Ways of working

Quirky corporate perks that really work

There’s more to keeping our workforces happy than big pay packets. A recent survey found that 57% of people consider perks and benefits among their top considerations when choosing a job. Around 80% even said they’d prefer new benefits to a pay rise. As employers catch on to this trend, many job perks are getting even more creative and tempting as companies compete to attract and keep the best workers. Here are a few of our favorites.

Purple Coins. Despite what the name suggests, these coins don’t have to be purple, or even coins. And yet the principle behind this innovative plan from the Singaporean dating app startup LunchClick is brilliantly simple. Employees give their colleagues a Purple Coin every time they do something good. These can then be redeemed for rewards ranging from movie tickets to time off.

Fitness classes. We all know that building a healthy workforce makes good business sense. However, more and more companies are going above and beyond standard wellness plans to provide fitness packages that match their atmosphere, ethos and diversity. For example, Global financial messaging company Swift offers its workers yoga, ping pong, swimming and Qigong.

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Extreme activities. You might expect a creative startup to come up with creative perks for its staff. What you probably won’t expect is a sharp, cutting edge corporate comms business like South Africa’s Missing Link to offer free tattoos, or Dropbox to have built a music studio for its employees. But they do, and they know that perks like this both encourage personal expression and creative freedom among their workers while still connecting with their brand identity.

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Life and career coaching. US Project Management software company Asana is all about helping people get things done, and that’s reflected in their staff perks too. All their employees have access to executive classes and life coaching classes outside of work, to ensure they meet their potential both in their careers and in their personal lives.

Travel. Life doesn’t begin and end in the office, and good employee perks reflect that. This means encouraging down-time and escapism while still connecting back to a love of the job. Snowboard gear supplier Burton, for example, offers free ski slope passes, while Airbnb gives its employees an annual allowance of $2,000 to travel the world and stay with its hosts.

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Family counseling. Maintaining a work-life balance isn’t easy and stress can sometimes creep into family life. Indian IT services company RMSI has boldly taken steps to address this issue with staff parenting and relationship counseling, as well as child psychology sessions. They run photography, painting and guitar classes too, as a form of art therapy.

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Napping facilities. With all these work and leisure activities, you might just want a lie down once in a while. In fact, studies suggest that in the US alone, the cost of tiredness at work is $411bn. Several companies including Google and Hootsuite are combating the problem with napping facilities and rest areas where their workers can go for a bit of shut-eye during the day.

Employee benefits and perks are becoming less about tradition and convention, and more about going that one step further. Offer your workforce a deal that works for them, and you’ll find it might do wonders for your business too.