20 best employee benefits

Longer paternity leave, house cleaning, free legal advice and event tickets are just the tip of the employee-benefits iceberg. Which perks would you like?

Benefits and perks may be hard to come by these days, but trust me. They exist. We at Vetter love a perk or two!

Don’t believe me? Check out these 20 employee benefits:

1. Long paternity leave: While new moms get 18 weeks of maternity leave, some companies offer new dads paid time-off, as well. Eighteen weeks versus six? What’s going on here? I say give males and females the same amount of time-true gender equality in the workplace starts with paid time off! (Sarcasm, folks, sarcasm.)

2. House cleaning: Evernote offers house-cleaning services as part of its benefits. But is it a subtle inducement to make it easier for employees to work longer hours? (“Oh, cool! I don’t have to go home and clean, so I can stay and work until ‘The Walking Dead‘ starts.”)

3. Laundry service: Monday is laundry day at JibJab Media. All 80 employees can turn in their unmentionables to be scrubbed, dried and arranged in interesting origami shapes. Couple that with the house-cleaning perk above, and why would anyone ever need to leave his desk? Put a futon in each work space and the transformation would be complete.

4. A grooming budget: What would you say to a $50 grooming perk each month? Systems and software engineering firm 2HB thinks this is a good idea. Employees can use the money for manicures, pedicures or what must be a great haircut.

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5. On-site masseuse: What’s more relaxing than a massage? How about a massage during six weeks paid leave while you’re having your laundry and nails done and your house cleaned? Now that would be a perk. Veterans United employs an on-site masseuse to help employees take a break.

6. Fund what inspires you: Innovation requires inspiration. Brooklyn-based BBMG has come up with an inspiration account. Employees are given $500 annually to further personal growth. Employees have used these funds for yoga, skydiving, guitar lessons and tutu-making.

7. Friday yoga time: Brandsway Creative gathers its employees for a weekly, instructor-led yoga session. The company says it helps workers relax, clear their heads, spark creativity and gain a new perspective. Why not just let them out early? (It is Friday.)

8. Bring your dog to work: It may sound like a good idea, but would you agree if it were “bring your toddler to work and let them run around without a diaper day”? How much work gets done when you have to keep an eye on an animal with the run of the office? And what about cat owners? Can you say “favoritism”?

Puppies are cute. So are babies. But a baby will learn proper hygiene and not stick its nose in your crotch. Bring-your-dog-to-work day? How about if I tinkle on the carpet once or twice, and run around distracting everyone? It’s the same experience.

9. Focus on family: Facebook’s benefits package is family-focused. New moms and dads get 16 months paid leave, day-care fees and $4000 cash.

10. Event tickets and transportation: Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and sponsor of the Quicken Loans Arena, offers employees transportation and free tickets to home games at “The Q.” The only problem: It’s the Cleveland Cavaliers. (I’m kidding!)

11. College scholarship programs: Business-intelligence and analytics company SAS offers a college scholarships for employees’ children.

12. 40 percent discount on shoes and accessories: We’re already 11 benefits through the list, and I still haven’t found one I can get behind. This one is no exception. This might come in handy for my biennial shoe purchase, but for the other 23 months and 29 days, it’s a waste of time.

13. Prepaid legal: Zappos offers employees prepaid legal as a benefit. My question: What are Zappos employees doing that might necessitate legal help?

14. Unlimited vacation: Red Frog Event Company offers employees unlimited vacation time. Employees just need to do their work, and ensure they are covered while they’re away. I wouldn’t mind having this perk.

15. Go green: David Evans & Associates offers its employees cash incentives to go green. “Going green” means getting to work in an eco-friendly way. If you walk, bike, carpool, or ride the bus, you can claim up to $6 a day. I would definitely take advantage of this perk.

16: Shopping loans: As a professional, you need to dress the part. But a wardrobe can be costly. Umpqua Regional Bank offers employees a loan of up to $1000 to buy banking duds. In a business world with rapidly declining standards of dress , you can’t go wrong subsidizing elegance. Two thumbs up to Umpqua for encouraging proper dress.

17. Spouse death benefits: Here’s an interesting perk from everyone’s favorite search engine and Internet overlord. Google offers employees death benefits. The spouse of a deceased Google employee receives half of the spouse’s annual salary for 10 years plus stock benefits. And children of a deceased Google employee receive $1000 a month until they turn 19.

18. Unlimited sick days: I always thought it was harsh that you could be penalized for getting sick. I’m not intentionally running through people’s sneezes or licking door knobs. I don’t want to be sick; I’d much rather be at work than suffering with flu. And stressing because my job might be on the line isn’t helping me get better faster. I’d welcome this perk.

19. Half-day Fridays and the break between Christmas and the New Year: Why do companies try to do business in the six days between Christmas and the New Year? Employees are mentally checked out (or still hung over) and not much gets done. Unless you’re closing a billion-dollar merger, there’s no reason to work between Christmas and the New Year. This benefit makes sense.

20. Green boost: Not sure I would take advantage of this perk, but Integrated Archive System’s “green boost” perk is good. Since 2004, IAS employees get a $10,000 subsidy to buy a hybrid car. Business Insider says more than half of IAS employees use the program.

Duncan P. Murtagh is co-founder of Vetter, an online suggestion box tool. A version of this article originally appeared on TLNT.com.


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