Perking Up Without The Perks

Over the last couple of years, most companies have been actively cutting perks. From things as seemingly simple as getting rid of free tea and coffee to really big stuff like pay rises and bonuses.

In some cases these actions have been absolutely necessary (nor taken lightly) in order to both stay alive and preserve jobs. In other very profitable companies, there is a distinct feel of penny pinching in the air as management jumps on the bandwagon and cancels the Xmas party on the excuse that a competitor has done so, whilst still ordering in the Moet for the Executive functions.

Some companies have done this well, considering carefully what can be cut whilst still preserving a level of employee engagement and productivity, whilst others have just taken a chainsaw approach. After all, when the economic climate improves, most savvy employers know that engaged employees will continue to deliver, whilst those that have become dis-engaged will head for the hills at the first sign of improved employment figures.

Yet are perks really that important to each of us in the same way? The answer has to be “no”. Whilst we make a big deal about it, in most cases do understand that perks are “nice to haves” and aren’t really what makes us get up in the morning.  Most of us also understand that (in most cases) when the perks disappear, we really need to build a bridge and get over it.

This ties very closely into my previous post on motivation. As an example, I can live without a Xmas party, and really am not too fussed by the loss of the biscuit barrel. The deal breaker for me would be something like a loss of flexibility or sustained boredom on a daily basis. But then, I am a Pisces with a Sag Midheaven and I absolutely need these things in my work.

Think about what is absolutely not negotiable for you- it could be a really cool sounding title, it could be respect, it could be the knowledge that no one can do the job as well as what you do. When you think about it, each of these things on your list will say something about both your sun sign and the sign on your Midheaven. For example, with Gemini or Libra involved, the cancellation of the Xmas Party could well be a deal-breaker for you, whereas a refusal to upgrade to the latest level of supported software could be the death knell for a tech savvy Aquarius Midheaven.

So, what to do if the perks are gone? How do we perk up when the company no longer wishes to do it for us? We can either cut and run (if we are fortunate enough to be in the position to do that), stay and be miserable (and make everyone miserable around us) or find other ways to motivate ourselves.

If you have a heavy Gemini or Virgo chart signature, why not see what else you can learn? With a Capricorn Midheaven, check out whether the company offers internal courses on things like leadership that you can maybe take? Those with Taurus or Cancer charts may find themselves organising a morning tea or lunch club where people bring in things from home to share. Seeking out alternative ways of working flexibly might do it for you, while a little healthy competition around the football results may do it for others.

As with most things, focusing on a positive solution is so much more fun than dwelling on the problem… and if the solution means the possibility of reward or an improved CV for when things improve, so much the better. And, if you are lucky enough to have me in your morning tea club, the promise of my amazing super-choc brownies whenever it is my turn (I rarely think of anything else) will make the effort to get into the office so worth it…who needs a crummy old biscuit barrel anyway?

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