We heard earlier in the year that Apple and Facebook were to offer their employees the opportunity to freeze their eggs (of course, there is no guarantee of pregnancy as a result), and many of us will have read about pampered, undoubtedly talented Silicon Valley employees with their free haircuts and yoga classes. But just how far do employers, keen to retain top talent, go with this perk thing? Here are my pick of the best perks out there:
Don’t work like a dog – bring your dog to work
You can just imagine the scene: a scrum of pooches scurrying around amidst cries of, “Oscar, Max, Pepsi: Heel!”
Many offices allow their employees to bring their well-trained pets to work. Dog friendly employers, according to Mother Nature Network, include, but are not limited to: Google, Procter&Gamble, Ben&Jerry’s and Amazon.
Thank Google it’s Friday
It’s well documented that Google looks after its employees: unlimited free gourmet food, pet dogs at work, massages, hair-cuts, free oil changes, free car wash services, free shuttles to take employees to and from work; not to mention food demonstrations from famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver. When Friday arrives, Google’s employees can really let their hair down at a “Thank Google it’s Friday” event, where they are served beer, wine and pizzas. Have you picked your jaw up from the floor yet?
Take unlimited vacation
Imagine if you could take off on holiday whenever you wanted, without any repercussions? Imagine you have a few days to spare and a friend of yours is always happy to have you at her sprawling villa near Lake Garda. Money isn’t a problem because your friend is a generous sort and, together with her butler, will make sure that all your needs are met. Ok, perhaps I’m getting a bit carried away with the friend part. No matter, what is fact and not fiction is that Richard Branson now allows his employees unlimited vacation. Branson isn’t a pioneer in this; Netflix can rightly claim that honour. Here’s the idea: staff who are completely up-to-date with their work are free to organise their own holiday, whenever they choose. Time spent working is increasingly controlled by technology to the extent that most jobs are not nine-to-five; that this cannot be reconciled with outdated time-tracking of either work or holidays is the premise of the policy initiative.
Enjoy a new kind of working experience
Employees at Microsoft have no need to go home after a working day – although that could be the idea behind the perks on offer here. Not unlike other tech behemoths, Microsoft offers its employees free gym memberships; but it also offers plenty of complimentary luxury facilities which include dry-cleaning, oil changes and a spa for its employees. Perhaps the most impressive offering is that the company will match the charitable donations of its employees to the tune of $15,000, and ‘pay’ its employees for every hour they volunteer for good causes.
Blue-chip companies, particularly those from Silicon Valley, appear to be on a mission to secure their best talent at all costs. Whether or not such extravagant perks are sustainable remains to be seen; but for now, my advice to those employees in the privileged position of receiving these perks is to enjoy it while it lasts!