Or bring the viewing out of the office and take the whole team to the newest Star Wars. Or Marvel movie. Or awards show weepie if your workplace is classy like that. It’s a day of lost work you won’t get back. But it’s a day of bonding you won’t want to trade.
Budgeting money for desk decorations is another employee perk that brings art into the office. And actually keeps it there. Mostly because buying it yourself is a better quality guarantee than making it.
To put the social power (and responsibilities) behind any of the above in employees’ own hands, a Party Planning Committee can be a vital employee perk. Giving the office control over its own recreation tends to create the kind of recreation the whole office enjoys. Funny how that works.
A seating exchange is the sort of employee perk that presents itself as a surface inconvenience, but tends to pay off in spades far more often than not. Swapping around work areas, even one day a month, mixes up energies and mixes up office relationships, making the whole team slowly feel more familiar with each other.
Help your coworkers make the most of those hours, wherever they fall in the day, with an employee concierge. Think of it like a personal assistant spread out across the whole office. Consider outside errands taken care of, and distractions swatted, giving the whole team freedom to focus. Or if that’s too extreme, give everyone Task Rabbit credits to hire their own temporary assistants as needed.
For interests that go deeper than the books themselves, bring employee-selected speakers to the office to give talks and seminars. It’s an employee perk that takes personal knowledge and makes it communal. And making it communal makes it stick around.
Nothing accompanies Dalmatian onesies like a Dalmatian by the desk. Bringing dogs into the office provides instant stress relief, instant entertainment, and instant heart that’ll break everyone’s guard down. Assuming they’re not allergic.
Of course, keeping the kitchen stocked with Emergen-C goes a long way towards helping with all that too.
From Spotify to Apple Music to Tidal (okay maybe not Tidal), shared streaming services are a great way to help your coworkers focus and escape, all at the same time. What’s more, encouraging shared playlists will help everyone in the office get to know each other’s tastes. And influence each other’s tastes too.
Sponsoring an in-office fantasy league, on the flip side, IS just the kind of employee perk that inspires team building (by building teams, naturally).
It goes without saying you can’t have an office fantasy league without a way to keep tabs. Communally. So you can hear all your coworkers’ sighs, moans and cries of agony as you (hopefully) slide up the rankings.
Or keep tabs in person. With a whole lot more yelling. And beer (of the non office draft system-variety, of course. Save that).
Or maybe your fantasy game isn’t so hot. That’s okay. For an employee perk that’ll let you show off a more dynamic skill set, sign the company up for a soccer/flag football/heck even a dodgeball league. It’ll help everyone who signs up bond. Eventually. After they’re done trying to pummel each other.
For an office activity that embraces getting physical but leaves bravado by the way-side (in fact, it tends to actively decrease aggression), signing the office up for yoga – or better yet, offering it in-house, is an employee perk that quickly pays for itself in dividends. Just make sure you’ve all got somewhere to shower after.
Or bring the tranquility to work, without the part that requires showering. Drop-in massage services are everywhere these days, and easy to book as an employee perk that won’t just wipe the day’s stresses away, but should go a long ways toward preventing new ones.
Bringing in a life coach/career coach can massage out all the non-physical things weighing employees down, and leave them just as smoothed out once they’re done. It’ll also make them more focused. It’s an employee perk that’ll add a little purpose to your coworkers’ day; in fact the kind of little purpose that becomes very large once it all adds up.
Now if all the previous employee perks are appealing, but the prospect of doing them at work isn’t, a simple allowance for mental health gives employees the means to take care of everything above in private. Whether it’s therapy sessions, or simply a spa day, wellness allowances help employees get well on their own time, and stay that way on work time.
Same here. Except maybe more so.
If you’re looking to go full Google though, prep the kitchen to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It won’t just save employees money, it’ll give them an excuse to converge and eat together. And if they wind up liking each other, you can label that just another employee perk.
For late-working workers taking advantage of that free dinner, go ahead and schedule viewing parties for some of your coworkers’ favorite shows. From The Bachelorette to re-watching Battlestar Galactica, there’s a wide variety of ways to get the team watching together – then hopefully arguing together.
Conversely, grabbing regular seats for big concerts is a great employee perk for the team more into listening than looking.
What’s more, signing everyone up for a free Dropbox Premium account will ensure everyone can share the rare album that isn’t currently being streamed with each other. Along with documents and power points, if they’re into that.
