Unique employer benefits?

I posted about the Unlimited PTO, which is unlimited Paid Time Off as a benefit employers have bragged about in their job postings.

A friend told me about one company where the company has someone to come over and give you a neck massage for the cost of a dollar a minute. Some other things like at Google are where they provide free lunch.

What other unique employer benefits have you heard of or perhaps exist at your company?

I was going to post about the Chinese firm offering its top employees a night with a porn star, but apparently that wasn’t true (or was true but was withdrawn for PR purposes.)

Every US IKEA employee with children gets the first day of the local school calendar off as a paid holiday.

We did this exact same thread about a month ago. I can’t find it right now because Search sucks.

Perhaps this one: “What’s the greatest or most interesting job perk?”

Wait, how would unlimited PTO even work? They’re saying they don’t care if you actually do anything; they’ll pay you for nothing?

Surely there’s some limitation or expectation. Yes?

I’ve heard of these. The point is that you are given an amount of work to accomplish. You aren’t required to work any specific minimum number of hours, but the work has to get done. So if you feel like taking next week off - you can, as long as you can somehow still manage to get all the work done. You get a set salary for getting it all done. If you get it all done in only 24 hours a week, then you could say that, based on a standard 40 hour workweek, you get two days (16 hours) off each and every week. But you really don’t, because you were never required to work 40 hours to begin with, only to get the work done.

Yes, it requires approval.

My gf works in advertising. Her agency has a beermeister that gets rolled out for happy hour every Friday. They have a ping-pong table and bikes. If smoke wafts out of someone’s cubicle, nobody says anything.

When my father worked for General Dynamics in San Diego back in the day, they had a 27-acre private park for the exclusive use of employees and their families. It was called “Missile Park” because it had an Atlas missile standing upright on display by the baseball fields. The missile is long since gone and I think the park is public property now.

Yes. Absolutely. Social pressure if nothing else.

Unlimited PTO is basically to make things easy for accounting. In a conventional arrangement, you accrue vacation days and then can use them, and they need to kept track of. In some jurisdictions, local laws require them to be paid for if you accrue them and are fired or even if you quit. Either way “unused employee vacation days” are counted as a liability on the books which can have significant impact on the valuation of the company, especially for small companies with highly-paid employees who tend to not consume their vacation days (e.g. tech startups).

If there is “unlimited” PTO, from an accounting point of view this is the same as no PTO. No one is counting, and no one gets paid extra when they are fired, and “social pressure” is off-ledger.

So it seems like a very employee-friendly policy, but it can also be an employer-friendly policy, too (and if the pressure not to take vacation is very high, it can be employee-unfriendly as well).

Moderator Action

Since this is an informal poll of what posters have at their work or have at least heard of, it belongs in IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

(and all of these answers are making me think that I need to work for a different company)

Since this has already been done in the other thread, and the PTO topic is also another thread, how about we make this about benefits we’d LIKE to see?

  1. Some time ago I heard that Google allows their employees time on the clock to work on their own personal projects. Like 2 hours a week or something, and it can be anything they want. Some of them end up becoming Google products. I would LOVE that at my company!

  2. This is so trivial it’s a first world problem but it bugs me to death. If the company can buy toilet paper for employees to use in the bathrooms, there’s no stinking reason it can’t also provide kleenex and feminine products. Women should NOT have to buy products for a quarter or whatever. I actually found this at one previous employer and it really just screamed “we value our employees so much that we don’t nickel and dime them”.

  3. It’s nice that companies hire plant services to install and maintain plants in the lobby areas, but why can’t they also do that in the employee work areas? Everywhere I’ve worked, our areas have been sterile and ugly. It can’t possibly cost that much extra to have a few more strategically placed tropical plants.

  4. How about FREE 10-minute shoulder massages once a week or month?

I work at a college, so you have access to the pool and fitness center for free.

We used to have free tissues and coffee, but there’s a budget crunch and those went away. I don’t like coffee, so it doesn’t make any difference to me.

Another college perk at some places: free classes. Sometimes even free tuition at the college for dependents of employees. (They still have to qualify for admission.)

I’ve known people who got real nervous when they had a kid 1 or two terms away from graduating and they were about to lose their jobs. Paying private school tuition after losing your job is a bad combo. They’ll take any other job at the school.

1 - We have a guaranteed 3 day a year to work for a charity policy with additional time granted if we do work for the companies own charity.

  1. you know who screws this idea up? Your coworkers. I worked for a company who did this and they had to stop because people were loading up their purses and supplying entire small countries instead of just taking what they needed. Sucky.

  2. It’s a fairly standard clause in Canadian health plans to get a certain dollar amount per year reimbursed for a registered massage therapist. For hubby’s plan its $1000, for mine it’s $500.

  3. Work from home is my favorite win/win policy.

My dad worked at General Dynamics in Pomona, CA, and they had a huge park with a top notch baseball field also. There was also an employee gym with locker room and exercise equipment. My dad use to play ping-pong every day at lunch.

In the 70’s Gallo wine comp[any had a T2 tanker ship for moving wine in bulk. When off loading or loading cargo the crew could load personal containers with wine from a tap at the loading connection.

The company I work for now had a tie in with a big movie, so just before it opened they rented out most of a big multiplex and we got to get tickets, first come first served, for the movie, 3d glasses, and popcorn and soda. During work time.

The company I used to work out sponsored concerts, and they made tickets available at the gym - which was really close to my office, right across the parking lot. I got free tickets to see the Stones and also a Blues festival with BB King. Nosebleed seats for the Stones, but free, free, free.
This company also gave free massages, but I never partook.
Most big Silicon Valley companies have gyms, so that’s no big deal.

I used to know someone who worked at Dolby Labs. IIRC, they had Family Movie Night in the Reference Theatre at their San Francisco headquarters once a month. They were able to get copies of movies pretty shortly into their original theatrical runs. If you want to know what a movie should sound like, try to finagle an invitation to see it at this auditorium as there is not a better-executed theater sound system anywhere else. Not many more comfortable or cleaner either.

For now, I can content myself with free checking and savings accounts and discounts on safety deposit boxes, plus free cashier’s checks.