Top 10 Wackiest Employment Perks

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For many of us working in these dispiriting economic times, having a job and a lunch break seems enough of a perk for the short term. But when the good times roll back around, the chances are that employee expectations will start rising again, particularly when it comes to perks and benefits on top of the basic salary.

Generation Y

The generation of baby boomers known as Generation X were notorious for chasing high-status jobs and executive salaries - think of the '80s and everything that generation represented in terms of the yuppie lifestyle and conspicuous consumerism. But the next generation - Y - are showing fascinatingly different drivers in their aspirations and long-term goals, such as intrinsic motivations and a greater balance and freedom in their lives. Will employers have to become cleverer about how they engage and retain talent from this new and challenging generation?

The Best Companies for Perks

10. Atlantic Health - For New York healthcare providers Atlantic Health, stressed staff get free acupressure and alternative health services at the on-site 'mind and body' centres.
9. Scotttrade - employees at this discount broker get generous interest rates on their bank accounts if they use company products, which is something that UK services providers are starting to tune into.
8. Fact Set - this financial research business take a less healthy approach by offering a free on-site Chinese food truck, cupcake truck and pie truck! Luckily, there's an on-site gym to undo the damage!
7. Whole Foods - at the giant organic foods organisation Whole Foods, the bosses take a different approach to motivation by capping executive pay at just nineteen times the average salary of full-time staff.
6. JM Family Enterprises - At JM Family Enterprises, the company keep yachts handy for its workforce to use on holidays, which is slightly more generous than equivalent car distributors in other parts of the world!
5. The SAS Institute - this software producer in America offers its staff unlimited sick days and subsidised child care. It also has a free staff health centre at its HQ - an incredible perk and a huge driver for its success and staff-retention figures. UK businesses take note!
4. Microsoft - for those wondering if they should go into tech, take a look at Microsoft, which offers its highly paid software engineers free access to an organic spa. Bliss!
3. Getty Images - Getty Images offers a six-week paid sabbatical break to its staff every four years. And for those working in the office, their pet dogs are welcome!
2. Google - the top dog of search engines is famous for offering the best perks to its legion of lucky staff. The list includes free sushi and beer, being able to bring your pet dog to work and a free repair service on site for bikes. Bowling lanes and eyebrow-shaping at some of its campuses are legendary, making this company the top of Fortune's list of the best places for people to work. Perhaps this is something not to dwell on the next time you are seeking employment law advice over your working hours or lack of a pay rise! Take heart, though, because many other organisations are following suit.
1. Mattel - But what is the greatest work perk? The chance to not be there at all! So hats off to Mattel for shutting their offices at lunchtime every Friday!

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Top 10 Wackiest Employment Perks: For many of us working in these dispiriting economic times, having a job and a lunch break seems enough of a perk for the short term. But when the good times roll back around, the chances are that employee expectations will start rising again, particularly when it comes to perks and benefits on top of the basic salary. Read more...
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