- Facebook, Google, Netflix, and other top companies in the US are competing for the best talent out there.
- To compete, they offer some of the best benefits and perks around.
- But, considering a recent ban in Mountain View, California, on free cafeteria food – and another ban that may soon follow in San Francisco – companies may have to look beyond free grub to attract new hires.
- See which companies are raising the bar and going beyond free food to attract top talent.
Most of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work, so it’s only natural that we want to enjoy our time in the office as much as we can. And perks help with that – a lot.
According to career site Glassdoor, more than half (57%) of all workers say perks and benefits are among the top things they consider when deciding whether to accept a job, and almost 80% of employees say they would prefer new benefits over a pay raise.
That’s why some employers are raising the bar and going beyond standard vacation days, health insurance benefits, and 401k matching to attract top talent.
Companies like Airbnb and Google offer unique and surprising perks like travel stipends and death benefits, Glassdoor reports, while Facebook and Netflix have upped the ante for companies wanting to support new parents.
“Benefits and perks matter because they’re an added piece of the total compensation puzzle,” Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s career trends analyst, told Business Insider. “Job seekers should understand what benefits and perks an employer may be offering, and do their research ahead of time to find companies that offer benefits that matter most to them.”
Employees rated some of their favorite employee benefits on Glassdoor. The following perks are not only unique, but they also received a rating of at least 4.0 out of 5.0 on Glassdoor.
Generous paid parental leave at Netflix
- Thomson Reuters
Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents. The company also allows parents to return part-time or full-time and take time off as needed throughout the year.
‘Yay Days’ at REI
REI encourages its employees to get outside by offering two paid days off each year, called “Yay Days,” to enjoy their favorite outside activity.
Paid time off for volunteering at Salesforce
Salesforce employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, as well as $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice.
Egg freezing at Spotify
Spotify provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. The company also covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance.
Travel stipends at Airbnb
Airbnb, rated the Best Place to Work in 2016, gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.
Ski passes and snow days at Burton
Burton employees receive season ski passes and “snow days” to hit the slopes after a big snowfall.
Death benefits at Google
- Adam Berry/Getty Images
Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next 10 years.
Free intern housing at Facebook
Facebook offers interns free housing with tons of amenities like shuttle service to and from Facebook’s Menlo Park campus, or a monthly housing stipend of $1,000.
Fitness classes at Reebok
- Reebok on Facebook
Employees at Reebok are encouraged to take advantage of the company’s full on-site gym and CrossFit box throughout the workday.
Lactation consultations for new moms at American Express
American Express offers parents access to a 24-hour lactation consultant, and mothers traveling for business can ship their breast milk home for free.
Gender reassignment benefits at Goldman Sachs and Accenture
- Reuters/ Lucas Jackson
Goldman Sachs has offered coverage for gender reassignment surgery since 2008.
Accenture also covers gender reassignment for their employees as part of its commitment to LGBTQ rights and diversity.
Free burgers at In-N-Out
- Melia Robinson/Business Insider
In-N-Out’s employees can treat themselves to a free Double-Double burger and fries during each shift.
Generous paid parental leave for part-time employees at IKEA
- Getty Images / Andreas Rentz
IKEA offers up to four months of paid parental leave to both part-time and full-time employees with at least one year of experience at the company, regardless of whether they work at a retail store or the corporate headquarters.
Partial student-loan debt reimbursement at PwC
PwC offers its employees $1,200 a year in reimbursement on student-loan debt.
Read about one 23-year-old employee’s experience with this benefit.
Full tuition reimbursement at Starbucks
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Starbucks provides full tuition reimbursement for its employees, covering an online bachelor’s degree program through Arizona State University.
A ramp-up policy for new parents returning to work at Pinterest
- Business Insider / Jillian D’Onfro
Pinterest provides a unique take on the parental-leave policy by offering three paid months off, plus a month of part-time hours, as well as two counseling sessions to create a plan to re-enter the workplace.
Global soccer tournaments at Bain & Company
- Bain & Company/YouTube
Bain & Company holds an annual, two-day, global “Bain World Cup” soccer tournament, which is open to all employees. More than a thousand employees from 50 Bain offices help make it the event of the year.
Last year’s tournament was in Los Angeles.
Wellness stipends at Eventbrite
Eventbrite helps keep employees healthy by offering a monthly $60 wellness stipend, which can be used on everything from gym dues to juice cleanses.
Sabbatical programs at Deloitte
Deloitte offers two sabbatical programs: an unpaid, one-month sabbatical that can be taken for any reason, and a three- to six-month sabbatical that can be taken to pursue personal or professional growth opportunities with 40% pay.
Free e-books at Twilio
Cloud-communications platform Twilio offers employees a Kindle plus $30 a month to purchase books.
On-site acupuncture and improv classes at Twitter
Twitter is well-known for providing perks such as three catered meals a day, but some lesser-known benefits include on-site acupuncture and improv classes.
Required time off at Adobe
Adobe shuts down the entire company for one week in December and one week over the summer.
Free park admission at Walt Disney Company
- Barry Lewis/Flickr
Walt Disney Company wants its employees to enjoy the “Happiest Place on Earth” – so it offers employees (and their friends and families) free admission to their parks, as well as discounts on hotels and merchandise.
Team-building courses at Evernote
Evernote hosts classes through “Evernote Academy,” which offers team-building courses like macaroon baking.
Life- and career-coaching sessions at Asana
Asana employees have access to executive- and-life coaching services outside of the company.
Epic Systems Corporation: four-week sabbatical
- Glassdoor/Epic Systems
Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid four-week sabbatical to pursue their creative talents after five years at the company.
Breast-milk shipping at Zillow
Zillow pays for overnight shipping of breast milk when a new mom is traveling.
Fitness program reimbursement at Microsoft
- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Microsoft offers an annual $800 “StayFit” reimbursement program to help cover the cost of gym memberships and fitness programs.
On-site pampering at Genentech
Genentech offers unique on-site amenities, including car washes, haircuts, a childcare center, mobile spa, and dentist.
Counseling and consultations for employees and their dependents at Southwest
- Rick Wilking/Reuters
Southwest offers all employees and their dependents access to “Clear Skies,” an employee assistance program that provides confidential counseling, work-life services, and legal consultations.
‘Baby cash’ at Facebook
Facebook provides $4,000 in “baby cash” to employees with a newborn.
‘Panda Fridays’ every other week at the World Wildlife Fund
- Bob Strong/Reuters
World Wildlife Fund employees take Friday off every other week, also known as “Panda Fridays” at the nonprofit.
Generous 401k matching at United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
- Flickr/Fort Rucker
USAA matches employee 401k contributions at 8%. The average US company matches at 6%.
Jacquelyn Smith contributed to an earlier version of this article.