10 Best Company Perks Designed to Make Employees Happier
Offices have been evolving over the last 20 years to be more…fun. Gone are the days where you can stick everyone in a cubicle and call it a day.
With companies like Google and Amazon showing the world what a fun place to work looks like, more and more companies are changing their office layouts and including fun things like ping pong tables and bean bags.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Some of the biggest companies are realizing that making work a fun place makes your employees happier and more likely to stay.
Employee retention is a topic on everyone’s mind lately since so many younger works tend to change jobs every few years instead of stay in one position for decades.
The philosophy behind so many of these corporate perks and office designs is that coming to work should be a treat and not torture that you dread every Sunday night. While it doesn’t erase other problems like a nagging boss or a co-worker who chews their lunch too loudly, it can make you feel happier when you’re there.
And it’s not just tech companies that are upping their office design game. No matter what industry you’re in, you can take steps to make sure your employees are happy at work.
Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and innovate employee perks companies offer:
When you’re a fitness brand like Reebok, it just makes sense that you’d offer free fitness classes to your employees.
Working in an office is typically an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, so to work in an office that offers free fitness classes is a huge benefit. It shows that Reebok cares about the long-term health of its employees.
Plus, endorphins from exercise make you happy. Happy employees are more likely to stay at your company longer and do better work.
Microsoft takes it one step further and allows employees to check out footballs, basketballs, bocce balls, and even bicycles during the day. They can go outside and have fun during the workday.
Airbnb is out here making everyone jealous with travel stipends! Airbnb offers its employees a travel stipend to travel and stay in Airbnbs. Pretty cool, right?
Not only does Airbnb encourage its employees to take time off and travel, but the stipend also encourages them to stay at Airbnbs so they can experience the product they’re offering.
If you know the product you’re selling on a deeply personal level, you can better innovate and improve it for customers.
3.On-site amenities like car washes
Genentech has made it easy for you to do your errands without even leaving work. With their on-site amenities, you can get everything done you need to do after work during work.
You ever need to do an errand after work, but you just can’t get up the energy to do anything other than going home? Genentech has made it easy for you to strike that work-life balance, so you can go home after work because you finished your errands while at work.
At Genentech, they offer amenities on-site such as:
·Car cash facilities
·Full-service fitness center
As a bonus, Genentech offers a free shuttle to work which makes your commute so easy.
And they said there’s no such thing as a free lunch! So many companies like Google and Counsyl offer free, catered lunches to their employees. For some companies, it’s just once a week, for others it’s every day. Just imagine not having to plan or pay for your lunch every day!
All of that decision-making energy can go somewhere else – like improving the project you’re working on or finding more office perks you can offer your employees.
5.Ping-pong all day long
It’s all part of the method at Method. Method has an astroturf covered ping-pong room. That sounds like a great place to relax after a stressful project or take a break in the middle of the afternoon.
People might scoff at the idea of offering opportunities to blow off work and play a game like ping-pong, but taking a break is so important. If you just sit at your desk for eight hours straight, you’re bound to burn out more quickly and not be able to put out your best work.
Taking a little time to play ping-pong – or taking a walk in the afternoon, a full lunch, or whatever kind of break you need – gives your brain a rest and lets you go back to work renewed.
Have you ever wished you could just lay down at work and take a power nap? Then you can get back to work with renewed vigor and faded bags under your eyes. At Zappos, you can do that in a nap pod.
When you work in a fast-paced, high-stress job that requires a lot of brainpower to do, a nap pod can help you refresh your brain even if you’re just sleeping for 20 minutes.
If you’re an employer reading this and thinking that you don’t want to offer an opportunity for your employees to slack off and nap all day, would you prefer exhausted workers who make mistakes that could cost you a lot of money? Or would you rather they be alert, rested, and ready to make your company better?
If you can’t afford a full-blown nap pod, you can create a comfortable space for your employees to nap with bean bags big enough to spread out.
7.Fitness trackers and treadmill desks
Very similar to Reebok’s fitness classes, Zillow offers fitness trackers and treadmill desks to its employees. A fitness tracker gets you out of your chair and promotes a healthy exercise regimen every day.
A treadmill desk allows employees to keep working while feeling like they’re taking a break at the same time. Better work can be done when you have both a healthy mind and body, and a treadmill desks lets you take a walk and work at the same time.
8.Bring your dog to work day – every day
You know that sad face your dog makes every day when you leave for work? How hard is that to leave?
Imagine if you didn’t have ever to see that face again because your dog’s joining you on your commute.
Zynga lets you bring your dog to work every day, which probably presents some unique challenges like how often you have to let them out, but that just gets you out of the office and in the sunshine a little more often than you would without a dog by your side.
Not only does a dog in the office make it a cheerier place, but dogs can also help you calm down if work is stressful.
9.A deep focus room
Not everyone can get their work done in an open plan office with all of their coworkers around them. Open plan offices promote collaboration, but what is one to do when you need to focus in and work on a project solo?
At Dropbox, you can go into a deep focus room for those times when you need quiet productivity. If you’re a writer or a programmer who needs to make a deadline, then a place designed for solitude and silence is perfect. This is one of the more unique employee benefits, but it really does benefit your more introverted employees or those who just can’t work with much distraction.
Whatever furniture you have in a deep focus room is irrelevant, whether it’s a bunch of desks or it’s bean bags all over the floor, just having the space for quiet work will go a long way for those employees who need no distractions.
At Patagonia, a well-known outdoor clothing seller encourages its employees to surf during the workday.
Some companies let their employees take walks or nap, but Patagonia lets you surf – and it hasn’t damaged their bottom line in the least. In fact the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, wrote a great book about this topic "Let My People Go Surfing"
They have always done business in unconventional ways, and it has worked out for them. The concept behind letting employees surf was that Patagonia was growing very quickly – too quickly. In an effort to stem the growth into something more manageable, employees were encouraged to go surfing.
Since they’re an outdoor clothing brand, surfing actually lets them encourage one of their products up close and personal like Airbnb’s travel stipend policy.
Most of these company perks are ones that get you outside of a conventional office or away from a desk. Employers might see them and wonder how anyone gets any work done, but employees see them as proof the company cares about them and their wellbeing.
Many of the cool office perks offered fit the company, its ideals, and the way employees work, like Reebok’s fitness classes, or Zappos offering nap pods in its fast-paced environment. You don’t have to offer these perks just because other companies are. You can provide other corporate perks that fit your environment and your employees.
The goal is to find a balance in your office. It can be a fun place to work, but your employees know it isn’t all fun and games because they have to get their work done. Bringing your dog to work or eating a free lunch doesn’t mean you have to work fewer hours or produce lower-quality work.
Productivity doesn’t have to mean eight hours at the same desk for five days a week. It can mean you spend a few hours in a deep focus room or twenty minutes in a nap pod after lunch. The work will still be done, and the worker doing it will be happier.
The truth is that creating a positive environment where your employees are happy is key to employee retention. No company or job will ever be perfect but doing your best to make sure the office is a fun place to be can tip the scales in your favor.