There has been a lot of debate lately about the effectiveness of companies’ wellness initiatives, both from the pro and con camps, and here at LifeHealthPro.com we have covered it before. Do great company benefits really retain the workforce or help candidates make the decision to join a company? Are these benefits worth it?
In some cases, it comes down to individual preference. For example, would you consider bringing your dog to work a cool company benefit? Dogs require constant attention, walking, feeding, and gosh forbid they “go” on the carpet. And then there are coworkers that might be allergic or might not like dogs. However, some studies have shown that having a dog can help decrease stress levels, hence why many soldiers who return home with post-traumatic stress disorder get service dogs.
Another benefit that has proliferated in the age of hipsterdom is drink-beer-at-work days, typically celebrated on Friday afternoons. This helps coworkers get to know each other, relieves stress and provides a more casual office atmosphere. The question to ask is: Would this benefit be in line with your company culture?
Read on to see some of the coolest benefits being offered in 2015. Then, let us know: What are some benefits that you would like to offer your employees or that you wish your company had? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
1. Free (awesome) food
It’s funny how a lot of people suddenly start liking veggie sandwiches, especially if it turns out that those are the last ones on the tray. Even stale left-over bagels find homes if left on the kitchen table. But some companies step it up a notch. Tech giant Google, for example, offers their employees free lunch and dinner on-site, so there’s no need for employees to rush out and battle the lunch hour crowds, or have to run back home to make dinner for the whole family. How convenient is that?
Dealer.com, an online marketing company for cars based in Burlington, Vermont, takes health seriously and offers its employees desk-side veggie delivery and subsidized organic “Dot Calm Cafe” drinks.
Zappos, the online shoe retailer known for its incredible company culture, also provides free salads, sandwiches, soup, cereals and even ice cream for their employees. Are you on a diet? Zappos’ gotcha covered with on-site Weight Watchers sessions with reimbursement.
But which company has a professional chef and huge on-site kitchen to prepare a healthy organic lunch every day? That would be the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a nutrition school based in New York City.
2. Car incentives or alternative transportation
Some of us completely depend on our cars to get to work. And some companies have taken notice. Google offers its employees oil changes and car washes, while outdoor apparel manufacturer Timberland offers their employees a $3,000 subsidy for a hybrid car. (I wonder if they will soon offer free car rides in their self-driving cars?)
Other employees enjoy the freedom of biking to work. DC-based Summit LLC, a specialized analytics advisory firm that helps Federal agencies, financial institutions, and litigators as they decode their most complex analytical challenges, provides fully paid memberships to a bike share program for their employees.
3. Concierge and laundry service
Imagine having someone handle your laundry, shop for your groceries and deliver them, take your car in for service and even stand in line for concert tickets. This is the concierge service that SC Johnson & Son, makers of Glade and Windex, offer their employees in Racine, Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, at JibJab media in Venice, California, you get an empty laundry bag to fill up if you make it to work by 10 a.m. on Mondays. Oh, and the laundry is ready the next day.
4. Gym, massages, yoga and active lifestyle
What would you say to a job at a company that encourages you to go surfing? That’s what outdoor retailer Patagonia does, along with providing company bikes, volleyball courts and on-site yoga for its employees. If you see a company-wide email, it might be announcing a great surf day.
Zappos doesn’t fall far behind: They provide fitness challenges and an “Endurance Event Reimbursement Program – 100 percent reimbursement of entry fee into eligible endurance events” as well as company sponsored fitness challenges, according to their website.
Google and Scripps Health also provide massages for their employees, and many other companies also provide yoga classes and other health and wellness benefits.
5. Company events
Company events are all the more fun if part of your perks include having seats to Cleveland Cavaliers home games. Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans CEO, also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, and provides Quicken’s employees with transportation and tickets to home games.
Twitter sometimes invites industry think-tanks and celebrities to come speak at their headquarters in San Francisco, while Yahoo! provides their staff with live concerts, with the likes of Taylor Swift, and barbecues for their workers.
Want to make it more educational? Veterans United hosts “Lunch and learn” topics on finances, parenting and health, and Zappos has fitness, financial, health and other conferences available for their employees.