pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Aside from purifying the air, Aloe also has a gel inside the plant that can be used to treat wounds and burns.
20. Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis)
These plants come with dark green, glossy leaves and can thrive even in low light conditions. Just make sure to place them in a corner where they won’t get damaged by passing traffic.
21. Umbrella Tree
Umbrella Trees can grow to be quite tall, making them perfect for creating office privacy. They also come in smaller dwarf versions you can put on desktops.
22. Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)
Yuccas are one of the most versatile indoor plants. They have long woody stems and large strappy leaves, perfect for offices. While they prefer high levels of light, yuccas usually survive neglect rather well so they would definitely make great additions to your office.
Sometimes referred to as the nerve or mosaic plant, Fittonias can thrive on the fluorescent light so they work well in offices.
Plus, the over-sized, inside-out look on the leaves of the Fittonia can serve as quite a focal point in your office space.
24. Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Zanzibar Gems grow even in dry, shaded areas, making them perfect office plants because they can survive an amazing amount of neglect. During winter, just water them less and clean the leaves by wiping them with a damp cloth.
The Pothos or Epipremnum aureum are flowering plants perfect for desktops. They may require occasional trimming but aside from that, these plants are very low maintenance and can be left on a desk for lengthy periods without needing much care.
26. Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Madagascar Dragon Trees have tall snake-like trunks and green and pink leaves. They can grow up to 3 metres high and they look best in a well-lit space to maximise leaf colouring.
Azaleas are flowering shrubs that thrive in cold environments and can filter the air to combat formaldehyde.
28. Mixed Garden
If you can’t decide which plant to add to your workplace, why not go for multi-grouped plantings? These plants are designed for desktops and other areas in the office where there is enough lighting. Use cork mats or velcro tapes to make sure your tables and workstations are protected from water damage or scratches.
Imagine how much better your office is going to look and feel with these plants all around. Imagine how much happier, healthier, and more productive your employees are going to be if they are surrounded with stress-busting, energising, air-purifying plants in their workplace.
If this list of beautiful plants doesn’t convince you of getting some for your office space yet, then you are definitely missing out.
But while adding plants inside your office is a great step at going “green”, also consider improving your workplace hygiene.
Alsco offers quality and sustainable solutions to achieving your workplace’s “green goals”. From mats to odour control, from washroom to hand hygiene, Alsco offers services that can be tailored to every businesses’ needs.
Take your next step to having a clean and green workplace now. Call Alsco today! Our friendly staff are more than happy to assist you.
What with all the benefits sustainability in the workplace can bring, not to mention the fact that Carbon Tax requires businesses to implement effective ways to cut down on carbon emissions, there seems to be no other way to go but GREEN.
You can’t be the only one in the entire company to aim for workplace sustainability though. For a company’s green initiative to be a successful one, everyone in the organisation has to be in on it as well.
Below are 32 ways you can get your employees involved in your business’ green initiative:
1. Ditch the Paper Whenever Possible
Doing work online means there’ll be less need for paper. Have everyone review documents and keep files on their computers instead of printing everything and piling them up in file cabinets. When you move to a new office, it’ll be easier to make offsite backup copies and take them with you.
2. If It Has to Be Paper – Use the Recycled One
If you can’t go totally paperless, use recycled paper and envelopes that have been processed and coloured using only eco-friendly methods. Recycled paper also uses up huge amounts of energy, water, and chemicals. So, buy the kind that has a high percentage of post-consumer content. Make sure that the minimum of chlorine bleaching is involved.
3. Double It Up!
Choose printers and photocopiers that do double-sided printing. If possible, avoid colour printing. Make sure that everyone sets the photocopier and printer back to default single copies after use.
4. Paper Is Not the Only Thing You Can Recycle
Consider recycling printer cartridges or going for recycled replacements that are way cheaper than new ones. Remanufactured cartridges cost less (15%) than brand new ones.
Give away notepads made of recycled misprints and so everyone knows their misprints can still be used and not just thrown away.
7. Your Granny Was Onto Something: Save the Shipping Boxes and Wrapping Paper
If your staff needs to ship packages, have them reuse shipping boxes and shredded waste paper as packing material.
