What are job perks?
Job perks are those extra incentives businesses can offer current and potential employees. They’re beneficial for your business because they give job seekers insight into your company’s culture and values, which can often speak more than salary and typical work benefits. Some employers even combine certain perks with their employee referral program to increase their candidate pool.
What are the benefits of offering job perks?
If a person is applying to multiple similar jobs, your workplace can stand out with unique perks. For instance, companies that allow employees to bring their dogs to work may be more appealing to a potential new hire than a company that doesn’t, while others may be interested in free tickets for movies or theater performances.
Job perks are a great way to show gratitude to employees. When workers feel appreciated and valued for their hard work, they’re more likely to stay with the business and speak highly of it to others.
16 of the best company benefits and perks to offer employees
By choosing the right job perks for your business, you can create an environment where employees feel motivated to do their best work, which improves business culture and attracts talent.
1. Unlimited paid time off
Unlimited paid time off is becoming a more common job perk that employers are offering to help create a better work-life balance. As long as employees are working hard and getting their work done on time, they can take as many days off as they like.
2. Flexible work hours
Instead of a rigid start time, you can give employees the option to come to work whenever they want, as long as they work the required number of hours. Flexible working helps employees, especially those who care for children, other family members or who have frequent appointments and personal commitments.
3. Gym membership
Some employers either pay for their employees’ gym memberships or provide an on-site gym at work to promote health and fitness. If you choose to build an on-site gym, also include a shower facility so employees can freshen up after enjoying a workout.
4. Shorter days near the holidays
As the holidays approach, employees may become busier with family obligations. On workdays right before a holiday, give employees the option to leave work early. This lets them take less paid time off and get an earlier start on their holiday preparations or travel plans.
5. Extended parental leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law that provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a 12-month period. This includes offering extended paid parental leave to both parents with a newborn, or for an employee that needs to take care of an ill family member. Employees appreciate having more time with family and return to work feeling better about the experience.
6. Stocked fridge and pantry
Having free food available to employees is a great way to keep everyone fueled and satisfied throughout the day. Provide healthy food options for employees who are trying to eat better. With a more balanced diet coupled with exercise, it’s easier for employees to stay energized throughout the day.
7. Company-sponsored events
Throughout the year, fun company-sponsored events give employees ample opportunity to get to know each other better and improve collaboration, both of which can boost morale. Ideas include office parties, happy hours, virtual get-togethers, team lunches, company intramural sports leagues and retreats.
8. Paid volunteer days
In addition to paid time off, consider giving employees a set number of days they can get paid to volunteer outside of work. This is also known as VTO (volunteer time off). This job perk can be a great way to promote community relations and provide a meaningful way to take a break from work. To document employee participation, have them send you a confirmation email from the organization’s event.
9. Pet-friendly workplace
Pets are known to boost mood and lower stress, which is why having a pet-friendly workplace may appeal to many employees. If you don’t want pets at work every day, create a policy where employees can bring their pets once a week.
10. Educational opportunities
By investing in your employees, you improve workplace productivity. One of the best company perks is to host educational seminars or provide skill-based training opportunities. Another option is to sponsor and fund courses employees are already taking via tuition reimbursement or allow them to take time off to attend advanced educational opportunities.
11. Remote work options
Remote work, also called telecommuting, has significant cost savings for workers, and the majority of the costs come from transportation. But remote work isn’t just about saving money; it’s about the level of freedom and flexibility workers have to do their job, which contributes to increased job satisfaction.
12. Commuter benefits
Commuter benefits ensure that companies cover employee commuter costs, perhaps up to the IRS maximum of $270 per month. These costs include reimbursing employees for their highway commute to the workplace, offering reduced-cost transit passes for those who take public transportation and providing vouchers for qualified parking.
13. Child care assistance
Businesses that provide child care assistance alleviate the stress and costs some workers have to deal with so they can continue to do their jobs. Child care assistance comes in many forms, including on-site care, flexible schedules and backup child care. Under specific circumstances, employers who provide child care subsidies can earn up to $150,000 in annual tax credits.
14. Employee recognition program
Every employer wants to get the most out of their workforce, and implementing a recognition program leads to employees feeling valued and validated by their supervisors and peers. These programs are about increasing employee engagement, which drives company growth and profitability.
15. Game rooms
Google and Apple game rooms are legendary, but they aren’t the only companies that can offer this luxury perk. Having a well-designed no-stress zone can be attractive to employees because it provides valuable insight into the company culture, showing that it’s all about achieving work-play balance as a means of fostering creativity and productivity.
16. Remote work stipend
If your workforce is fully or partially remote, consider offering a remote work stipend, which is a fixed amount of money given to an employee in addition to their base salary. This money is intended to cover the costs of working from home or to improve their home office (e.g., internet bill, office equipment).
Frequently asked questions about benefits and perks
How do I choose which perks to offer?
Choose your job perks based on what you think your employees will appreciate the most. To figure this out, send out a survey to your current employees asking them which perks would be the most important to them. Additionally, if you notice employees aren’t using a perk you offer, ask them if they were aware of it or would prefer that you replace it with something more appealing.
How do I ensure employees are using the perks appropriately?
When choosing your job perks, outline how employees can use them in the employee handbook. By setting clear rules and limitations ahead of time, employees are more likely to use the perks appropriately. For example, if your work has unlimited paid time off, clarify that this benefit is only for employees who are regularly getting their work done on time. Similarly, if dogs are allowed at work, you may want to set a limit for how many times each person can bring their dog per week.
What is the difference between a perk and a benefit?
A benefit has a wage-based value attached to it; it’s generally something employees would likely have had to pay for themselves. For example, mitigating health care costs by offering insurance or reimbursing transportation expenses are forms of non-wage compensation benefits. Offering these as a supplement to salaries may even provide a tax benefit to employers. Perks are extra incentives on top of someone’s salary and benefits. Having a game room or offering tickets to favorite sports venues are examples of employee perks.