10 of the best staff perks
Andrew Harbison rounds up some of the best and most original staff perks provided by companies today.
1. Unlimited time off
Holidays are a chance to escape the everyday stresses and strains of the nine to five and focus on some ‘me time’. But those precious days off often seem to rush past in the blink of an eye. Not for the people at Netflix. The web streaming company has no fixed holiday policy, which means employees can take as much or as little time off as they like. As long as the employee's workload doesn't suffer, it could be sun, sea and sand for a lot longer than us mere mortals usually get.
2. Student loan support
Student debt can be a necessary evil of obtaining a degree. Even if you get your dream job after university, your loan repayments can be an unwelcome distraction. PwC US helps its employees get their student loans paid off by offering $1,200 a year towards the repayments.
3. Free haircuts
Facebook offers a number of staff perks, from vending machines full of free tech accessories, to free frozen yoghurt. The most original perk however has to be the on-site barber shop. Employees can make an appointment to get a quick trim via a digital reservation system.
4. Surf's up
Getting out of the office on your lunch break to refresh your mind can help the work day run smoothly. Some people even head out for a quick run or cycle. Employees at clothing website Patagonia can go one step further. Workers at the company’s Ventura office have the option to take some time out during the work day to slip into their wet suit, grab their surf board and ride some tubular waves. You might even spot some wildlife.
5. Family bereavement compensation
If you have read our most beautiful and unusual offices article, then you already know that merely working in a Google office can be a benefit in itself. But they also provide more tangible rewards.
Google aims to support the families of its employees long after they have shuffled off their mortal coil. As well as receiving the sum of their life insurance, the spouse of the deceased employee will receive half of their salary for ten years. If the employee had any children, there will be an added $1,000 per month per child.
6. Holiday allowance
Extra holidays are always a popular staff perk, but Airbnb takes the concept even further. The holiday rental website gives its employees $2,000 a year to spend on any Airbnb listing in the world.
7. Free food
An army marches on its stomach. The people at Twitter seem to have adopted this phrase as a philosophy, as they make sure the bellies of their army of employee’s are always full. From their substantial canteen they offer their workers three square meals a day free of charge.
8. Fun in the sun
Although we Brits may not be able to take advantage of the sunshine as much as we like, due to the fact that we very rarely see it, our cousins across the pond certainly make the most of it. At the app company Asana they like to celebrate summer time in style. Lawn games anyone?
9. Become a master chef
Most employers offer additional training to their employees as part of their benefits package. These courses are often based on skills that can be used in the workplace, but what about skills that can be used at a dinner party? Tech company Evernote offers classes through its Evernote Academy, ranging from sausage making to cheese 101.
10. Best. Cuddle. Ever
Some people love a cuddle, for others a handshake is quite enough. But it would be hard to turn down a Huddle Cuddle. Cloud content management company Huddle welcomes new employees with a £5,000 Huddle Cuddle. How friendly is that?
Does your company offer any amazing staff perks? Let us know in the comments below.