8. Make It a Fun Ride Together
Help reduce traffic congestion by encouraging everyone to carpool, take public transit, bike, or walk to work if the workplace is reasonably near their home.
9. Cheer for the Responsible Transport Methods
Encourage those who are getting a car to get a hybrid, electric vehicle, motorcycle, or a scooter. You can even start an office carpool or group bike club and give small rewards to those who choose green methods of coming to work.
10. Loosen Up the Dress Code
If it’s possible for your company, consider setting a business casual policy that allows employees to wear something more casual instead of strictly formal attire. Aside from being better for the environment, this also means less dry cleaning expenses for everybody.
11. How About Just Staying Home?
Give working from home a try. Practice telecommuting with your staff through instant messaging, video conferencing, and other innovative workflow tools. That way, everyone gets to save time, and money for gas and laundry because you can work in your pajamas! Just think about how much air quality will improve and how much less of a hit road maintenance will have to take.
12. An Extra Day of Weekend? Bring It On!
Consider having your employees work 10 hours a day for 4 days instead of 8 hours a day for 5 days. This helps cut energy costs for the company and travel costs for everyone. Who wouldn’t love three-day weekends?
This can work perfectly for all the desks that are close to huge windows.
Also advise everyone never to leave the lights on at night when it’s time to go home.
14. Recycle, Reuse, Refill is the Name of the Game
Stock up on recycled pens and pencils and encourage everyone to use them. It’s also better to get refillable pens and markers instead of buying disposable ones.
15. Green Up Your Office Space: Literally
Go green literally by encouraging employees to bring plants to the office. Plants can absorb airborne pollutants while emitting healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air.
Turn your entire workplace green with plants everywhere and make it more comfortable and homey for everybody.
16. Explore the Biodegradable Options
Replace soaps, tissues, or towels in the washroom and office kitchen with those made of biodegradable materials.
17. Choose Greener Cleaning Agents
Have your custodial staff use only biodegradable cleaners. These environmentally friendly cleaning products will protect the health of your staff. They will also eliminate harmful substances and odours.
18. Mind Your Mats
Instruct employees to the use dust control & floor protection mats . Place these mats by the door to keep dirt, dust, and bacteria from invading your workplace. It will reduce the need for everyday vacuuming and cleanups using harsh chemicals.
19. Every Water Drop Counts
Promote conservation of water in the office kitchen or washroom. Toilet flushing wastes a lot of water. You can limit the amount of water wasted per flush by putting a brick in the tank.
20. Make Bulk Buying Your Thing
Avoid buying individual packets of coffee, creamer, sugar, pepper, salt, jam, and other consumables for the office pantry. Get them in bulk instead. Make sure to keep them organised and sanitary.
21. Keep Your Eye on the Supplies Cabinet
Advise the office manager to regularly keep tabs on your supplies cabinet. This helps keep employees from being wasteful with the office supplies.
22. Share the Savings Around
Explain the importance of cost savings to your employees and perhaps come up with a program that allows you to throw pizza parties, organise lunches or dinners for everybody.
You can do it using the money you all have saved from conserving your office supplies. This will make the savings more tangible for everybody and encourage their efforts.
23. Update the Mailing List
Keeping your mailing list updated all the time will keep everyone from sending out unnecessary letters. This means you’ll be saving on paper, printing, and postage.
These are the machines that may be off but are still plugged into an outlet. This makes them one of the biggest environmental culprits and expenses today called ‘standby power’ or ‘phantom power’.
25. Start a Turn off Trend
Instead of using screen savers, have everyone set monitors to power off instead. Basically just turn everything off when it’s not about to be used for several minutes or more including the lights.
26. Want a Fork? Bring Your Own!
Instead of using disposable spoons and forks, encourage everyone to bring their own reusable utensils so you don’t throw away large quantities of plastic on a daily basis.
27. Nothing Beats a Homemade Snack
Encourage employees to bring lunch to work in reusable containers. As much as possible, avoid getting delivery and takeout as these usually end up being a pile of packaging waste in your office’s trash bins.
Your employees can also bring in their favourite mug from home to reduce or even eliminate the use of paper cups.
You might also consider a one-time investment for glass and silver plates for you and your employees to use in the office kitchen or cafeteria during lunch breaks.
