Perks at work—a topic employees and potential candidates discuss when considering the total value of working for a company. People talk about job perks with their friends, mention it on social media, and might even consider a new job solely because the perks are so awesome. Perks help improve workplace culture and can be useful for building stronger partnerships with other brands.
So what exactly IS a work perk? A work perk might be Free Pizza Friday, business partnerships that offer discounts on products or services for employees or even prizes such as gift cards, electronics and vacation getaways. Leadership often looks for new ways to enhance culture and adding perks for employees can boost morale within a team or a company. Now, pizza Friday or prize giveaways may not be new to you or your organization, but perhaps your organization lacks the kind of perks at work that create positive buzz and improved culture. Let us help inspire you with these:
8 Unusual But Awesome Perks at Companies
|iCracked - Take a Yacht Ride||This unusual but awesome company perk is sure to get you chatting. iCracked was founded by college students who couldn’t afford to fix their broken devices. The company fixes broken smart phone and smart device screens at a lower price point. Located in San Francisco, CA, the building is near a body of water with a dock that includes a company yacht. Employees are encouraged to take it out to relax and enjoy the Redwood Shores of the Bay Area. You read it right, a casual company yacht for employees. Awesome, right? iCracked also provides catered meals for employees, meaning no more sack lunches! You may not have a company yacht, let alone an office near a body of water, but this is sure to get your perk inspiration juices flowing.|
|Boost Media - Camping, Beer Pong Holiday Parties & Championship Belts||Boost Media optimizes digital marketing platforms for leading brands around the world. Their services include the creation, testing, and optimization of digital advertising across search engines, social, and display media platforms. Boost Media supplies their clients with unique insights about which advertisements work with specific audiences. If your idea of a perk includes festivals and employee retreats, Boost Media is a good example. The company schedules camping trips which involve things like beach clean-ups—go along with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility goals for a cleaner Earth. That’s not all. The company is known for their holiday parties featuring a beer pong tournament where the winners are awarded a real championship belt. Sure beats your average company outing.|
|Lyft - Free Lyfts||When you work at a ride sharing company like Lyft, you assume that free rides come with the perks, and that's exactly what Lyft offers their employees. Every month, employees are given discounts on Lyft rides and their pre-tax commuter cover up to $130 per month towards commuting costs. To top it off, full-time salaried employees enjoy unlimited paid vacation days.|
|Sourcegraph - Silicon Valley Meet-Ups||Sourcegraph, based in San Francisco, offers a search code platform to transform the way programmers discover, explore, and review code. Sourcegraph utilizes a savvy business strategy with their perks. They organize and sponsor regular meet-ups with programmers in Silicon Valley. Sourcegraph connects top software engineering talent in the community to expand its existing network. Not only is this a great strategy for improving their software engineering network, it's also a great strategy to market their services to the core of Tech Valley.|
|DropBox - Jam Out||DropBox, a cloud-based platform allows users to update files from a computer, phone, or tablet and automatically pushes those updates to the other devices within their network. They have lots of great job perks including a music room where employees can jam out. For those of you who are gifted musicians, or even if you just want to learn a new skill, this is an awesome perk for that! DropBox also offers commuter subsidies and on-site laundry service.|
|Airbnb - Take a Trip||Want to get away? No, this is not Southwest Airlines, but you could book with Southwest when you work for Airbnb. Airbnb, the travel accommodations company offers its employees an annual $2,000 travel budget in addition to paid volunteer time and opportunities for learning and development.|
|Patagonia - Child Care||Patagonia, the outdoor equipment and clothing retailer offers its employees on-site child care. Patagonia reported that 100 percent of the women that work there over the past five years have returned to work, compared to the 79 percent national average. According to a survey from Care.com, seven out of 10 families in the U.S. are unable to afford monthly child care services. Additionally, one in tree families spend 20 percent or more of their annual income on child care.|
|Zappos - Life Coaching||Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, NV offers yet another unusual but awesome perk at work. Zappos offers its employees life coaches to boost employee confidence and office culture. A recent study shows that 80 percent of life coach clients have said that working with a life coach has helped boost their confidence and reduce their anxiety.|
Company Perks FAQ:
What are the Best Employee Perks?
Some basic perks are things like health care, 401(k), vacation, and paid time off. Beyond that, some companies do catered company lunches once per week, free snacks and beverages stocked in the kitchen, employee outings once per quarter, and continuing education classes. For example, if you’re passionate about photography, some companies will pay for you to take a photography class.
What’s the Difference Between a Perk and a Benefit?
It can get confusing, but a benefit is usually something like health care or a 401(k) contribution that’s rolled into what an employee receives each month. A work perk is usually a little “extra” that companies provide in order to develop company culture. This could include things like a catered lunch each week, an all-company retreat or event (yoga class, cooking class, painting party), a stipend for continuing education, a dedicated nap room or a nursing room, and more.
My Company isn’t Adding New Perks at this Time. What can I do to Give Back to my Employees?
This is unfortunate but it happens often, as there may be budgetary reasons or lack of buy-in when it comes to “extras.” If you can’t get perks approved at the management level, try coordinating with your own team outside of the organization. Perhaps you have a team spending account, you could order pizza for the group after a big sales week, or take the team out for a movie as a job well done. You can also incorporate fun activities such as a Team Building Kit mystery murder game after working hours.
Are there Free Perks Available if the Company has Little to no Budget?
Perks do not have to be of monetary value. Often times, businesses will partner with one another by providing discounts on products or services, gaining new customers, potential testimonials and cross-promoting each other’s businesses. Company gatherings at parks, campgrounds and employee potlucks are just a few options for your organization if there is little to no budget.