‘Thank you’. We say it a lot in life, but not always often enough to our employees, who have slogged their way through the recession - many without so much as a hint of a payrise.
The good news is that saying thanks doesn’t have to cost much or put you out, particularly given the rising number of companies targeting the needs of, and delivering services directly to, your hard working desk-bound professionals.
Whether you show it with a bottle of ale, scones, fine Port and cheese or an in-office massage, don’t be mean: say thanks to your staff by ordering a little luxury to the office.
1. Desk Beers
All right, so not one for when you need your staff at their most alert, but fun nevertheless. Desk Beer offers a subscription service, delivering a 12 pack of speciality microbrew beers ranging from the dark and hoppy 8 Ball IPA, to the strangely named wheat beer Wu Gang Chops the Tree. Desk Beer has so far showcased beers from London breweries based in Hackney, Bermondsey, Lea Valley and Brixton. Steve Marshall, the company’s founder, says they help people to ‘relax, socialise, reflect and wind down’. As we all know, a happy worker is a productive worker. Not sure what a drunk worker is, mind…
2. Pact Coffee
If your employees look a little down-trodden (or they’ve just had too many Desk Beers the night before), time to pep them up: Pact delivers fresh roasted coffee beans (whole or ground to order). Blends include Nyoni Peaberry, Colombia La Joyeria #338, Espresso Blend, Capim Blanco, and Brazil Caxambu. Stephen Rapoport, its founder, says coffee is a treat that ‘most businesses can afford. Pact coffee is shipped within seven days of roasting and our blends are all roasted in a different way – we always have a conversation by phone to help match the right coffee to the right group of people’.
3. London Serenity
Make no mistake: massage isn’t just for the ladies. Anyone who spends their days hunched over a PC will appreciate one of London Serenity’s chair or head massages as well as in-office hair, makeup and manicures. Their regular clients include Net-A-Porter, Ladbrokes, SJ Berwins, MacKinzie & Co and Hilton and Mariotte hotels. Sabine Dedeyan, the company’s manager, says paying for staff to be pampered is not just good value but it helps raise the morale and health of staff – our clients take fewer sick days’. But then she would say that…
4. Sherree Francis
The majority of us end up eating the same dry ham and cheese sandwich day in, day out – so make your staff’s day with some posh nosh. Particularly popular are the ‘Champagne and Truffles Gift Set’, the ‘Port, Stilton and Cupboard Love Chutney Gift Box’, and the ‘Glenfiddich Whisky, Brandy and Gourmet Chocolate Gift Box’. They all sound good to us. Matt Weissman, the company’s owner, says his favourite is the champagne. ‘You can’t beat Dom Pérignon’. Er, quite…
5. Beach House Bakery
Area: Bristol and Bath
As Daniel Dafoe might have said, nothing is certain in life except death, taxes and the fact that everyone likes cake. Beach House Bakery delivers 21 cupcake varieties including everything from Black Forest to Chocolate Orange to Peanut Butter and Jelly, and five brownie flavours – think Raspberry & White Chocolate, Pecan Mocha, and Chilli Chocolate – all in a ribbon-wrapped gift box.
Another one for those pamper-starved staff, this one works better for those on a budget: either employers pay for manicures, pedicures and foot massages, or employees can book in office treatments themselves to benefit from discounted rates, or employers can foot the bill. Either way, Lucy Bannister, the company’s director, says they use the ‘fastest-drying polish on the market’, which ‘allows people to get back to work right away’.
7. Plymouth Tea
Area: Currently Plymouth, but soon opening up to the South West
There’s nowt better than a good brew, as they say up north: and in these enlightened times, PG Tips rarely cuts it. Plymouth Tea has three signature blends, Earl Grey, Green Tea and loose leaves, and it also delivers scones from Devon Scone Co, Langage Farm clotted cream and jam, and Devon Cottage organic fudge. ‘Tea is also having a resurgence at the moment and giving a hamper as a thank you to staff is much more personal than a bog standard bottle of wine,’ says Tim Cross, the company’s director. ‘It also supports local businesses and the local economy.’
8. Thyme Out Deli
Area: Manchester and surrounding area
Workers going vending machine happy at 3pm? Make their snack break classy with Thyme Out’s range of cheeses, wine, olives, and charcuterie, handmade cakes, pies and chocolates, and tailor-made hampers. You can even request personalised messages to be written on the bottle of organic olive oil. ‘Our plates of sweet treats are great for winding down on Friday afternoon,’ says Ben Hayes, Thyme Out’s managing director. ‘We have something for everyone, whatever your favourite foods are.’ Even Floramite?