Happy employees work in offices with these 8 amenities (hint: ping pong comes in last)

People spend a third of their lives at work, but these office features make the experience much better, according to an Envoy report.

Top 5 things to keep employees happy Keeping employees happy involves more than just offering games and free refreshments. Tom Merritt suggests five ways companies can increase employee happiness and productivity.

Most people end up spending a third of their entire life at work—which means roughly 90,000 hours at a desk, in a conference room, or around the office, according to a Tuesday report from Envoy. Many modern offices seek to keep employees happy by offering certain perks, but some are more effective in boosting worker morale than others, the report found.

Office workers' surroundings play a major role in overall workplace happiness, according to the report: Nearly 70% of employees who work in an office with a modern aesthetic and new technology reported being happy with their job and organization, compared to only 50% who work in less modern environments with outdated technology. 

SEE: Special report: How to optimize the smart office (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

While many companies, particularly in the tech field, seem to believe that perks like ping pong tables are key for employee engagement, the happiest workers are those who have their most basic needs met in the office. 

Here are the top eight amenities that happy employees were most likely to have in their office, according to a survey of 1,000 office workers:

  1. Free beverage stations around the office (51%)
  2. Company cafeteria with food available for purchase (33%)
  3. Ability to control conference room temperatures (32%)
  4. Modern technology, such as iPad sign in for visitors or badgeless entry (28%)
  5. On-site services, such as dry cleaning pickup (26%)
  6. Monthly events, such as yoga classes or happy hours (21%)
  7. On-site gym (16%)
  8. Gaming areas, such as ping pong tables, etc. (15%)

This research echoes a 2018 report from Hacker Rank, which found that student developers about to enter the workforce were more interested in finding a work environment that offers professional growth and learning (58%), work/life balance (52%), and having interesting problems to solve (46%) instead of one with perks (11%). 

For more, check out 3 things employees need to be happy at work on TechRepublic. 

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Young colleagues cheering drinks in the office

Image: iStockphoto/hobo_018