10 of the coolest work perks
Perks will never keep you at a job — especially if you hate it. But they certainly can make your time at an employer a lot more enjoyable … and your life a little less expensive.
Jobs site Glassdoor compiled a list of some of the more fun or unusual perks cited by its users that go above and beyond that core set of benefits most people expect these days (e.g., health insurance, paid time off, 401(k) matches, etc.).
Take a trip … on Airbnb’s dime: This perk gives “paid” time off a whole new meaning.
Besides paying employees’ salaries when they take a vacation, Airbnb also gives them a $500 credit every quarter that can be applied to their travel reservations if they use Airbnb for their accommodations.
Paid sabbatical after just 5 years: Sabbaticals are still pretty rare at companies, and usually getting one requires putting in a lot of years. Not at Epic Systems, a software provider for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Epic employees can take a four-week paid sabbatical every five years. To make the perk extra sweet, if you use your sabbatical to travel to a country where you’ve never been, the company will pick up the tab for you and a guest. New Zealand, anyone?
Free ski passes: Burton, a snowboard clothing and gear outfitter, is located in Burlington, Vermont, a stone’s throw from some of the finest slopes in the Northeast. The company gives its employees a season pass to local ski resorts. On top of that, their family members and partners get a deep discount on a season pass to Stowe Mountain Resort.
And when Burlington gets more than 2 feet of snow in 24 hours, employees can take the day off. A small crew that keeps Burton open during that time are allowed to take a day off later in the season.
Giving parents spending money: New parents face a roster of new expenses, and some employers are lending a helping hand.
Facebook offers $4,000 in “baby cash” to new parents. And the real estate site Zillow has also recently announced it would give new parents a $1,000 Amazon gift card.
Take every other Friday off: Helping to preserve endangered species is probably one of the biggest feel-good benefits of working at the World Wildlife Fund.
But another appears to be having every other Friday off — or what’s known as “Panda Days.”
WWF employees are expected to log 70 hours over two weeks based on a 35-hour workweek. But they may choose to work a compressed workweek — putting in those 70 hours over 9 days so they can take the 10th day off.
Money to pay off your loans: The tax consulting firm PwC gives its employees up to $7,200 ($1,200 per year for six years) to help pay off their student loans.
Another company, Natixis Global Asset Management, recently announced that it will give employees up to $10,000 to pay off their federal student loans. Employees will receive a $5,000 lump sum after their five year-work anniversary and $1,000 a year for the next five years.
Free admission to amusement parks: The Walt Disney Company offers employees complimentary admission to its theme parks as well as discounts on Disney merchandise and hotel stays.
Shipping breast milk: For working mothers who are still nursing, figuring out how to feed the baby while they’re on a business trip is a logistical and costly headache. A number of firms, including IBM, Zillow and Accenture have announced that they would provide the materials and pay the costs for their employees to ship home their breast milk when they travel for work.
Feeding your reading habit: At Twilio, a developer of tele-conferencing apps, all employees are required to build and present an app during a bootcamp course. When they do, they receive a Kindle and a $30 monthly allowance to buy e-books.
Being paid to do good: In addition to matching their employees’ charitable contributions up to $5,000, cloud computing firm Salesforce lets employees take six paid days off a year to volunteer. After completing the six days, the company will then make a $1,000 grant to any nonprofit an employee chooses.
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