In the current business climate holding on to employees is harder than ever; and holding on to great employees is even harder than that. The mainstay of attracting and keeping employees is (increased) salary of course, but over time companies have found many other benefits and perks. For the purposes of this article, benefits are things like various insurances, retirement plans, and vacation time, whereas perks are other less visible things like discounts to local retailers, on-site gyms, or vending machines. At least, those are perks that are generally regarded as desired by employees nationwide. Other perks are not nearly as wanted by employees though, but employees may not necessarily communicate as much out of fear of retaliation. Companies may want to re-consider some of these perks to save money if employees do not really want them anyway.

Open offices are a new/modern design style for the workplace. Various business consulting groups have pushed various case-studies or statistics about how they improve productivity and efficiency, but most employees would rather stick with the traditional workplace setup. In practice, removing walls from everyone’s cubicles just takes away everyone’s privacy, creates constant distractions, and reduces productivity. Any project that needs extra collaboration can just as easily be handled in a conference room.

Corporate team building retreats may sound like fun, especially for employees who don’t typically get out of the office, right? Wrong. Most employees who work in jobs with little to no travel typically don’t choose such jobs by chance, so they actually don’t want to spend any time travelling somewhere on business, let alone a questionably productive retreat. Most employees who enjoy travelling or retreats would rather do so with their family or friends, not their coworkers.

Corporate wellness plans to help employees “eat healthier.” It makes sense for companies to want their employees to be more healthy than not, because less than healthy employees either don’t get as much work done, or don’t get any work done if a situation is bad enough (especially if a hospital visit is involved). Poor diet can also lead to poor immune systems, which leads to absenteeism. But when a company tries to step in and be a “life coach” or “nutritionist,” most employees believe it is crossing a line that won’t go unnoticed.

On-site child care may seem like a home run perk that makes lives even easier on employees with small children. While that may be the case sometimes, most of the time only a small percentage of employees take advantage of such programs for various reasons. Then the rest of the employees, those who don’t have kids or those whose kids are all grown up, wonder how much the perk is costing the company and if they’re basically subsidizing other people’s child care. It quickly divides the workplaces in negative ways that can cause bad downstream effects.