What do you look for when job seeking? How much importance is given to the company’s values? Or is it the perks and comforts that the company offers that makes the job attractive to you?

It’s not a radical statement. Whether employed full or part time, people work between 20 to 40 hours a week, meaning that employees spend the majority of their time at work. Indeed, the only activity done for this length of time is sleeping! Many companies have invested in creating a utopian office environment to attract talent, and today it seems that many jobseekers prioritise perks over values at work.

Values at Work - WTThe ‘Perk’ culture

‘Perk’ culture manifests itself in the number of ‘fringe benefits’ offered to employees. It is often rampant in companies with big budgets that can afford to invest in employee loyalty through motivation, such as dedicated games rooms, free gym memberships and kitted out kitchens with chefs.

Of course there is nothing wrong with the ‘perk’ culture. Actually, companies that can afford to should, and will continue to offer bigger incentives for job seekers. However, if many candidates are applying for a job based solely on the perks, with no regard to the company values or culture, then this is not entirely the correct approach. In the long run this is neither beneficial to the company nor the employee. It certainly is not an effective tactic to building a sustainable career.

Perks do not equal job satisfaction

Perks are around the edges reality of working for a particular company, and unlike company values or company culture they do not, ultimately, provide job satisfaction. Beer Fridays and in-house baristas are nice to have, sure! Remote working possibilities and monetary compensation for using your own car are excellent. The problem arises when assuming that the perks, the company’s ethic and the task you are employed to do are not in line. In fact, focusing on perks makes for a pretty shaky foundation when trying to build a career or personal happiness. For how long can a snooker table keep you happy when open communication in the office is not encouraged? Or when diversity is not supported?

Company values are more than Beer Fridays

It is not ping-pong tables or weekend retreats in exotic locations that reflect company values. Company values are what happens when you run into a crisis and how the firm’s top brass reacts. They are how the company treats not only its clients, but also its suppliers and employees. Company values are about whether an employer offers continuous professional development and compensates employees fairly; about whether there is the opportunity for open discussions in the office. Ultimately it is all these factors that contribute to a comfortable working environment.

Career satisfaction

If you’re sure that your ultimate career goal is a mediocre job that gives you access to perpetual caffeine boosts, then you must definitely look out for companies that offer the most perks and have the loudest voice about the freebies you will get. However, if your aim is to build a career, find a job that you like and workplace that you look forward to going to, look beyond the perks. Dig a little deeper. Look at how the employer treats employees, how the employees treat each other. Notice how they treat YOU when you apply. Everything else is just an added benefit.