Five Strange and Awesome Company Perks
First things first: I think it’s great that Apple and Facebook are going to start covering egg freezing for female employees, a medical procedure that most employers do not pay for. Egg freezing, once an experimental technology, has become a fairly stable procedure that gives women more control over their reproductive lives – and, by extension, over their lives in general.
That being said, free egg freezing is one of the odder perks I’ve seen a company offer. Imagine a bunch of executives sitting around a well-appointed conference room, brainstorming new employee incentives.
“Hey,” one of them offers tentatively, “What if we freeze their eggs?”
This probably isn’t exactly how it went down, but it is the way the situation plays out in my head – and that’s what makes it kind of weird.
Weird or not, I think it’s a great idea, which is why I want to celebrate it with a list of some of the strangest – but also coolest — company perks I’ve read about.
The Company: Chartbeat
The Perk: A “Puppytorium”
Chartbeat’s puppytorium is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it’s a room full of dogs. It’s also a library, but who has time for that when there are puppies running around? According to Chartbeat’s staff page, there are 10 dogs romping about the puppytorium (maybe not all at once), including Gigi, the chief ball fetcher, and Champagne “Champ” Bennett, the lowly intern who is in charge of killing blades of grass.
The Company: S.C. Johnson
The Perk: Employee Concierge Services
If you ask me, concierge services are strictly limited to the sorts of high-end hotels I will never have enough money to stay in. If you ask S.C. Johnson, concierge services are for everybody! I like the way they think. According to the company’s website, S.C. Johnson offers concierge services to employees because it respects “life outside of work.”
Note: It’s unclear whether or not all S.C. Johnson employees have access to concierge services.
The Company: Zappos
The Perk: Parades, in Your Honor
Zappos is kind of a weird place. When I heard that a company was throwing parades in honor of high-performing employees, I knew it had to be them. And it was.
Of course, it’s not enough for Zappos to throw a parade. It also crowns you a “hero,” gives you a gift card and a parking spot, and throws in a (expletive deleted) cape, for good measure.
The Company: Umpqua Regional Bank
The Perk: Shopping Loans
I, for one, am grateful that Recruiter.com HQ has such a lax dress code. Back when I was a teacher, I had to shell out hundreds of dollars a year for shirts, slacks, ties, and jackets. Now, I cruise into work in jeans and weird thrift-store shirts that make me look like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Unfortunately for employees at Umpqua Regional Bank, professional attire is still required. Fortunately for employees at Umpqua Regional Bank, the bank will help you out with that. According to Investopedia, the company will loan employees up to $1000 a year for workplace wardrobe purchases.
My guess is that every employee of Umpqua Regional Bank looks fresher than I do.
The Company: Plante & Moran
The Perk: Mom Buddies
Being a new mom is tough. Congratulations! You’re now responsible for another human life! Bonus: the human life in question is utterly helpless. Enjoy!
Accounting firm Plante & Moran empathizes with the wonderful plight of its new-mom employees, which is why it pairs expectant workers up with co-worker “buddies”: employees who have already had children. Through this buddy system, pregnant employees can learn the ins and outs of childrearing from people have been there and done that.
There are plenty of other companies who offer slightly wacky, but totally awesome perks. These are just a few of my favorites. I wanted to mention Recruiter.com as well, because we do get some pretty cool weird perks here, but that seems kind of tacky and a little uncouth. So, all I’ll say is this: if you like fresh eggs straight from the farm, you might like working here.
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