Office culture as important as salary? Many say yes

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    If you think your dismal office culture isn’t costing you talented workers, think again. Ninety-five percent of respondents to a recent survey said they consider a positive office culture to be important, and 75 percent said it’s “very important” to them. More than 60 percent said office culture plays an important role in their decision to take a job, and 30 percent said the culture is as important a consideration as salary when considering a job offer.

    uSamp, an online and mobile market research technology company, gathered the data from 1,000 business professionals in more than 40 industries who are part of its exclusive B2B Whiteboard panel.

    Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the definition of office culture is “an environment that promotes collaboration.” Few were unfamiliar with the term and a majority agreed that their own office culture promoted a good work/life balance. And a good culture is more important than foosball tables, Nerf guns, and bean bag chairs: only 28 percent of respondents said a “trendy office culture” is important to them.

    In a recent series of Yahoo! Small Business articles about office culture, workplace anthropologist Kevin Kuske offered advice for how to promote a positive office culture, including among employees who don’t come into the office.

    Professionals surveyed by uSamp have ideas about that too: 77 percent agreed that “work sponsored activities enhance the office culture.” Holiday and birthday celebrations, staff outings, and skill-building workshops top the list of the most preferred activities. Only 14 percent agreed that “employees who work remotely detract from the overall office culture.”

    That’s good, since so many of them do work remotely: 75 percent of respondents said they work remotely at least sometimes, if not all the time; 67 percent said they are more productive when they work remotely instead of in the office; and 69 percent find working remotely to be liberating.

    Large companies are the most likely to permit remote working—69 percent of businesses with more than 500 employees allow working from home, according to respondents. More than half of mid-size employers allow remote working, and 45 percent of small employers (1-50 employees) do.

    For advice on promoting a good small business office culture, see our series of interviews with turnstone General Manager and Chief Anthropologist Kevin Kuske.

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