Two Wish List Items on Nearly Everyone’s Wish Lists at Work

Retaining talent in today’s market is a priority for all organizations. While many believe that free snacks, cocktail hours, and onsite daycare are the best way to retain great talent, they are not necessarily the essential items on your team member’s wish lists.

Keep reading to learn the two most essential items that the majority of employees are looking for at work.



Have you ever asked your staff what they really want at work? Most leaders have never asked for fear that it will open a Pandora’s box of requests. The truth is that the nature of work in the new millennia is vastly different from 60 years ago. In reality, it is even vastly different than five years ago. While technology has progressed, the structure of the typical workplace has remained firmly rooted in antiquated norms. Efforts to modernize the workplace has set productivity back 50 years.

Wish List Item #1 – Fewer Distractions

What people really want at work is less noise, fewer distractions, and dedicated space for collaboration.

Open offices with private offices around the perimeter were the norm until the late 1950s. In the 1960s, the office began installing cubicles. The creation of walled-off spaces within a larger, more open space gave people some privacy and reduced the ambient noise within the area. The integration of computers reduced noise even more.

In the late 1990s, open office started to come back into fashion. By the 2000s, organizations were converting their office spaces into collaborative spaces. Cubicle walls went down, and large co-working spaces appeared. There was a blind faith that this type of configuration would increase collaboration. In reality, this change resulted in increased ambient noise and distractions.

While it may be impossible to reconfigure your open office overnight, there are ways to retain top talent that is frustrated by all the noise. The best quick fix is to create a culture where people can dictate when they can be disturbed. Create visual indicators such as headphones or a simple flag raised on a person’s computer to indicate that they are open to conversations. This quick-fix will allow your teams to be more productive in a potentially distracting environment.

Wish List Item #2 – Abolish the 40-Hour Work Week

The 40-hour workweek is outdated and not necessary for the majority of professions. Numerous studies have proven that reduced workweeks increase not only productivity but employee satisfaction. In August 2019, Microsoft Japan showed a 40% increase in productivity with a four day work week.

Reducing the workweek to four days means that all necessary meetings are laser-focused, and time spent on administrative tasks such as email is significantly reduced by using a messaging app such as Slack or WhatsApp. It may also require strategic scheduling for coverage in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare, or roles such as customer service. Countless studies have shown that in the majority of industries, a reduced workweek can increase productivity and retention.

Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.