For an employee perk that shares even more knowledge, supply your office with a set of Kindles or Fire readers. The more you enrich yourself, the more riches you have to share with your co-workers. Even if those riches resemble Young Adult angst.
If it’s more of an active workplace, take everyone instead to an experience, like the recent Happy Place or Candytopia in LA. Jump in giant ball pits, get lost in halls of mirrors, and naturally – get your picture taken every step of the way. After all, it’s the office that Instagrams together that stays together.
And where else would you (responsibly) share your Young Adult angst?
Another way to do exactly that is running an office mentorship program, pairing employees up with each other to pass on what their best skills and talents. Whether it directly pertains to daily office life, or encompasses an outside skill set altogether, two heads are always better than one.
Whether it’s outside the office, or in the middle of the lobby, bringing a team together from different departments is a whole lot easier when the focus is on creating art. Be it painting, sculpting, or even just basic scrapbooking, group art projects don’t just bring coworkers together, they bring the best out of them. Especially when alcohol’s involved.
Self-expression you wear tends to be even more popular than the type you put on your desk. Like way more popular. For the office with a dress code, however casual, an allowance for wardrobe is always appreciated, helping your coworkers look their best so they can also feel their best.
Barring a wardrobe allowance, instituting a no dress code policy’s the best kind of sartorial employee perk. Let your guard down and let your coworkers’ freak flags fly – from cargo shorts to Dalmatian onesies. You were warned.
34. Free Gym Membership
While we’re on the subject of flexibility, flexible hours tend to solve a lot of problems in a big office, letting employees with different jobs do them in the slice of time that makes the most sense to them. And the best part is, it’s impossible to be late.
Giving your office a solid week off or more to celebrate holidays ensures everyone will come back to work feeling holly and jolly. Specifically if it’s a week they’re also paid for. Happy Holidays.
In the grand scheme of things, having a baby is a bigger celebration than your average holiday, so your company’s maternity/paternity leave would do well to reflect that. Offering extra time off for new parents will help your coworkers count sleep during the most stressful time of their lives. So by the time they come back, they can count everything else more coherently.
If you prefer, just make it simple and offer unlimited paid time off, which gives everyone who needs it ample time to take care of business. Your coworkers will sleep comfortably; knowing they’ll be taken care of both in the office, and out of it.
Another opportunity for time off pay that doesn’t just help coworkers, but helps coworkers help their community is paid time off to support the charity of their choice. Whether it’s Young Storytellers, Meals on Wheels or Habitat for Humanity, this is an employee perk that pays your employees to pay it forward.
Matching employees’ donations with equal donations from the company is another great way to support your coworkers’ favorite charities. And it’s a way to spread the love further, amongst a diverse collection of causes
While you’re going outside for food trucks and drop-offs, you might as well eat there too. Outside meetings may seem impulsive or even arbitrary, but in the long run, shaking up your office formalities is an employee perk that keeps employees from sinking into routine.
Simply giving employees a way to organize and help out the community still goes a long way as a forward-thinking employee perk. It’s a way for the office to come together, outside the office, and unified for the greater good.
Take outside meetings to the next level by hosting the kinds of company retreats your company will actually want to retreat to. With the right combination of location and games, you can make retreats feel like summer camp. Summer camp you get paid for.
For an employee perk that brings the best company retreat games a little bit closer, sign the office up for an improv workshop. It’ll help employees get out of their heads, get creative, and feel like kids again. It’s the kind of thing that’s just the right amount of scary to force bonding, then just the right amount of fun for the bonding to last.
And for the real social daredevils, karaoke outings are an employee perk with high danger but higher reward. Just like with the art session perk though, make sure alcohol’s on hand to ease…well, ease everything.
From pumpkin carving to gingerbread houses to ugly sweater competitions, contests can be a great way to galvanize the office and bring the best out of everyone. Even if their best involves being better than everyone else.
Maybe it seems basic to let employees organize their own events, but of all these options, the most basic employee perks can wind up being the very best. Take parking, for example, which might sound like a given, but in a city like LA or Boston, can be something close to vital.
Same for company laptops, which save employees a boatload of money, and a boatload of worry for when they inevitably crash. Company laptops help everyone feel like they own their own important piece of the office.
52. Company Phones
Same goes for smartphones. In fact, maybe even more so.