Businesses are trying harder than ever to attract and retain the best talent and some are going to amazing lengths to make their company stand out amongst their competitors! One such way to stand out from the crowd is to offer employee perks beyond the usual subsidised gym memberships and free coffee.
Here are some of our favourite weird and wonderful employee perks...
Flexible Public Holidays
To allow employees to ‘celebrate to their own beat’, music streaming service Spotify have implemented a flexible public holiday policy. Public and religious holidays are no longer set days off at any office within the Spotify family. Instead, employees can choose to take time off on the days most important to them.
For instance, someone who does not celebrate Christmas can choose to work that day and swap that time off for another date that is important in their religion such as Diwali, Yom Kippur or Eid. Not religious? Why not take the day off to spoil your kitty on International Cat Day?!
Puppy Parental Leave
Whether an excitable pup or a nervous rescue dog, welcoming a new pooch into your home isn’t always easy, and it can be time consuming getting your furry friend to settle in. While most companies offer maternity and paternity leave, Brewdog went one step further and decided to roll out their parental leave to new pet owners too!
Multi-national brewery and pub chain BrewDog, offer their staff a week of paid leave when they get a new dog, so they can enjoy spending some quality time with their new four-legged family member! And if they can’t bear to leave their beloved pooch at home once the week is up, they can bring their dog into work with them!
Ever woken up on a morning and wished you could just stay in bed all day, watch films and eat lots of snacks? Digital marketing agency, Glass Digital lets you to do just that! Glass digital allow staff to take a set number of days off per year at the last minute, giving employees flexibility to stay at home when they don’t feel up to going to work, the weather is bad or there are transport issues.
For employees, duvet days take the guilt out of taking time off to recharge batteries, sleep off the night before or attend to anything else life throws at them. For businesses, it can reduce the number of employees pulling a sickie when they’re not really ill, creating a working environment that’s more open and transparent. Back to bed it is!
Ok, it’s slightly weird, but you can’t say a little laugher doesn’t make you feel better after a hard day at work! This unique type of yoga practices laughter to improve health and wellbeing and can be a great way of promoting team bonding and managing workplace stress. As you’d expect, laughter yoga combines the physical benefits of yoga with the mental benefits of laughter, and before you scoff, it does work! Employees often feel more relaxed, happier and motivated after a session of laughter yoga.
Businesses can also reap the benefits that come with laughter yoga, such as increased staff engagement, better productivity and fewer absences.
Whether this one is weird or wonderful is certainly up for debate! In 2014, tech giants Facebook and Apple became leaders in the fertility benefit category when they began paying for their female employees to freeze their eggs, in a bid to retain the best and brightest women. The idea behind this perk is to empower women by allowing them to have a successful and fulfilling career as well as a family.
Today, at least a dozen tech companies have jumped on board with similar incentives, including Uber and Yahoo. If this perk seems a bit too ‘out there’ for your organisation, consider flexible working hours to support women who wish to have a career and raise a family at the same time.
Many of us have dreamt of jetting off somewhere and devoting our time to something that’s important to us, that gives our life meaning. For most, this fantasy remains just that; a pipedream. Only the lucky few can afford to take unpaid time off to pursue their passions.
Clothing company, Patagonia sees its mission as saving the earth and it goes out of its way to hire people whose values align with their mission. So, after employees have worked for the company for over a year, they can take up to two months off, with pay, to volunteer with an environmental organisation or project.
Paid Tuition Fees
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks offer to pay the university tuition fees for their UK employees to study for a Bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University!
While not every company can afford such a generous perk, offering opportunities for career advancement is a highly valued employee benefit. According to research by Jellyfish Training, 51% of employees would choose career progression over receiving a pay rise and 33% could accept a 3% pay cut in order to access better career opportunities.
So, while weird and wonderful benefits like unlimited holidays and free massages might be something to shout about during the recruitment process, the secret to retaining a happy workforce may not be as complicated as you think! Simply invest in your employee’s future and in return, they’ll invest in your business.