In one of my previous jobs, the management added a gym and a bathroom in the office so that employees could workout.
I find this improvement redundant. I don’t need a gym and a bathroom in the office to train. Doing so after 8 hours of work — neither makes me happier nor makes me more productive. Of course, I feel good after such workout but I still need to go through the afternoon traffic jam and do other activities at home — all these take a toll on me or any professional.
On the other side, having more time to rest and recuperate certainly makes me happier and more productive. If I am happy at work, as an employee, I stay longer at your company. That’s positive because organisations spend huge amount of money on recruitment and training.
Furthermore, if I am more productive, the business makes more money. With employee retention and making more profits, the company’s best interest is to keep their employees happy — and this is certainly not done by (solely) providing a gym or a bathroom.
If business organisations seek to keep their programmers happy and productive (most of the time), they have to offer more flexibility. Flexible hours is the first step. Having a fixed starting and ending time is discouraging. Unexpected stuff happens all the time.
Some people have children, they have to adapt and rush through the traffic jam. They get tired. They cannot be fully productive. The one hour lunch is barely enough for rest. Adding a gym in the office is trivial when the employees do not have time to rest. It’s like adding cherry on the cake when the cake itself bad.
These are my opinions, but the following is a recent developer survey done by CodinGame — to determine what makes developers happy at work.
- Developers feel happier in smaller companies
- Technology is the most fulfilling industry
- What matters most for developers
I do not see having a gym in the office as something that matters to us, software developers, neither are other gimmicks.
Moreover, what developers value in benefits, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey.
Software Development requires deep work — and deep work requires deep rest. Having excellent options for vacations and days off are indeed the best benefits I can personally think of. I, myself, am much more productive with as a Web Developer when I take regular mini vacations.
And I find nothing more draining than getting stuck in a long intertwining traffic jam — after having worked to my best of abilities and effort — to deliver an important task in the office. Remote options is definitely a brilliant package.