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Ultimate list of best employee perks

Know of an amazing perk? Leave a comment and let us know.

Perks vs. culture

We love to remind people that there is a major, significant difference between company culture and perks. Perks are extras given to employees in addition to their compensation and benefits. Whereas company culture is the values and behaviors that make up the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

Perks vs. benefits

Perks are above-and-beyond extras intended to make working at the company seem more appealing. Benefits are generally considered core services that are considered part of your total compensation, which may or may not be required by law. Do not compare perks and benefits equally, even if they cost the same.

Getting a $150 gym pass every month is not the same as taking advantage of a 3% match that puts $150 of your employer's money into your tax-deferred 401(k).

Caveats aside, here's a list of employee perks we've seen that we think are pretty awesome, unique, and practical:

  1. Unlimited paid time off so employees can take as much vacation time as they want or need, with no set number of days. Just don't get caught in the trap where no one takes time off because they're scared to look like they're taking too much.

  2. Paid sabbaticals are a paid leave of absence, usually for a few weeks or months, to pursue personal interests.

  3. Student loan repayment employer pays off some or all of an employee's student loan debt.

  4. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Usually a 3rd party that provides confidential mental health screening, therapy sessions, and referrals to long-term counseling to handle stress and personal life.

  5. Wellness stipends are monthly allowances for health club memberships, fitness equipment, stress management classes, acupuncture, and more.

  6. Flexible work arrangements allow employees to manage their schedule like an adult: adjust their hours, work remotely, or make other schedule changes as they see fit. This is key for parents, who might need to finish something up in the evening.

  7. Paid family leave is ideally for both parents to take extended time off with full or partial pay for childbirth or adoption.

  8. Subscriptions to Calm, Headspace, and other mental wellness apps (Really though, we all just love the premium white noise, amirite?).

  9. Give everyone legit good and cool merch that employees are proud to wear.

  10. Make even more special merch (like a bedazzled leather jacket) for milestones like 10-year anniversaries.

  11. Gym pass (I mean, we'd still take it 🤷‍♀️)

  12. Fertility benefits cover some or all costs of fertility treatments to help employees struggling with infertility.

  13. Pet insurance covers veterinary bills and other pet health expenses to help care for employees' pets.

  14. Set up an employee discount program to offer your staff deals, coupons, and freebies on things that they already spend money on.

  15. Group vacations happen. Taking periodic trips, cruises, or retreats with coworkers can make a conference much more fun.

  16. Home office stipends help remote workers equip a home office with a desk, computer monitor, ergonomic chair, ring light, and camera.

  17. Elder care services are resources to assist employees caring for aging parents or relatives.

  18. Legal services can be free or discounted access to lawyers for wills, real estate transactions, family matters, etc.

  19. Identity theft protection helps safeguard employees against identity theft.

  20. Egg freezing: Trendy amongst startups, high-energy young executives are deferring having children until they're later in their career.

  21. Free meals and snacks might mean a stocked kitchen, catered lunch, a Grubhub daily stipend, or a home-delivered snack box or meal kit for remote workers.

  22. Company retreats are much more relaxing at a resort, can we agree?

  23. Casual dress code for business on top and party pajamas on the bottom.

  24. Bring your (friendly) dog to work day is every day.

  25. Volunteer time off gives employees time to do something good for charity without giving up precious PTO.

  26. Someone handles tasks for employees like scheduling appointments and booking travel.

  27. The 80-degree perk that gets everyone outside when they need vitamin D the most.

  28. Team budgets are fun for managers to be able to take the team out for dinner or coffee once a month.

  29. Free public transit passes (a RTO must-have?)

  30. Birthday time off that I usually squander by logging in to see all my birthday messages.

  31. Complementary services like onsite car wash, dry cleaning, shoe shine services, nailcare and more.

  32. Professional Development means employees can level up their knowledge, network at conferences, and build skills with training.

  33. On-site fitness classes like yoga and pilates are so convenient during the workday.

  34. Cultural celebrations allow paid time off for religious and cultural holidays that aren't federally recognized but observed by employees.

  35. Social events during work hours on a Friday afternoon to promote team bonding.

  36. Happy hour on Friday – as long as it's also alcohol-free-friendly.

  37. Something on Friday that's NOT happy hour – workplaces really don't need to promote alcohol consumption.

What else would you add?

office dogs say, "take your PTO!" Two fluffy gray dogs sit on a hammock in the woods, probably enjoying their office dog PTO.

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