Visit any hot-in-town startup, and you'll see how hard the company strives to be the coolest, most fun, fairest of them all. Beautifully designed office spaces. Kitchenettes stocked with food and drinks. Nap pods, yoga, and on-site massage therapists.
For startups and tech companies competing for top talent, these perks come with a hefty price tag. The perks Dropbox offers its staff cost the company at least $25,000 per employee, Business Insider reported. That's why Dropbox recently announced it was cutting perks such as shuttle service and gym laundry service.
Perks are certainly a worthwhile investment if they boost employee happiness and productivity. But not everyone has $25,000 per employee to burn. Lots of perks are fun, but which ones do people truly want and get the most use from?
Adobe took it upon themselves to answer that exact question. They analyzed today's workplace trends by surveying 2,011 global workers in the U.S., U.K., and India. The employees surveyed spanned many industries, but all used computers for work. Adobe shared the results in a report, titled Work in Progress.
They discovered one perk wins over office design, food, or on-site amenities: Technology. Of the U.S. survey participants, 81 percent said "state-of-the-art technology for my work station" was their top perk.
It's not that people simply wanted to benefit from the newest equipment. Adobe's report found that technology offers a multiple of benefits for employees. When people feel their company is ahead of the curve with technology, they feel more positive about their work. Office workers also said they found better technology makes their day-to-day work go smoother, improves work-life balance and offers them freedom to work when and where they want to.
It's worth noting that Adobe took a temperature check only on perks meant to help create the ideal workspace. Technology won by a landslide when compared to access to food and beverage, lounge and relaxation rooms, personalized workstations, beautiful office design, and on-site amenities. The survey didn't ask people to rank the importance of parental leave, vacation time, working remotely, health insurance, or retirement benefits. Compensation and company culture also were not mentioned.
Should this report be taken with a grain of salt? Maybe. Adobe makes software products, so it's in their best interest to encourage companies to supply employees with best-in-class tech equipment.
Still, meaningful insights can be gleaned from the Work in Progress report. Adobe VP of global talent Jeff Vijungco reiterates that employees have come to expect more than a paycheck and a few perks. "They're demanding us to create better overall experiences that take into account their work and home lives," he wrote in a blog post about the report. "People are willing to give 110 percent if you give them a role they love, a mission they can believe in and technology that can help them get it done easily."