Seven Office Extras for an Exciting Return-to-Office Strategy
May 10, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Employees are going back to the office at least a few times a week—some excited, some less than happy.
The problem, though, isn't the return to office itself—Slack found that 72% of employees across six countries prefer a hybrid remote-office model. It’s that employees may be returning to the office just to sit on more Zoom calls—sometimes while sitting right next to meeting attendees.
Show your employees that returning to the office isn't a change of scenery. Instead, use Office Extras to create a welcoming office environment that makes your employees feel supported and appreciated.
With Office Extras, your office can become a place that your employees look forward to.
What are Office Extras?
Most hybrid teams have a system to book work spaces, like meeting rooms, desks, and conference rooms. Office Extras are anything outside of those regularly booked items that add fun or convenience to the workplace, so your team looks forward to coming in.
Experts have suggested giving employees a pet stipend and allowing them to bring in their pandemic pets. Office Extras plays off of that theory, giving employees even more reasons to want to return to the office.
Popular Office Extras include:
Weekly office games
Office Extras should be designed to give your employees something they can only get by going into the office.
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Seven Office Extras Employees Love
We believe extras work best when they align with your company culture. For example, a fitness company might have “🧘 Yoga” as one of its Office Extras for Yoga Wednesdays.
In addition to your custom choices, we suggest starting out with these seven.
🅿️ Parking spots
Letting your employees reserve a space will help them plan out their daily commute.
Your office only has so many parking spots. And outside parking can be expensive, limited, far, or all three. In fact, both The Huffington Post and The Science Times have coined the term “Car Park Anxiety” to explain the stress of looking for a parking spot.
Save your employees 17 hours annually by giving them access to “🅿️ Parking spots” Office Extras. That way, they can commute to the office parking-stress-free or—if there are no more “🅿️ Parking spots”—schedule their in-office time on a different day.
From March 2020 to May 2021, one in five households across the United States adopted a pet. And those pets have helped your employees through some hard years.
Set up a “🐶 Pets” Office Extra, so your employees know which of their furry friends are coming to the office on what day.
Not only does the “🐶 Pets” Office Extra encourage your pet-owner-teammates to come into the office, but it’ll also encourage your other animal-loving teammates to come in, as well.
For example, if Sally is bringing her dog, Sam might want to come in to finally meet the dog she’s seen so many pictures of. Vice versa, if Carla is bringing her cat to the office, Sam will know to stay away because of her cat allergy.
🚲 Bike racks
Similar to parking spots, bike rack spaces can be limited.
The “🚲 Bike racks” Office Extra lets your employees know if they can bring their bikes or if they should skip the exercise because the racks are all reserved. Or just come into the office on another day.
Free food is always a great motivator to get people to come into the office.
Having a “🍜 Lunches” Office Extra lets your employees know which days they should bring their own lunch and which days they can take advantage of your office lunch menu.
Consider adding themed days to keep it fun. For example, Ramen Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, or Fish & Chip Fridays.
So Sam, who loves ramen, can come into the office on Monday for a bowl of ramen but work from home on Fridays because she doesn't really like Fish & Chips.
Similar to “🍜 Lunches,” the “🍔 Snacks” Office Extra tells your employees when you have snacks for them.
One way we like to use the “🍔 Snacks” Office Extra is to let our in-office team members know when we’ll have snacks before important meetings like town halls. The team can tell us that they'll be in the office by booking snacks.
🎲 Weekly office games
Organize fun games during break time to gamify the office experience. And set up a “🎲 Weekly office games” Extra for people who want to participate. Everyone else can be spectators, scorekeepers, or game masters.
You can host Scrabble Tuesdays, Wordle Wednesdays, Jeopardy Fridays, and so on.
🧑🤝🧑 Social events
Lastly, remind your employees that coming into the office is a chance for them to see their friends or get to know their coworkers.
Organize social events at least once a week so your employees can bond. Research by Gallup found that genuine camaraderie among teammates has a positive relationship with employee engagement.
Employees who have formed deep bonds with their teammates are more motivated to make decisions that will help your firm grow.
Host mocktail hours and cookouts, invite a food truck for lunch or a snack, host a gourmet coffee tasting event, or do a family day.