Although in this economy, you might not have a choice – and you might be lucky to get a lollipop on your way back to your cubicle. But if you could pick, and/or if you are in the position as a business owner, than hopefully this post will garner a little bit of a discussion about benefits at work. I have worked for companies that provided 100% of my health care, free gym memberships and dry cleaning, unlimited days off (as long as it wasn’t abused), etc. – and I have worked for companies that didn’t provide anything at all other than a paycheck. And now I am self-employed so I have to create whatever perks I want, which is the way I would want it over anything a corporate gig could offer me. But since most people do in-fact work corporate jobs, let’s first take a look at a company well known for their incredible work/life perks: Google.
Google offers some amazing things to their employees, depending on which campus you work at:
- Gourmet lunches
- Use of plug-in Prius’ to run errands during the day
- Free on-site massages and doctor visits
- Gym memberships
- Game rooms
- Quiet rooms for taking breaks
- Dogs are ok to bring to work
- Free shuttle service to and from work
- Hair salons
- Child care
…and the list goes on. This is a company that fully understands the concept of “take care of your employees and they will take care of you”. And while I realize that not every company can afford to do this for their employees, and neither can every eligible worker get a job at Google, but every company could use to take a look at what works for Google and try to implement at least a few perks for their people. A few benefits can go a long way towards making your employees happy, and if I could choose, here is what I would pick:
- Paid health insurance.
- Flex-time for working at least 1 day a week from home.
- Paid 2 or 3 week vacation (Every other major country on earth gets about a months paid vacation. We are lucky to get 2 weeks at best.)
- A matching 401K would be nice, but not a requirement. I don’t have it now, and I still am saving for retirement.
- Time off for volunteer work, separate from vacation and/or sick time. I think encouraging employees to volunteer helps morale and gets people to care about things other than work.
- Mandatory, scheduled reviews. Too many people toil away at jobs, without reviews/rewards/raises, because they are afraid to ask or the company doesn’t think it’s necessary.
So, those would be my first picks if I were to do corporate work again…what would be yours? If you could design your perfect benefits package, what would it include? In reality, I already have my perfect benefits package – I work for myself, from home, on my own time. I couldn’t really ask for much more right now. But what would you ask for if you could?