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I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask, sorry in advance!

I'm having a discussions with a more fiscally conservative colleague about how taking away some perks will affect morale and productivity. He argues that the reduction in morale will be temporary and people will get used to their lack of coffee.

I am wondering if there are any studies that show the longer term effects of taking away of things like free coffee or beer Fridays.

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    I'm confused why free coffee or beer Fridays would be described as a 'hygiene factor'. Did you mean some other word? – thursdaysgeek Oct 17 '18 at 20:07
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    @thursdaysgeek ‘Hygiene factor’ comes from en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-factor_theory – Joe Stevens Oct 17 '18 at 20:54
  • People will get used to it, but they still may be slightly unhappy about it for a long, long time. – David Thornley Oct 17 '18 at 21:47
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It depends a great deal on what industry you're in.

But as a rule of thumb: Your employees are your business. Your customers don't see you. They don't see your executives. Most don't remember their sales rep. They see your front-line staff. That's who your company is to your customers.

Do you want a staff that believes in your company, and sees everything they can do for your company's benefit as something that will ultimately benefit them? Or do you want adversaries with your logo on their business card talking to the people who send you money?

Coffee is cheaper than commissions, any day.

"Beer Fridays" may be a little too much, though, as the legal aspects of allowing alcohol to be consumed on site, let alone being provided, could be terrifying in many western countries.

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    Yes, providing free coffee is dirt cheap compared to any payment system the employees can come up with, where the money comes out of their own pockets (and is therefore taxed money, which they want to collect by getting higher wages); and this also means that someone is running around on company time to collect the money from everyone. This alone is more expensive than ordering coffee in bulk. (And no, I am not a coffee drinker.) Tell that nitpicker that employees are willing to pay for the convenience of free coffee in the office, and they are already paying by lowering their expected salary. – Alexander Oct 17 '18 at 19:19

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