Sweetening the benefits package

Something for the weekend…

Reducing stress at work is an important issue for most employers because it can help improve productivity.

One employer has decided to sweeten its benefits package by offering employees an opportunity to take a break during the day to enjoy a treat.

The Big Word, a language services provider, carried out internal research into the happiness of its staff. The research found that those who smoked took an average of three breaks each day of around seven to eight minutes. The social aspect of the break put the smokers into a more positive frame of mind when returning to their work.

The organisation wanted to provide its non-smoking employees with a similar chance to socialise. In mid-November, it set up its ‘Sweet Moments’ sweet and fruit counters for staff to meet around.

The sweets and fruit are offered to staff free of charge. The organisation has asked employees to make an optional donation to Martin House Hospice.

Larry Gould, chief executive officer at The Big Word, said: “We want all our wonderful employees to feel comfortable to take a break from their desks, have a chat with their co-workers and enjoy a sugar fix or some healthy fruit.

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“The happiest workers are the best workers, so The Big Word will benefit from a refreshed, happy workforce that can return to its desks in the best possible frame of mind for delivering excellent work.

“There might also be the added advantage, we hope, that staff who do smoke might pack it in and join their colleagues at the sweet and fruit counters.”