Work environment with a company is, arguably, the most important factor when it comes to being happy with your career. Sure, there are some people who dislike their salary and might feel overworked, but, if a company’s culture is poor, so, too, will the employee attitudes.
So, that begs to ask the question: what are the qualities of a good work environment? Although the answer isn’t always black and white — different people value different things when it comes to work — generally speaking, there are a few things that most employees look for when it comes to their career, unwilling to sacrifice too much for the sake of happiness.
As you might expect, the No. 1 priority employees look for when it comes to happiness in a work environment is solid benefits. But, before you just assume it’s the obvious stuff like a 401(k) plan and top-notch healthcare, it’s actually a few things that encourage work-life balance. According to a recent INC.com survey — which surveyed 285 of the website’s top companies to work for — 49 percent of the employers offered unlimited paid vacation time off. That’s not to say that every employee is lazy and is looking to blow off their work responsibilities, but it does show that some companies are more than willing to trust workers not to abuse the benefit.
Another important factor in a good work environment is travel expenses. Unlike the old days that saw many employees filter into the office via car, more people are using public transportation like trains, buses and, yep, even car-sharing programs like Car2Go and ReachNow. For those who would rather avoid the headaches of being stuck in traffic each day, employees are happier when a company is willing to pay a monthly stipend for their commute.
Although it’s not directly related to the overall work environment, as we recently wrote, some companies are even open to helping employees with their student loans payment, with workers showing interest and excitement about the possibility. With an estimated 70 percent of college graduates having college debt, it’s not too surprising that help to knock out the balance is appreciated.
Lastly, when it comes to overall work environment, the aforementioned INC.com piece mentioned that a whopping 69 percent of their 285 top companies to work for offer some kind of stress-relief activity, such as naps or massages. Guys, we don’t know about you, but is this genius or what? We had nap time in kindergarten to help us refresh our minds and, like that, companies are getting smart about giving employees a similar benefit.
So, what makes a great work environment? Sure, a kegerator in the kitchen and free lunches every so often is great — as are normal benefits like paid vacation days, a 401(k) plan and healthcare — but, overall, it’s all about the next-level benefits, baby! And, for those companies who trust their employees and understand the importance of work-life balance and a clear mind, the best employees will come flocking.