The best talent will always be richly rewarded. While companies traditionally lure and keep highly-qualified employees with generous salary and bonus packages, some are getting more creative with compensation. A number of today’s fastest-growing firms have introduced unusual ways to add more value to an employee’s work life beyond just a paycheck. Such fringe benefits help them stand out from the competition and win over the best job applicants. These amazing company perks serve other purposes, too – they improve work-life balance, reduce worker stress and increase productivity, inspire loyalty, and boost brand image. Take a look at some of the amazing company perks that the newest and most innovative extras organizations are offering.
45 Meters to Free Food
Google has a now-famous corporate rule that staff should not have to walk more than 45 meters (150 feet) to find refreshments. So, offices in most of their locations are configured around snack bars and kitchens proffering free drinks and food. Moreover, on Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California, employees can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at any of the 25 restaurants, at no cost. Facebook offers similar free food perks. At the Haribo headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and at its other worldwide offices, all rooms are stocked with an endless supply of the brand’s trademark gummy bears.
Meeting or Massage?
To reduce workplace stress, some companies now offer on-site wellness perks. Adidas Group, for instance, provides company fitness centers, and basketball, tennis and volleyball facilities in most of its locations. Employees can also work out with a personal trainer during their lunch breaks and participate in one of many company-sponsored sports competitions.
It’s all relaxation at Soundcloud in Berlin, where employees can chill out in the office’s indoor garden, soundproof nap room, yoga space, or in front of a wood-burning fireplace. Daimler Financial Services offers yoga classes and massage therapy to its office workers, and Admiral, an insurance company based in Wales, includes free Indian head massages among its amazing company perks.
Fun, The Corporate Way
Having fun while working hard is the new mantra for many — especially younger — firms. Admiral, for one, takes fun seriously. So seriously that they have a Ministry of Fun, a rotating group of employees whose job it is to organize regular entertainment events. Davidson Consulting, headquartered in Paris, advertises plenty out-of-office fun on its recruitment page, including diving weekends, opera outings and flat swaps.
Make Mine the Beach
How about spending a week at the company “office” in Ibiza? That’s what sales team members at global energy recruitment firm Spencer Ogden receive when they hit their sales targets. The best performers are also eligible for an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas each year. San Francisco-based Betabrand regularly sends one lucky employee to his or her destination of choice, and pays for airfare and hotel. And Afar, a travel media brand, gives each employee a $2,000 stipend annually to spend on personal travel.
Toys and Space
Slides are cool – even for adults. So, insurance firm iSelect installed one in its ultra-modern office space in Melbourne, Australia. Employees can glide from the first floor to the ground floor instead of taking the stairs. Denmark’s LEGO Group , Google, and Red Bull’s offices in London sport slides, too. Onefootball’s uniquely designed offices are completely on-brand, and stimulating too. This mobile soccer platform company in Berlin has loaded up its space with sports themes and toys. A running track winds through the offices, cabinets are designed to look like lockers, foosball tables abound, and large meetings are held in a mini arena.
Dreams Come True
Propellernet, a data search firm in Brighton, has found an out-of-the box way to reward employees while celebrating its success. Each worker writes down a dream they would like to fulfill and adds it to the Dream Machine. Each time the company reaches one of its targets, it draws one person’s “dream” and pays to make it happen. So far, rewards have included a trip to watch the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and a family ski trip to the French Alps.
Employers know that going the extra mile for their staff in the form of perks is an investment worth making. Companies with strong, positive work cultures tend to have less turnover and happier employees, which in turn, saves them money. To attract the best professionals in a competitive market, they will continue to come up with more imaginative fringe benefits. So stay tuned.
Kate Rodriguez is a freelance marketing copywriter based in Munich. She has over 20 years of professional experience in public and private organizations. A former international trade analyst for the U.S. government, she also worked as a university career coach, specializing in international career search. Most recently, she was employed at Experteer as a customer service agent and online marketing manager.