Of course these benefits also contribute to employees’ feelgood factor, and helps motivate them.
A recent survey by Glassdoor showed 80% of employees want extra benefits or perks more than a salary increase, and top of the wish list is health insurance cover. Glassdoor has also listed the 20 best perks by companies from Google to Airbnb. To give you a flavor here are the main ones listed under three main categories:
Time off:
  • Salesforce: six days of paid volunteer time off a year. Use all six and they’ll give a $1,000 grant to  a charity of your choice
  • Epic Systems: a four-week sabbatical to pursue your creative side after five years service
  • REI: two paid days off a year for employees to enjoy their favorite outside activity
Maternity/paternity benefits
  • Netflix: one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents
  • Spotify: six months of paid parental leave, and one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. It also pays for egg freezing and fertility assistance
  • Pinterest: four months paid leave, plus a month of part-time hours, and two counselling sessions to help plan re-entry to work
  • Facebook:  $4,000 in ‘baby cash’ to employees with newborns.
Travel/Leisure
  • Airbnb: $2,000 allowance to travel and stay in Airbnb listing anywhere in the world
  • Burton: offers season ski passes and ‘snow days’ off when there’s a big snowfall
  • Disney: Free admission to parks for employees, their friends and family. Discounts on hotels and merchandise
Google has one standout benefit, but you won’t be around to enjoy it – they provide half salary for 10 years to the partner of deceased employees. They also offer $1,000 for each dependent child up to age 19, or 23 if in college.
12 practical and unusual perks
Not bad, I hear you say. Well, here are 12 other freebies to whet your appetite, and perhaps make you consider applying for a new job.
  1. At Red Frog Event Company anyone working for five years is given a four-week paid trip to Africa, Asia, Europe or South America for themselves and a friend.
  1. InDemand Interpreting offers a ‘Box Lunch’ to employees who achieve an extraordinary performance. It means they get the keys to the CEO’s Porsche Boxster, and can drive themselves to a company paid lunch.
  1. 2HB provides a $50 grooming allowance each month 
  1.  Timberland and Bank of America offer $3,000 towards a hybrid, natural gas or electric car.
  1. SC Johnson & Son and a few others offer a free concierge service, so you don’t have to take your dirty clothes to the laundry or waste time shopping.
  1.  Scripps Health is one of several companies to offer free pet insurance.
  1. Starbucks offers free college tuition reimbursement, although there are some conditions.
  1. California-based Patagonia invites employees to take midday surf breaks, and being an outdoor clothing and equipment firm, has its own volleyball courts, and on-site yoga.
  1. Cisco has on-site health centres where you can see a doctor, optician or physical therapist free.
  1. Campbell Soup’s HQ in New Jersey has an onsite family center, complete with kindergarten and day care center.
  1. Huddle offers a $6,500 ‘Huddle Cuddle’ bonus for new employees, and $650 yearly afterwards.
  1. Health insurer Aetna has a rather unusual perk: they pay you to sleep. Yep, take a minimum seven hours nightly for 20 consecutive nights while wearing a fitness tracker, and they’ll give you $20 nightly thereafter, up to a maximum of $500 annually.
Meanwhile….
Here at Teamwork.com we have a multititude of perks, from subsidised gym membership, to conference allowances for all employees, profit sharing, free snacks and drinks, six weeks vacation after a year’s service and a games room.
I did a quick survey of staff across all departments here and the overall best perk was not any of the above, but our flexible working hours, proving yet again that money isn’t everything. Just for the record, it’s my favorite too.
Takeaway
A good salary is great, but everyone wants a little something extra. The more you offer the better, but financial bonuses aren’t everything. Most people want either more time for themselves and their families, or practical things like free weekends or vacations.