Job perks employees actually want

Some of the best job perks are the ones you may not expect

WeWork The Boardwalk in Irvine, CA. Photographs by WeWork

Unlike in decades past, today’s workers are willing to switch jobs if they believe their lifestyle will improve. It’s not just about stability or even salary any more. Companies must now compete to offer perks that bring in the best employees and make them want to stick around for the long haul.

It’s a different approach to employee satisfaction, but when you look at the data, it’s clear which businesses are coming in first. When workers are able to provide honest feedback about their employers, those with the best perks tend to win the “Best Places to Work” awards, while others deal with constant turnover and vicious reviews on sites like Glassdoor. The key to motivated and loyal employees, it seems, is all in the perks.

Give your employees the best job perks

So how do you figure out which employee perks your workers actually want? There are plenty of potential benefits that might bring in resumes from strong candidates, but keep in mind that these may not work in every office. It’s important to understand your own company’s culture well before implementing changes, but these popular perks give you a place to start.

In-office perks

If you want visible perks that make your workplace attractive to potential employees, consider adding some in-office job perks. These are the fun benefits that make an office more enjoyable day in and day out. After all, your workers are spending 40 hours of their week (or perhaps even more) at their job, so making it a pleasant place to be can help keep spirits high and create a sense of camaraderie around the office.

The following are some of the most popular in-office perks that you might want to offer to your employees:

Food and beverages

Some offices are quite generous when it comes to doling out food to their employees. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an employee who wouldn’t rave about a fridge stocked with free drinks and snacks. If that’s a little too expensive for your office, consider having weekly or monthly office events where you bring in a special treat for the employees, like a made-to-order omelet station or a healthy salad bar.

On-site services

Does your company have an on-site gym, spa, salon, or masseuse? These type of office perks really make employees happy for several reasons. First, it’s more convenient to get their free-time activities done without interrupting work. For example, some employees enjoy being able to get their workout done quickly before or after work or even during a lunch break. In addition, these services can create a more relaxing atmosphere and help to prevent worker stress.


If your employees are on the younger or more active side, offering fun activities on site can help them enjoy the workplace even more. For example, a game of ping pong can help two employees get to know each other while taking a quick mid-afternoon break. You could also keep board games around for a lunchtime competition or offer an outdoor volleyball court that encourages employees to stay active.

Dog-friendly offices

This is something that may not work for every office, especially if there are allergy concerns, but if you can manage to have a dog-friendly workplace, you’ll definitely make yourself more attractive to certain job candidates. The ability to bring a dog along to work may be a must-have for some job-seekers, and having some pups around will definitely lead to more smiles in the office.

WeWork 511 W 25th St in New York.

Lifestyle perks

While in-office perks are certainly appreciated, they only affect an employee’s experience in the workplace. If you’re also able to offer some lifestyle perks that make their life outside of work better, expect employee satisfaction to start skyrocketing. These are the benefits that can make or break someone’s decision to work for you, especially with more top companies competing to offer the best perks in this category.

Check out some of the most popular lifestyle job perks you can offer to your workers:

Flexible hours: 

Not everyone can easily accommodate a strict 9-5 schedule. Allowing a more flexible work schedule helps employees enjoy their life outside work even more.

Work from home: 

Similar to flexible hours, a work-from-home policy is a great way to increase employee satisfaction. This job perk shows that you trust your workers to get the job done even if they’re not in the office.

Unlimited PTO: 

Having a limit on paid time off can cause employees to feel like they’re missing out on life. If you have an unlimited PTO policy, however, workers will feel empowered to live life to the fullest and work harder so they can enjoy even more time off. This may sound like a pipe dream in some offices, but when implemented correctly, it can be a huge success. Just tell workers that in order to take the time off, they must get their work done or arrange for someone else do it. Plus, more vacations and breaks from the office can help your employees recharge so they can return rested and ready to take on more work.

Extra holiday time off

Speaking of time off, it’s important to consider what your work schedule is like around the holidays. Is it absolutely necessary that your workers show up to the office on Christmas Eve? Could you allow for a half-day on the Friday before Memorial Day to make it an even longer weekend? Just a few tweaks to the calendar here and there can leave employees feeling more appreciated.

Teams, clubs, and events

For some employees, the workplace is a great place to socialize and strike up friendships. In these cases, it can be hugely beneficial to foster a sense of community by forming groups for everything from sports and hobbies to volunteering and education. You can also host events for employees that give them a chance to hang out outside work. The key to making this work is to make it completely optional; employees shouldn’t be missing out on any job opportunities if they prefer to socialize elsewhere.

Parental perks

Parenthood is a major facet of life for many workers, but having a job can also make the experience more stressful. If you can alleviate some of your parent-employees’ stress, it will go a long way. Consider offering maternal and paternal leave that extends beyond the legally required minimum, and don’t forget to include non-traditional families (adoption, fostering, surrogacy, etc.). In addition, hosting on-site day care with licensed day care providers is a great way to win parents over.

WeWork Insurgentes Sur 601 in Mexico City.

Monetary perks

It may come as a surprise that you don’t have to offer the highest salary to win over employees. In addition to the perks listed above, you can offer perks with monetary value that make employees feel like they’re actually getting much more than what’s on their paychecks. By reducing costs in other areas, you can help employees keep more of their pay for themselves.

Here are some money-related job perks you may want to implement:


This is one of the most effective monetary perks because it makes workers feel like they are truly profiting from their hard work. Profit-sharing is a great way to ensure that your workers feel invested in the company’s success.

Subsidized education 

Many people are itching to learn more, but they don’t have the funds to do so. Subsidizing their educational pursuits keeps your workers learning new things and can help them perform better on the job.

Student loan repayment

One of the hottest trends in monetary job perks is repaying employees’ student loans. With loan debt paid off by the month or year, this perk can really increase employee loyalty, and it may even be a deciding factor for a potential job candidate.

Commuter assistance

Can you arrange for reduced transit fares for your employees or offer free on-site parking in a downtown location? Is it possible to offer a company shuttle that picks up workers from nearby bus or train stations? These perks make workers’ lives a little easier every day and have significant monetary value.

Some of the best job perks are the ones you may not expect. Just be sure to think about your company culture and employee needs before you decide which of these job perks to implement.

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