Work

Smart bosses steer clear of the office slide

By Kitty Knowles 19 June 2017
Summary

Go-karts, slides and games are not what employees want most.

Bosses, put your blueprints for slides, table tennis tables, and pinball machines away.

It’s not what the people want.

We might like to play games in our free time, but today just 12% of employees believe recreational activities should be prioritised in the office.

Work and play

Such frivolities are something the tech world knows well: Google famously has everything from firefighter’s poles to bowling alleys in its California office.

But ‘play zones’ are no longer a Silicon Valley quirk.

In London, Google’s Kings Cross base will have a vast indoor basketball court and a rooftop running track. In the West Country, Money.co.uk’s staff have their own Star Wars-themed cinema.

Some of Britain’s coolest offices are home to saunas, wine bars and the like.

Ticketmaster’s HQ in the capital even houses a slide.

Rejecting games

And yet, for all the fuss made over fancy offices, it’s not what employees most desire.

‘That’s according to an anonymous survey of more than 7,300 employees working for companies with more than 100 members of staff conducted by property company JLL. This covered respondents from 12 countries including Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

Two-thirds of workers said their overall happiness was a higher priority, with more than half saying that receiving recognition, having supported personal development or creativity, were most important to them at work.

Just one in eight said their workplace should facilitate games.

Games won’t save you

Now it’s not that we don’t like fun activities, but they shouldn’t be prioritised over other more important things.

If you’re overworked and underpaid, seeing your boss buy the office a shiny new ball pit isn’t going to make you feel valued.

What does help is a decent salary, support from colleagues, and genuine career progression.

Mind Candy, creators of Moshi Monsters, had a slide – but that didn’t stop the games company from near bankruptcy this year.

Smart bosses support their employees to climb to the top – we don’t need a slide on the other side.