30. Make Recycling the Favourite Office Habit
Make sure each department has their own small recycling bins so that recycling becomes everyone’s habit in your company.
31. Build Your a Green Team!
Couldn’t think of more ‘green’ ideas for workplace? Build an employee-run ‘green’ team or committee whose members will brainstorm and come up with more Earth-conscious measures for your office. This will make everyone feel more involved and create a team atmosphere.
32. Speak Up and Spread the Word!
Share these tips with your colleagues. Spread awareness in the entire workplace. You can put up signs, posters, and bulletin boards everywhere in the office.
Share studies and statistics about the company’s imprint on the environment. Share the company’s long-term goals and ask for suggestions, opinions and other ideas as well.
Having your employees as involved as you are in your ‘green initiative’ for the business can have a significant impact on workplace morale, employee retention, and most of all, the company’s bottom line. So make them understand how their choices affect the organisation they belong to and the environment and you’re all set.
The good news is, there are companies like Alsco that strongly support ‘Green’ businesses. We provide services that will help every business owner, big or small, achieve total workplace sustainability.
Get in touch with Alsco today and our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you with everything you need to get your ‘green initiative’ started.
If you notice that your employees’ productivity has hit an all time low, then there’s definitely something wrong going on with them.
2. They fidget a lot
People tend to tolerate some level of discomfort at their workplace. After all, they have a job to do and aren’t really going to start making irrational demands about their workplace conditions.
You’ll notice though if they start to fidget on their workstations and are clearly uncomfortable; perhaps always trying to get away from their desks, or doing something else that’s not related to work.
It’s one early sign that something is starting to get to them. Although this happens at a pretty early stage so a lot can still be done to deal with the fatigue and stress they are going through.
3. Their minds are anywhere but here
Everyone experiences forgetfulness at some point but employees with fatigue may suffer from ongoing forgetfulness and complete disregard for their work and their team at large.
This will not only affect their performance, it can also waste other employees’ time. It’s an obvious sign that the employee has a lot on his plate and is struggling to get on top of their workload so it is best to find out what’s causing this behavior.
4. They are moody
Closely observe employees who seem not to be their usual selves and are acting out of character. Moodiness, emotional distress, or having a bad attitude in the workplace are telling signs that something is wrong.
5. They complain about everything
People headed towards fatigue aren’t going to keep it in. Whether it’s straight out complaining about it with their friends during lunch breaks or even just a long drawn out sigh of relief when they get up for a stretch, these are the most obvious clues that fatigue might be just about to set in.
Of course, it’s never a safe thing to assume. So, an effective next step would be to talk about it, or at least to encourage sharing. You’ll be surprised how much more smoothly this conversation will actually go. When it concerns comfort, no one is ever too shy.
6. Their workspace is a mess
Always pay attention to your employees’ workstations and desks. A messy desk can be a sign of stress that may have been caused by overwork.
7. They’re always late
There are employees who are habitual latecomers – those who run late in every aspect of their lives. But once you notice someone in your team, who usually comes on-time, if not an hour early, to work every morning, arrive late for consecutive days or weeks, then that is a clear indicator of fatigue or poor work-life balance.
8. …or absent
Employees experiencing fatigue will always find ways to justify not getting out of bed in the morning. When you start to notice an alarming increase in your employees’ absences, then maybe it’s about time to ask if work-related fatigue has taken over people in your office.
Again, talking to employees involved is critical, but it’s also important to do something about those factors making it hard for them to perform their duties efficiently.
You can also actually walk in their shoes and try out their job for a day yourself. If you find that you hate it and everything is, in fact, uncomfortable to use, safe bet is that therein lies the problem – one that needs an ergonomic solution.
At Alsco, we have several ideas that can be simple, subtle, and passive solutions against employee fatigue.
Foremost among these are the Anti-Fatigue Mats that can be placed in strategic areas around the office and work areas. These are guaranteed to provide comfort as your employees move about their workplace.
On top of that comfort, they also maximise safety and convenience as your employees go about their day. Paired with truly comfortable equipment, they can nip fatigue right in the bud.
So give us a call today. We’ve been number one in Australia’s commercial scene for over 50 years. We know what you need and will be happy to work with you.