According to career site Glassdoor, almost 80 per cent of employees say they would prefer new or better perks (such as healthcare benefits or extra time off) over a pay rise. On top of this, research shows that small happiness boosters such as snacks and drinks can lift productivity by an average of 12 per cent and up to 20 per cent.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more and more companies are looking for ways to treat their employees and make work more enjoyable with benefits.
While Google has always been a top dog in this regard (hence why it’s heading the list), more and more companies are following suit to attract top talent and improve work culture.
It should come as no surprise that Google makes this list. Movies like The Internship show off the positive culture and work perks that Google promotes. It’s widely publicised that staff at Google get daily perks such as fun workspaces, on-site gyms, free meals and snacks, nap pods and free transport alongside competitive salaries and paid parental leave. People who work there also talk about how Google is a hub of intelligent and inspiring people.
While these perks might appear to be a massive cost to the business, data suggests that workplaces like Google are 40% more productive than the average company. Not only does Google attract high performers- but it retains and nurtures this talent, as well as encouraging all team members to perform productively.
Streaming service Netflix is one of the giants leading the pack when it comes to work benefits. Much like Google, Netflix staff can enjoy free lunches, but they also have up to 12-month maternity and paternity leave and unlimited vacation days (within reason). They’ve also ditched the traditional 9-5 grind in favour of open working hours (at the California office), where employees aren’t required to clock their hours.
In reference to its policies, Netflix says “you might think that such freedom would lead to chaos. But we also don’t have a clothing policy, yet no one has come to work naked. The lesson is you don’t need policies for everything. Most people understand the benefits of wearing clothes at work.”
Staff at Netflix are given the freedom to exercise their own judgement on the best way to handle their workloads and their core philosophy is “people over process.”
This ethos seems to have manifested positively throughout the company with research suggesting that staff at Netflix (when compared to companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon) are most satisfied with their pay and 70% of employees on Glassdoor would recommend working at Netflix to a friend.
Much like Netflix, Virgin employees have unlimited annual leave. Salaried staff are allowed to take time off whenever they want for as long as they want, and they don’t have to keep track of their days away. Before taking leave, staff must ensure their team is up-to-date on projects and their absence won’t be damaging; small restrictions for a pretty great work perk. With this, Virgin takes a leaf directly out of Netflix’s book in letting staff have the freedom to exercise their own judgement when it comes to completing their workload.
According to Glassdoor, Facebook is now the most desirable place to work in the US and it’s not hard to see why considering the amount of perks employees receive. Not only does Facebook offer free meals and help their employees cover healthy activity costs (think gym memberships), on a larger scale they also offer generous leave in the form of vacation days, parental leave and a 30-day break (earned after five years).
Emulating the tactics of Google and Facebook to attract talent, Aussie software company Atlassian also has its own range of perks. It boasts a fully stocked kitchen as well as beer on tap, a pool room, gamers lounge and a ping-pong table. They also offer free yoga, Pilates and boot-camp as part of their wellness initiatives and five days annual leave to contribute to volunteer projects. Atlassian have also made Business Review Weekly’s (BRW) annual Best Place to Work list twice so they must be doing something right.