Benefits road sign

Company benefits…Then and now

Back in the day, a decent benefits package consisted of the standard medical, dental and vision coverage for you and your dependents, as well as a 401K matching program and perhaps some stock options. That’s what we talked about and what we inquired about in our interviews. These are the majors and are generally still included for most corporations, but the benefits landscape has changed quite a bit in the past 10 years. More innovative ‘benefits’ are being incorporated into packages to attract top talent and increase employee loyalty. Now, with the availability of social media, word travels fast on who is offering what to employees. Have you heard of these 5 awesome benefits?

On-site childcare facilities.

This is huge. As a working parent, I know what it’s like to have your children gone and wonder how they’re doing. I also know how incredibly expensive it can be. I would run, not walk, to any organization that provided quality onsite childcare facilities. Taking breaks to check on my child or not having to leave work entirely if my child needs me for a minor issue, would translate into more time at work and less time worrying (which, face it, we just do as parents). In addition, even if it’s subsidized, that is a HUGE perk as childcare these days can cost upwards of 3K per month for one child. Corporations that consider offering this send the message that they actually do care about the families of their employees.

Eldercare benefits.

From allowing elderly relatives to be added to health insurance to providing eldercare consultants, many employers are aiming to take stress off employees, allowing them to focus on their work and minimize work/life balance struggles.

Pet-friendly offices.

This might be a tough one for those with allergies, but as a personal dog lover, this is my idea of heaven! To have your furry best friend with you at work can reduce stress and force you to leave your desk periodically to take Fido for a walk. You can even search for pet-friendly companies here: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/special-searches/dog-friendly.

Unlimited sick & vacation time.

An interesting social experiment which has turned into a popular trend as some of the larger companies such as Netflix have implemented this for their employees. It is said to build more trust amongst employees and increase loyalty. Sickness goes down as people are not going to work sick to ‘bank’ their PTO for longer holidays. In addition, knowing the vacation time is unlimited actually allows for smarter planning, so employees plan vacations during slower times but stick around when it counts. I’m a big fan of this type of self-management but I’m sure there are abusers to this type of leeway. However, that may just further highlight who should be ‘weeded out’ during the next budget cuts!

No official work hours.

No longer just a freelancer’s perk, many companies are doing away with official work hours, allowing their employees to designate when they need to be in the office and when it’s ok to bail. Critical face-to-face meeting? Obviously, you will be in the office. Tons of online calls? Stay at home in your PJs. Some may think that this would reduce collaboration and team work but with the tools and resources we have these days, we can stay connected no matter where we are. This is a personal favorite as I get way more done at home than in the office, allowing me to avoid that one person that exists in EVERY office who would rather talk your ear off than work. And with a flexed schedule, I can say yes to chaperoning my son’s field trip or picking their buddy up for a playdate.

When you’re looking for your next job, try to look beyond salary, because, while important, it isn’t always the bottom line. Because you’ll be spending a significant amount of time at your workplace, be sure to also consider your happiness by choosing an organization that offers benefits that align to your core values and satisfaction