The definition of the word “benefit” has a few different meanings. One refers to a benefit as “an advantage or profit gained from something.” While another defines a benefit as “a payment or gift made by an employer.” Whether you look at a benefit as an advantage/profit or as a payment/gift, company perks or benefits of some sort are playing an important role in everyday business operations and how companies retain or attract new employees.
It’s no secret — we spend a lot of time at work. While most of our time is spent focusing on the tasks at hand, it’s nice to have certain benefits or perks that give workers feeling of appreciation for what they do and how they contribute to the company. Perks have a special way of keeping your current employees engaged with their company and help managers get their best work each day.
When it comes to finding the best employees, having great perks can be just as important as offering a competitive salary and, depending on the perks you choose, it can be a cheaper way of drawing in new hires. According to two separate studies by Glassdoor, nearly three in five (57%) people report that benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job and almost 80% of employees say they would prefer new benefits over a pay raise.
There are so many perks being offered these days, including:
- Healthcare/dental/vision insurance
- Vacation/Paid time off
- Performance bonus
- Paid sick days
- 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension
- In-office perks such as free lunch, casual dress, company outings
- Employee development programs
- Employee discounts
- Gym membership or wellness programs
- Paid parental leave
- Childcare assistance
- Commuter assistance
Some companies are offering unique and surprising perks like travel stipends and paid time off to volunteer, while others are stepping up their game and helping to new parents. Glassdoor recently released a list of the Top 20 Employee Benefits & Perks for 2017 which is an eye-opening look at what companies are offering to keep current employees and entice new ones. It can be challenging to decipher what employee perks will really make a difference. Everyone wants something different that will benefit him/her and their family. Let’s look at 5 unique perks (other than those listed above) that are making employees happier at work:
Let’s face it, sometimes the workplace can be stifling. We see the same walls every day. Talk to the same people day in and day out. We deal with traffic and the same back and forth commute. Speaking of commutes, did you know that the average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau? Sometimes we need a break from the repetition. Letting employees work remotely from home is proving to have quite a few positive benefits.
A recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that productivity actually increased by one-third when people were able to work from home. Researchers attribute this to a few things — a quieter environment, fewer distractions, and no commute.
Working remotely is not a fit for every employee. Being in the office can be a mandatory requirement for some based on their role. But establishing a sense of trust and responsibility by allowing employees to work remotely can be a real game changer and give employees a bit of a boost and feeling of responsibility without someone constantly staring over their shoulder in the office.
Student Loan Assistance
Student loans are a burden for many young people entering the workforce. The reach of America’s student loan problem — total debt is now about $1.4 trillion — is vast. Unfortunately, college is not becoming more affordable. 7 in 10 college graduates have student loan debt. The average person leaves school $30,000 in arrears, while nearly 20 percent owe more than $100,000. Americans are now more burdened by education loans than they are by credit card or auto debt.
These days it’s more common for companies to offer company perks such as student loan assistance. In fact, many companies are finding it’s a great way to attract new talent and is as meaningful to recent graduates as 401(k)s. Companies either make payments directly towards an employee’s student loan balance or match the employee’s own monthly payments up to a certain amount. This is a benefit for both the employee as well as the company. This perk actually costs the company less the longer an employee stays with them.
We spend so much time sitting at work in front of our computers, and it’s just not healthy. People who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death. Additionally, sitting all the time burns very few calories, and many studies have linked it to weight gain and obesity.
A standing or stand-up desk is becoming more popular in the workplace. Many versions of the standing desk are adjustable so you can change the height to fit your specific size and can be used for both standing and sitting. According to a feature in Healthline, there are some great benefits attributed to standing desks such as:
- Lowers risk of weight gain and obesity
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Reduces back pain
- Improves mood and energy levels
- Boosts productivity
By sitting less and standing more, employees are seeing an improvement in their overall health. And that means fewer visits to the doctor and maybe even better healthcare rates for companies as a result.
Standing desks can easily be added into a company’s database of furniture they track and maintain. Just be sure to keep up-to-date data on how many chairs you purchase, who is using them and a maintenance record for repairs. This is easy to do with an asset tracking software platform. You never know … all your employees may want one and you’ll have an office full of happy, healthy people.
Exercise Desks and Chairs
Similar to the section above on standing desks, companies are also looking into exercise desks and chairs that can be used in the workplace. Many experts say to set an hourly reminder to get up and walk around the office — whether that’s to take a phone call (instead of sitting down to take it), get a drink, or just walking aimlessly. Five-minute spurts of movement can lift your mood, restore dwindling energy levels without losing focus, and are apparently more beneficial than taking a single long walk.
Sometimes it’s not possible to get away from the desk. However, you can still get a little workout and metabolism boost in while crunching your accounting numbers thanks to the introduction of exercise desks and chairs. Companies are bringing products to the marketplace such as a “walkstation,” that combines a treadmill with a workstation, an under-desk elliptical, an under-desk exercise bike, and chair balancing items/exercise balls.
Again, these are all trackable items that should be kept up within your company’s asset and inventory software platform.
For many employees, pets are a very important part of their family. They are almost like children. Some companies are realizing that certain perks like pet bereavement leave or adoption leave to help a new pet acclimate can help employees feel like their pets are being respected by the company.
Some offices allow employees to bring their pets to work, further emphasizing the “pets are part of the family” mentality. Research has shown that having a canine pal in the office increases morale, teamwork, and even productivity. According to Nationwide insurance, approximately 65% of Americans own at least one pet, meaning almost two-thirds of employees may be shouldering sizable veterinary costs. Nationwide also reports that 1 in 3 Fortune 500 companies offers staffers the insurance — not only to appeal to animal-loving prospective hires but also to “help retain current pet-owning employees.”
No matter what company perks are being doled out, be sure that you are tracking items like furniture, or keeping up with any type of tangible item with a solid asset and inventory tracking tool like Asset Panda. Whether online or through our free mobile app, Asset Panda’s intuitive interface makes it easy to work from anywhere, on devices you’re already using. That means everyone in your organization has quick and easy on-demand access to everything they need to know about your assets. With unlimited fields and configurability, Asset Panda can change as your needs change so that it’s always the perfect platform to meet goals or solve problems—for any number of assets, in any sized company, in any industry.
Maybe you should take a closer look at Asset Panda and perk up the way you track and manage your company’s assets. Better management could lead to more cost savings on the bottom line and those savings can be passed along to employees with some well-earned company perks. Visit www.assetpanda.com for more info and a free 14-day trial.
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