Good News for 9-to-5 workers: a survey by job search giant GlassDoor.com found that corporate perks are on the rise.
"Sixty-five percent of the employees we polled in our survey just about a month ago reported that their employers are rolling out new perks and benefits, which is a huge number," says Allyson Willoughby of Glassdoor.com. "It's a 14% increase over last year."
The best perks come from companies you might not expect. In fact, some of the most innovative, and indulgent, benefits come from lesser-known brands, start-ups and forward-thinking employers demonstrating lots of goodwill toward their workers. Jealous? Here are some company benefits you wish you had.
At Red Frog Events, a $45-million Chicago company, anyone can take unlimited vacation at any time - as long as you're getting your work done, of course. Surprisingly, the company reports increased productivity, lower administrative costs and improved talent recruiting over its competitors.
Shell Oil, TED Conferences, Mercedes Benz, and liquor company Pernod Ricard are among just a few companies offering top-tier concierge services to help you book a cleaning service, research travel, get dinner reservations, even pick up your dry cleaning.
If you have a personal cause on the other hand, some companies are prepared to help out. If you submit a grant at TripAdvisor, for example, the company's foundation donates significant sums to charities with which you volunteer. Timberland has an eco-friendly campaign, offering employees a $3,000 subsidy to buy a hybrid. And in San Francisco, tech company Qwiki will buy you a bike.
Another benefit worth fighting for? Despite the US being behind the rest of the world on family leave, some companies are stepping up. At pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, for example, pregnant employees get a paid month off prior to giving birth. But it's consulting firm Deloitte that takes the baby cake. There, new mothers can use flextime, work-from-home privileges and take part in a lactation support program. Deloitte even offers adoptive parents reimbursement for up to $5,000 of related expenses.
While more companies are offering workers fresh snacks in the pantry, others are taking on-campus conveniences to the max. Qualcomm's San Diego headquarters offers an on-site fitness center, medical and dental clinics, even a farmer's market. Free classes and team-building adventures like scuba diving and surfing encourage off-campus bonding.
At companies like UPS, Best Buy, Chase Bank, and MacAfee, workers take advantage of tuition reimbursement. At J.M. Smucker, the coverage is 100% so there's no limit to how much schooling you can get.
If health is a top priority, retirees at S.C. Johnson & Son get a lifetime membership at the company's state-of-the-art fitness center. And at Progressive Insurance, employees are treated to an on-site Weight Watchers program, meditation rooms and even an ergonomics consultant.
But even if you don't work for a multi-million-dollar dream-employer, you may still have some unexpected benefits.
Common health and wellness perks covered by your employer's health insurance often include discounted yoga, acupuncture, gym memberships and even orthopedic massage. Under Blue Cross Blue Shield's "Fit & Healthy" benefit, for example, Lasik eye surgery, teeth whitening, toddler gym and swim programs and even driver education can be reimbursed up to $300.
"The first thing people can do is research," Willoughby says. "There are tons of companies out there with...benefits and perks and you'll learn a lot looking at some of those resources. Then I would say if you see something, as an employee that your company doesn't offer and you think they should, be a change agent. Go to your HR department, go to your manager and pitch it. Most HR professionals love to make their employees happy and if there's something you think is a great idea for your company, then let them know and suggest it."
And, as always, we want to hear from you. What are some corporate perks you have and love? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the #FinFit.
Special Thanks to Massage Envy and Miguel Sierra for their help with the accompanying video.