Salary, office location, medical benefits, workload, office hours – the list of things that employees want to compare with one another is endless.
Interestingly, the state of office pantries is also increasingly becoming a topic of discussion among employees – especially on online forums in Hong Kong.
“Look at all the biscuits, English tea and coffee at the pantry of your office. All I have here is tea and a few packets of biscuits which I don’t find enjoyable. My friend told me the pantry is a key indicator on how a company treats its staff, ” complained one staffer on a Hong Kong based discussion forum.
“We only have a couple of water dispensers in the pantry. After discussion with the management, a fridge and a microwave oven were installed. I think having a well-equipped pantry enhances staff’s sense of belonging,” says another office worker.
Someone else chimed in, “The most important thing for me is salary. If you want soft drinks and snacks buy them on your own.”
Gloria Leung Mei-yee, chief executive of the ExcelNet Human Resources Consultancy, says the facilities available in pantry depend on the nature and size of the business so there is no point in making comparisons.
“Every company has its own culture. Multinational corporations tend to pay more attention to facilities in their pantries,” she explained.
“Some businesses like customer service, financial planning and the beauty industry invite clients to their office, so their pantries tend to be more well-equipped with facilities like coffee machines,” she added.
Although employees love to share and compare pantry facilities on the internet, Leung believes most job seekers are more concerned about holidays, working hours and medical insurance rather than facilities in the office.
Echoing this, Leo Ma, chief operations officer of Human Resources Consultant Eevoices, said the IT industry – which has an ultra-competitive market for talent – provides benefits like free breakfast, an unlimited supply of soft drinks and snacks, and facilities like basketball court and gym to attract talent.