Great work benefits you've had, or heard of?

We used to have this at old work place! Though it was less a benefit thanks to the workplace and more a benefit thanks to the massage therapist wife of a coworker.

$200/year to use towards gym memberships, new bike, skates, trainers/coaches, nutritionists, smoking cessation, etc. (did not cover running shoes alas and was somewhat fat phobic in its execution)

Home internet & cell phone covered

80/20 setup where you could sign up to be paid 80% of your salary for 4 years, and then take off the 5th year and get paid your deferred salary (for people who dislike managing their own money)

My sister apparently got a very good deal on a car with some kind of preferred pricing because they were a client of her agency.

Bank employees in Canada get better rates on mortgages/no fee chequing accounts.

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Things I haven’t seen anyone mention yet (sorry if you did - I tried to read all comments first!):

  • Professional development benefits - including taking courses, going to conferences, or getting degrees

  • Professional licensing fees and/or insurance where required

  • Dry cleaning/laundering (Field: Legal. Meant for people who work late and/or are traveling and need to deal with court/corporate dress code).

  • Tuition benefits -Children/dependents of university admins and faculty get free or discounted tuition. Have seen this operate in many ways, sometimes just at that institution, in some instances in a vast # of cooperating institutions

  • Back-up Day Care Benefits - Available for spot use when regular childcare falls through (for a healthy kiddo).

  • Super-duper liberal health/fitness benefits - large allowance that can be used for home fitness equipment or gear, gym memberships, and so on

  • Bike commuter allowance - Reimbursed related expenses up to a cap

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I don’t know f places still do this, but ex-employer did have:
Company cars (not just sales group) - included fuel, maintenance costs (not sure how they handled insurance).
Before there was a change in the tax laws - getting non-US posting was quite beneficial financially (not just pay - but I don’t know enough to explain)
Retirement medical insurance options (they stopped giving this in 2010).
Company parties (summer party at amusement park for you and family; Christmas party) - people with kids LOVED a free day including food, drinks, rides, and prizes at the amusement park. They were really pissed off when it stopped.
Free coffee, tea, cocoa in the break room.

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My favorite job ever was at a gas station. All employees got not only the regular health/dental/retirement, but got free gas, free food while working, a giant ham (or vegan roast) at Christmas, a holiday bonus equalling half a month’s pay, and! flexible hours if needed (as in, my manager or one of the owners would come in and work my shift if I had an appointment!), and my favorite: absolute respect and kindness from the four brothers that owned the company their dad started.

It was the best.

Current job offers really good education payment that is not typical in my field unless you’re in nursing, and has created two positions for me so that I can advance my skills - definitely not a thing elsewhere. The latter is my #2 reason for staying (our patient population is by far my #1).

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Most things have already been mentioned so I’ll try to answer the second part of your question and say that none of these benefits have kept me at a job. I’ve worked at multiple large companies with a variety great benefits (like sabbaticals, 10% 401k matching, commuter benefits, free on-site gyms, 1 day remote work, etc.). They’ve all also had “long term-incentives” as part of bonuses where you get a large sum of money but it doesn’t vest until 3-5 year later so hopefully you stick around to earn it.

Part of the reason this hasn’t kept me at a particular job is that I’ve switched roles to companies with very similar benefits so it becomes something of a baseline. But mostly, the high pay that’s come with fancy jobs has given me the financial freedom to pursue things I actually want to do and it turns out that I value career changes more than I value an on-site masseuse. I’m probably leaving my job soon without anything lined up and my plan is to look for something at a very small company which will presumably not have any of these benefits.

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This was at a previous job. I was in a remote office, but at the main office they’d have catered food brought in every day for lunch. Since the remote office was way smaller, it wasn’t practical to do catering, so instead us remote people were given a $10 per diem to go spend on food which was reimbursed on payroll. This worked out great living in Portland since it meant a bunch of coworkers would go across the street to the food carts every day for lunch and get some sort of different interesting food every day! And it was good timing too because it was right after I had started trying to cut down my personal food cart spending.

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Not a benefit officially, but I pretty well set my own schedule - choose which classes to teach, taking turns with all of my colleagues - we have a big meeting and select in rounds, but it means you can either have the perfect classes or the perfect schedule (usually not both). Then we set our office hours around the classes. The only real constraint is we have to be on campus three days a week.

I stay for the pension, or did until I vested this past Halloween! Now I’m staying for retiree health insurance (I have to work to 60). New hires can’t get that anymore. Oh, and hopefully public service loan forgiveness.

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My current job has a fun/weird benefit:

There’s this internal fitness program where you hook up your FitBit account and then earn rewards at different tiers by doing group challenges and such. I don’t buy into the game mechanics of it much, but I do end up walking quite a bit with all this travel so I end up earning at least the first or second tier reward. What it means is every quarter I end up getting some random thing shipped to me, like a expensive water bottle or travel mug, or a foam roller, or a hoodie. I can’t say this is something that would keep me at the job though.

