When looking for a job, the main thing people look for is a salary which will afford them the opportunity to live comfortably in their chosen lifestyle. But these days, benefits packages and job perks have risen to the same level of importance as salary. Employees long to feel in control of their work life and appreciated by their bosses.
Perks and benefits supply this feeling much better than salary because they are more personal and they show that the company is trying to help its employees or make their lives easier in some way. These are things a salary just can’t do. Perks that save an employees’ time or make their lives easier are worth more to an employees’ quality of life than monetary compensation. In an effort to obtain top-notch employees and create a more relaxed and positive work environment, companies are providing their employees with some pretty outrageous, and yet totally awesome, benefits and perks. Here are the top 13 most outrageous company perks that we’ve come across.
13. Jam maker J.M. Smucker gives their employees a 100% college tuition reimbursement with no ceiling.
12. Azvea, a Philadelphia geospacial-technologies software company, allows employees to use 10% of their workday for personal research projects or training. They also offer paid maternity and paternity leave.
11. Clif Bar treats workers to a 40-foot bouldering wall, fitness center, dance studio, two massage rooms and a staff of certified trainers and nutritionists.
10. Microsoft employees can eat in one of the 14 restaurants and pubs located in a company mall that’s replete with stores and banks.
9. American Century Investments covers employee adoption expenses and fertility treatments up to $10,000 per year.
8. Netflix gives their employees $10,000 per year for health benefits and whatever they don’t use, they get to keep. There’s some motivation to stay healthy. They also don’t put a limit on the number of vacation days employees are allowed and they don’t require a 9-5 workday either. Nice!
7. At Integrated Archive Systems, an IT infrastructure integrator in California, workers are offered a $10,000 subsidy to purchase a hybrid vehicle as part of their Eco-Responsibility program. Many companies offer this perk, but its usually in the ballpark of $2,000-$5,000.
6. Arkaya, a staffing company in California, allows employees to work from home during rush hours to avoid the aggravation and stress of driving in traffic. They also send professional cleaners to employees’ homes twice a month so employees don’t have to take the time to do it themselves.
5. Burton Original Snowboard Company of Vermont offers its workers free ski passes, a company skate park, a dog-friendly office and company ski trips. But here’s the real kicker: the company closes when it snows 2 feet or more so the employees can hit the slopes. Seeing as how they’re located in Vermont, this probably happens quite frequently.
4. Amgen Inc., a biotechnology company, cooks health-conscious meals for employees’ children who spend the day at the company’s daycare facility. Gone are the days of squashed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in brown paper bags. Oh, and employees are also given 16 paid holidays a year so they can actually spend time with their kids that they drop off at daycare every day.
3. Google reimburses moms $500 for takeout meals during the first three months after childbirth. $1,500 for takeout? That’s a lot of Chinese!
2. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy has a corporate campus that features a 72,000-square-foot fitness facility, tanning beds and spray tanning, free scuba certification (seriously?), an employee garden the size of a city block, and a health and dental center with dermatology treatments including Botox. Now that’s how you keep your employees feeling, and permanently looking, happy.
1. Genentech, founder of the biotech industry, offers their employees free counseling, legal advice, tuition assistance, a childcare center, haircuts, weekly car washes, dog sitting, nursing rooms, seasonal produce stands, two libraries and ergonomics specialists to examine employees’ work desks and gear to ensure they’re comfortable. And to top it all off, after every six years with the company, employees may take a six-week paid sabbatical! Who wouldn’t love to blow off work for a month and a half?
While these benefits and perks range from generous to downright superfluous, its important for companies to remember what really matters when it comes to making their employees happy. Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University, who studies workplaces extensively, says “Such added benefits are useful only where there’s a positive corporate culture that values employees and rewards their work beyond just attractive perks. What matters is whether companies let employees make decisions, offer them reasonable job security, and treat them with respect, not whether or not they give them free food. Those are nice things, and they may represent the corporate attitude, but if they’re all you do, they’re worthless.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Maybe you’re already receiving some of these incredible perks and are therefore not surprised to hear that they exist, but most likely your not as they are definitely not the norm. But hey, we can all dream, right?
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