Employee benefits have become a standard of the job market. Some benefits are essential to productivity (health benefits), comfortable break areas and spaces that are decorated with art. Other benefits lean heavily toward increasing morale which in turn has proven to benefit productivity. Some benefits are just plain awesome and others downright bizarre. These are just a few of the strangest employee benefits.
Concierge, valet and laundry services are pretty much an industry standard of five-star hotels. Well, Johnson and Johnson (yes the “no tears” guys) offer an on-call concierge to run errands for you, like returning library books or picking up dry cleaning. Speaking of dirty laundry JibJab Media, incentivizes people to come to work before 10 a.m. by promising them a free laundry service. Any employee that shows up in the a.m. gets a laundry bag to fill. Now the dilemma is: do you hate early morning Mondays more than you hate doing laundry.
Pampering and Beautifying
According to the seminal pop culture opus Sex In The City “Every girl needs a spa day”. Actually that’s not a quote from the series but it sounds like something one of the characters would say and honestly guys need spa days too. Well, if you work for Google, Yahoo, Nvidia and JM Family Enterprises you can get on-site haircut and primping benefits such as eyebrow shaping.
Patagonia the outdoors mega-corporation started with the founder’s love of mountain climbing and respect for the environment. So it would be ironic if a company founded on a passion for outdoorsy activities forced their employees to stay inside four walls all day every day. Patagonia offers their employees time to exercise (outside the office) offering company bikes, volleyball courts and rock walls to climb.
Zappos (the online shoe megastore) offers reimbursement for its employees to participate in endurance competitions and holds multiple fitness challenges throughout the year. Google offers employees free bikes to ride around the campus and also has numerous courts for the Googlers to stay in shape while in their employ.
Paying the Green
Some companies take environmental conservation seriously and Integrated Archive Systems, in fact, pays for it. Employees working for the company are given a $10.000 stipend towards buying a hybrid/electric car. Clothing company Timberland has a similar programme that pays employees a $3.000 stipend towards the purchase of a car.
Google has free charging stations for employees electric autos and Summit LLC offers employees a fully paid membership to D.C.’s extensive rent-a-bike programme. Some companies even pay their employees to commute by bike to work. Of course, England beat them to that.
I left the most admirable for the end. But the coffee peddler and often accused world dominator, Starbucks, actually offers employees working 20 hours or more (which if you noticed includes people that work part time) a benefits package called The Special Blend which is customizable and includes 401K and health insurance.
Do you know of any other strange benefits companies offer? Let me know in the comment section below.