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Canadian Company

  1. Profit sharing - annual - for 6% must go into DPSP fund, and you can do what you want with the increment - rrsp, TFSA, cash
  2. Health benefits - if you don’t want the dollars provided to you to pay for health plans, you can have this as cash or towards rrsps (about $100 a month). Added bonus you can also buy extra vacation days.
  3. Continuing Ed courses - used to be $2000 a person per year, but this has been undergoing changes to now have VP sign off on it
  4. Floater day
  5. Overtime submission - many full time employees are not allowed to do this
  6. Stock purchase plan - if you spend 5% of your salary on stock purchase (in any investment vehicle), the company will provide a 5% match
  7. Group investments - management fees are incredibly low based on the funds due to the amount of $$ being managed overall
    17- EAP program for employees to use - legal advice, health advice, financial assistance, etc
  8. Christmas gift box for every employee with lots of goodies, usually about $150-200 value each but varies each year
  9. Employee discount for product purchase which can be very lucrative at cost plus 10%

Working remote/ field team
5. Car allowance based on mileage driven previous year - taxable benefit
6. Roadside assistance - taxable benefit
7. Internet, house phone monthly reimbursement
8. Work provided cellphone
9. Toll highway transponder and payments covered
10. Any office supplies required - have purchased a stand up electric desk a few years back to get away from sitting, work provided laptop, monitor and base and keyboard
11. WFH allows me to manage my schedule as I see fit
13. Travel points for air and hotel are kept by employee - which helps me afford my personal travel and get status
14. Deduction of home office space on taxes

Not my team but a parallel team
12. Sales performance plans up to 50% of salary

If I think of more I will edit to add

Other things but not for everyone - I get to play in golf tournaments for work to represent, we have a kids Xmas party for families and all kids get toys and the event wherever it is has entertainment free of charge, discounted group sales things

I definitely stay because of the perks, because I think they are very generous and don’t know if I could find it elsewhere, but the wfh freedom is paramount- I have gone to stay with my mother when my stepfather passed and worked there for over a month - some employers may frown on this. I think we have good people and are treated right.

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When I was a paralegal in DC, the parking in our work building was something like $212/month. My company decided just to give $212 to every employee as a separate line on our paycheck, so we could really just use it for anything. Since I walked to work, I got to pocket it every month.

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The main benefits - other than high/good salary - that have actually kept me or my former partner at a job were:

  • Generous PTO in rule and application

  • Health insurance, especially the swankier plans paid for by the employer

  • Other forms of compensation: Bonuses, Stock options/grants, High % match into retirement

Otherwise, it was more important to me to look at what the benefits were trying to do and communicated about the org’s values or how they treated employees.

For example:
Benefits that say we want to share profits and financial success with you - Yay!
Benefits that communicate $$$ appreciation for your (Good) performance - Yay!
Benefits that are about giving you good quality of life or work/life balance - YAY!
Benefits that are about letting you have control or direct your own development and path - Yay!
Benefits that want you to avoid being nickeled and dimed or have high out-of-pocket costs for the cost of doing business in your field - Yay!

On the other hand…
Benefits that are trying to give the appearance to OTHERS about the org culture (foosballs or cucumber infused water) that no one really wants or uses - Boo!
Benefits that have become necessities (feeding dinners, late night home cabs, etc.) because you have 0 work/life balance or control over your hours - Boo!

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Benefits at current job that I do actually appreciate and are not necessarily “standard”:

Employer contributions to my HSA (it’s small, but it’s something!)

ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan): Some cash is withheld from my paychecks and put aside into a special account. Twice a year, that account buys stock in the company at 85% of the lower of either the opening or closing price during that period. Since the company is public, it’s buying actual shares that I can cash out immediately at 100% of the value if I wanted. I wouldn’t do this if it were buying stock options.

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SUCHHH a good point!

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A friend of mine works for a company that for many years used to throw a legendary, blow-out holiday party. I’m told some people kept working there for the party. They’ve toned it down in recent years, but people still talk about it.

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I kinda miss being the slightly-less jaded person I was (think during dotcom boom) who could enjoy the amusement park level company picnic or firm private day at the zoo too!

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Ones I haven’t seen yet after skimming through:

  • Bereavement days
  • Pay for alternative commuting (such as biking or walking)
  • 1 volunteer day/year where you can volunteer with the organization of your choice
  • Emergency transportation. I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like this: if you became ill at work or if you needed to go somewhere in an emergency from the office, but you are not able to drive there, they will pay for the ride. For example, if you found out a family member was sent to the ER and you needed to get there, and either you didn’t drive to work or you were unable to drive, they would pay for the taxi or rideshare, so you wouldn’t have to wait for the next bus or train.
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@anomalily, please use anonymously. Thanks :blush:.

I think the most unusual benefits I’ve found in the fine print were:

  • organ donation leave (e.g. kidney, liver, lung, bone marrow). I believe separate from sick leave.
  • commute accident coverage in insurance (part of workplace accident)
  • emergency dependent care plan. Company will mostly cover a sitter/caretaker for a child or elderly parent if regular arrangements fall through. It’s limited use, which IMO redeems it from “come to work regardless!” to “we want to support you, so you can be here when it Matters”

I don’t really use these, but I’m a fan of my 9/80 schedule, life insurance, transit reimbursement, and flu shot clinic. Along with retirement and health insurance, of course.

I think other cool benefits include official flex time (worked overtime->PTO of some sort) and kid friendly workplaces (onsite daycare, babywearing, etc).

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Please use anonymously too.

From different companies in France:

  • Subsidised lunch coupons (“tickets restaurants”, very common), can also be used to purchase groceries
  • On-site daycare or subsidies for daycare
  • Generous paid days off policy for special events: wedding, moving, death of a relative…
  • Set amount per year of paid days off to take care of sick children (even for a cold, as long as you have a note from the doctor)
  • Subsidies for travel, sports clubs, museums, movies… (through a “CSE”)
  • Additional months of paid maternity leave on top of the already existing maternity leave in France
  • Gifts for the children for Christmas (chosen by the parents)
  • Paid training

Dunno if it is great but it was nice. One place I worked provided clean towels in the showers for bike commuters. It was handy and also kept wet and smelly towels out of the office.

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