Perks with Purpose

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The way companies position themselves to hire talent has shifted dramatically in the last decade. Gone are the days of listing only a job description and 401k package in order to market to prospective new hires. The majority of us spend more time at the office with our coworkers than at home with our families, so businesses have more motivation than ever to keep their teams happy. Just as job candidates have to sell themselves to potential employers, employers have to sell themselves to candidates and continue doing so once they’ve made the hire.

Today, businesses are focused on marketing their culture and workspace as two of their most attractive assets. One way they accomplish this is through the provision of company-wide perks packaged as anything from family planning benefits to onsite massages. What else is going to keep top performers from taking their talents to South Beach or somewhere like Groupon, who boasts a paid new parent leave program and a “Sense of Joy” as benefits of employment?

Perks are integral to a happy, productive workplace.

But what separates gimmicky and ineffective from actually worth a damn? Though experts disagree here and there, they do agree that there is indeed something to be said for investing sustainably in employee happiness.

Perks are a powerful way to not only demonstrate appreciation for hard-working employees, but also to make a meaningful impact on work quality.

LinkedIn, to name one, is setting a fantastic example of what it means to have “Perks with a Purpose,” with offerings like onsite dentists and dry cleaning to spare employees the stress and effort associated with scheduling and attending each during the workweek. As the power of perks becomes increasingly clear, companies will continue to enhance the employee experience both in and out of the office to retain talent and optimize output.

After all, science tells us that it’s in the best interest of an employer to make the workplace comfortable in order to increase productivity.

Productivity increases with comfort, so what effect does apparel have on a worker’s output?

Let’s use ZipFit Denim as a case study. True to our motto, “fit first,” our team shows up each day in jeans tailored specifically to each individual– it’s the foremost perk we offer. It’s core to our business that we fit each unique body type with denim that transforms daily outfit decisions from a pain in the ass to a confident, well-fitted ass. Clothing that fits makes people feel good, the benefits of which translate tangibly to the workplace.

It’s a heck of a lot easier to focus on the task at hand if you aren’t preoccupied with any of the potential mishaps that might occur while wearing a pencil skirt hand-picked from your mother’s underappreciated treasure trove of early 2000s-era J. Crew workwear. It was a simpler time for textiles. There was a lot less Lycra back then. Enter clothing that fits, and gone are the days of endless fixation on chafing thighs (help is out there) and creeping hemlines at the expense of your work quality.

Clothing that fits means a happier and more comfortable day in the office spent focusing not on the harsh reality that my thighs are going to just stick to each other from now on, but instead focusing on disrupting the way we define “fit” with the rest of the team.

So how do perks fit into this equation?

Firms are always looking for new and innovative ways to take care of their workers to keep high-quality talent both happy and productive. Nothing screams “we actually care about employee well-being” like emergency child care, paid philanthropic sabbaticals, and financial knowledge classes. These are, perhaps, longer-term incentives that offer employees a critical sense of security as they pledge their valuable time and skills to a company.

Fun, feel-good activities also keep employees jazzed about coming to work each day, excited by the prospect of catered lunches, holiday celebrations, and more. Companies like Chicago-based Buoy help firms pamper their teams with wellness and productivity services (and much more!) to celebrate major achievements, revitalize after a big product push, or even just to remind employees that upper management cares.

Similarly, ZipFit empowers our clients to find their fit, sizing and tailoring denim for teams and people of any and every size as a fun yet productive perk. The results speak for themselves– ZipFit fans feel good in their jeans. And feeling good is so much more than a fluffy luxury.

It’s something businesses must prioritize in order to make the most of their workforce.

Hopefully, showing up to work each day is already something to look forward to. And perks are a great way to keep that enthusiasm alive throughout the year– especially during Chicago’s notorious winters. So next time you’re thinking of ways to perk up the workplace, remember the benefits of fit that feels good for your whole team and give us a call!

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