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Your lunch break; the perfect time to grab a cup of complimentary coffee, enjoy your packed lunch, and chill out. How do you fancy going for a dip in the ball-pool, or playing a game of Dance Dance Revolution on an arcade machine? Deck chairs anyone?

The unconventional office is popular at companies such as Google, with exciting and unusual office headquarters all over the world, deeming it a fun and appealing company to work for. But do they actually boost productivity among workers or are the unusual extras necessary? A study from Kiwi Movers, a London removals and Storage Company, suggests not.

According to a poll of UK employees, a majority of us prefer the simple and conventional office, without fun extras. After noticing a rise of non-essential office furniture being put into storage, the company were prompted to conduct the study out of interest.

Of various work perks, here’s what the poll revealed in terms of perk-usage;

The website goes on to reveal:

“86% of UK employees surveyed said fun office features are of no value to them. 25% find certain features annoying.

“Recreational equipment such as foosball, arcade games and ping pong tables had the worst impact on employee satisfaction, with 25% of those working in places where these were available saying they found them ‘annoying’.

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“61% say they don’t mind having recreational equipment in the office, but they don’t use it. Only 14% say they value having recreational options in the office.”

Despite these figures, there have been some unusual UK offices which have supposedly succeeded in increasing worker’s happiness. From a castle conversion in the Cotswolds, with a Star Wars themed cinema providing free popcorn, and ice-cave-like meeting rooms, to Itisons HQ in Glasgow, boasting inside trees, a yoga studio and a colour-changing domed ceiling; it seems these kind of work-places are getting quirkier and weirder by the day.

Perks in these kinds of places also include free food and drinks in a range of themed cafes, all-expenses paid annual holidays and half-days for your birthday. Makes your free coffee seem slightly mediocre in comparison doesn’t it? But then, looking at study’s results, the most used and appreciated perk was that free coffee…

As reported by Kiwi Movers, some companies create fun and well-thought-out workplaces effectively, whereas some are less effective. Occupational health expert, Sir Gary Cooper CBE, believes some companies confuse the importance of planning to be successful in transforming work-spaces;

“Businesses often confuse perks with culture. Providing recreational spaces and a fun environment are not the same as establishing a positive culture that makes employees happy, improves retention rates and increases output. There’s a growing trend for businesses to promote their superficial perks, such as welcome packs, free breakfast and ‘fun’ office spaces as if it’s a sign of a positive culture, but it really isn’t. Cool furniture is nothing more than a nice-to-have bonus and businesses should be wary of focusing on it at the expense of genuine culture.

“Anyone can order a few hammocks and beanbags from Amazon, but it takes years of hard work, research and commitment to values to establish a meaningful workplace culture.”

The study also collected the weirdest office features, which fell into the ‘invaluable’ category. Some of these include ‘hay bales for sitting on instead of chairs’, ‘beach huts’ and ‘music themed meeting rooms with song lyrics on the wall’. 

I suppose you’ll never know if a dance-mat or giant slide will increase your happiness and productivity at work until you give it a go. Are they effective long term, or will the novelty wear off? Whether you prefer the basics at work to concentrate, or you’re in need of a fun and exciting environment, everyone works differently, with or without those motivational quotes on the wall.

For more information, read Kiwi Mover’s original post on the study.

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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