There’s no question that work is becoming a lot more fun. As part of our quest to discover the companies with the best employee culture in the UK we’ve seen some outrageously innovative employee perks. With most of us racking up way over 100,000 hours of work in a lifetime, a healthy work-life blend rather than mere work-life balance is a must. Companies have slowly started to react, with some offering environments and perks that mirror the demands a new generation. Here are our top 9 employee perks:
(Hint: click the links to see what other perks and quirks they offer.)
- Free food – Football Radar, a London based technology company that turns football data into numbers have their own in-house chef to keep employees well fed. Want variety? Googleplex in Silicon Valley has a variety of free food outlets for every meal, serving up over 200 recipes’ a day so there’s no chance of getting bored. Just beware of the “Google 15” – the 15 pounds that new Googlers put on by taking advantage of all the free food and snacks. Innovative companies such as Innocent Drinks and Vita Coco offer free breakfasts, drinks and snacks to keep employees hydrated and energized.
- Creative workplaces – Gone are the days of dull desk cubicles. Forward thinking companies, such as London Tech startup SwiftKey give new employees £100 to spend on making their workspace more creative. Innocent and Mind Candy are some of the most mind-bogglingly cool office spaces we’ve seen, with fake grass, treehouses and telephone boxes included.
- Unlimited Holiday – Let’s face it, we work flippin’ hard so we deserve time to recharge our batteries. Forget flexi-time, unlimited holiday let’s employees schedule in lengthy life-changing breaks that they would never get away with in the 20day norm. Companies such as Netflix and Talent Rocket have been quick to adopt this policy. This shows a huge amount of trust and a huge focus to hire people who love what they do. We figure that if you have to escape the hell that is your daily life for 4 weeks of the year then you’re not really happy at work.
- Game Rooms –name me a startup without a ping-pong or foosball table? Keeping employees entertained on their lunch break and down time has been all the rage for the past decade. Badoo’s London office has one of the sweetest games rooms we’ve seen, including pool table, foosball, ping pong and some serious gaming space. Tech companies don’t just limit play to the office or the local pub; Swiftkey host social events as diverse as Trapeze, Yoga and Archery on a regular basis.
- Pets at Work – There’s boat loads of research into how pets make us happier. Many UK companies such as London based Made.com now allow employees dogs in the office saving employees £££ in annual dog-sitting fees and making employees that little bit happier.
- Health & Fitness – putting the standard gym membership aside, some companies go the extra mile to attract health conscious employees. On-site gyms are springing up in offices across London. Yahoo and Buffer now offer free fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Up Bands for employees. These clever devices track how much sleep, nutrition and exercise employees are getting so they don’t reach burnout.
- Inspiration – the brightest minds need constant stimulation. Companies such as hip London startup Swiftkey invite guest speakers for lunchtime talks. Celebrities such as Stephen Fry have talked in the past. Innocent host a number of Innocent Inspires events to employees and super-fans. And if you’re lucky enough to work for Spotify, you’ll get a constant stream of musical talent to entertain you with free live gigs for employees in their London offices.
- Freebies – Most companies offer their employees free or cost-price versions of whatever they sell (e.g., memberships, furniture, courses, cars, etc.), and that is definitely nice if you happen to like or need whatever the company you work for is offering. Love design? Trendy e-tailer Made.com offer huge discounts to employees on their items.
- Purpose – Ok not so much as a perk but this is what Millennials really want. 64% of Millennials say it’s a priority to make the world a better place*. We want to get out of bed in the morning and say our job matters. We crave making a difference in some small way to a cause or purpose we passionately believe in.
Millennials have the reputation of a selfish, fickle and disloyal generation, hopping jobs on average every 18 months. I’ve noticed that the opposite is actually true. We believe it’s more important to find a career that makes a difference to others rather than one that just pays the bills. Unlike previous generations, we aren’t afraid to take action and move if required. Unlike a decade ago, the stigma attached to being unemployed is fairly non-existent today. We’re happy to take risks and pursue work happiness.
Perks and quirks are great and attract us to a company but as highlighted above what makes us stick around long term is making a difference. A recent study by Deloitte indicates that Millennials believe that the primary purpose of business is to improve the world around us. I guess we’re not so selfish and fickle after all.
What perks would motivate you? What have perks we missed off our list?