In their battle for the labor market’s biggest talent, companies can no longer be content to merely offer vouchers and vacations. Join us for a look at the most interesting (and bizarre?) offerings on the employee-benefits market today.
In our era of low unemployment, the labor market is overflowing with attractive employee benefits. Companies are embroiled in a battle, and benefits are often its main munitions.
Besides standard work-from-homeome programs, team-building, and fitness-center vouchers, companies are for example including gyms into their offices, offering office yoga, and letting employees have their beloved pets by their desks. But some companies go even further!
How can you win over creative, yet strong-headed millennials? It’s no wonder that the benefits out there are starting to include ones that previous generations would raise their eyebrows at.
For example the creative digital agency Inventi Labs offers employees subsidies for tattooing, one week’s work from abroad, and more. On average every fourth Inventi employee has taken them up on their benefits for skin mods. “We cover up to 2,500 crowns a year,” notes their CEO Robert Krejča.
Destination: Permanent Vacation
Employees who take advantage of the benefit called unlimited vacations experience absolute freedom—but also great responsibility. This Scandinavian trend is beginning to take off worldwide and is slowly but surely making a home for itself in the Czech Republic too. The Czech employers that have implemented this benefit include e.g. Brand Embassy, Dayswaps CZ, and enovation.
But in practice, this definitely doesn’t mean “two years’ vacation” à la Jules Verne—as noted by Jan Pulchart, Team Leader for Operations at enovation: “Every employee who has used up the usual legally mandated vacation can request additional time off. However, this time needs to be approved by management.” The longest continuous vacation so far has been “just” one month, with about 10 days out of it having come from the unlimited-leave “fund.”
(Almost) Unlimited Ice Cream
What good is it working for an ice cream manufacturer if you as a faithful employee aren’t first in line for a taste of their latest flavors? Ben & Jerry’s are no skinflints, and they offer their employees over a liter and a half of premium ice cream a day litr, which we’d think is more than a human being can even consume. Let’s just hope their employees take it easy, and perhaps take them up on their increased sports benefits as well. Otherwise they might go on to make use of the next benefit in our list.
As threatening as it might sound, this is one of the benefits that’s most appreciated by employees at Google. If one of the company’s employees passes away, Google offers their surviving spouse 50 percent of their pay for 10 years after their death. Eat your heart out, life insurance!
Now let’s move on to a happier slice of life’s merry-go-round. You see, some companies have gone in a quite different direction and decided to pay for their employees’ weddings. The American online home-delivering supermarket Boxed is among them. And why weddings, exactly? This benefit is rooted in their corporate culture, where everyone in the company is “one big family.”
And after the wedding comes... offspring, of course! But hold up... every company wants to keep their workers working as long as they can. Still, at some point in life, people stand before a dilemma: work or family? That’s why some companies have decided to support women who decide to build their career first, by paying the costs for enabling future assisted reproduction, to ease their path towards later founding a family at an advanced age. Spotify, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo are among these companies.
Why Stop at Eggs?
Let’s move on from freezing eggs to freezing entire human bodies! This sci-fi benefit is offered by the hedge fund Numerai. They promise key employees that, should they pass away, the company will freeze their bodies to -190° C and only thaw them out after treatment for their ailments becomes available. That’s what we call motivation for two lifetimes of work!
Not to taunt anyone, but who of you can claim a benefit like that?