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15 Apr 2019

The thing that makes people happiest at work might surprise you

Words by  Photo by Georgie Cobbs

A new survey reveals what people feel decreases their stress levels at the office

With studies showing that happier employees are more productive employees, it’s not surprising that many companies are looking for ways to help alleviate workplace stresses during office hours.

Those tapping into the biophilia trend might want to take heed from a new survey that shows the perk most office workers wish they had is healthy snacks and drinks.

According to the report from Liberty Games, released to coincide with Stress Awareness Month, office workers said healthy food and drinks were the top factors that would decrease their stress levels and increase happiness at work.

healthy snacks office ONOFFICEPeople don't just want any snacks - the preference is for healthy food and drink

The top three factors UK-wide are surprisingly simple, with 'the perfect climate' coming a close second with 30% of the vote, and cleanliness the third most popular option for making the work day better.

Office climate is frequently a source of contention in offices, with studies showing that men prefer a cooler office to women, often resulting in air-con arguments. Within the survey results too there were notable differences between men and women, with men citing office games as their top choice and women following the UK trend for healthy snacks and drinks.

Companies might also want to take note of the options that didn't even make the top 10 - bean bags, showers and alcohol were some of the least popular ways of reducing stress in the workplace.

On the whole, larger changes to the workplace ranked lower down the list, though some still made the top 10: Relaxation or sleep zones ranked at number four UK-wide, with 21% of people choosing that as their preferred option, and 20% of people opted for an office dog to boost morale.

office dog ONOFFICEThe office dog might not be top, but 20% of people feel it would benefit them

The offices of Norwich might want to consider that office pet more carefully - respondents in the East Anglian city were notably more dog-friendly than the rest of the UK, with 39% citing it as their preferred option, making it the top choice in the area.

Elsewhere, plants fared particularly badly, with only 17% of people nationwide saying it would make them happier and less stressed. There was only one option in the top 10 that people preferred less than greenery – access to a gym.

Read more: Wellbeing at work is vital to good office design

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