Think you’ve got it good at work? Think again. If you don’t work at one of these companies, you’re in the bush leagues. Want a glimpse at the majors, perkwise? Read on.
San Francisco biotech giant DNA by the Bay, as employees affectionately call it, is the absolute paradigm of perk-laden employers. What sets them apart? On-site daycare not just for the kids, but pets too. Doggie daycare and optional bargain pet insurance are offered as well.
Add to that six-week paid sabbaticals to prevent burnout, a free shuttle service that garners employees a four-dollar daily credit, drop off laundry service, and seasonal produce stands in company cafeterias. Jealous yet?
For employees at Patagonia, the Ventura, California-based outdoor clothing and equipment company, “surf’s up” is more than a marketing ploy. Daily surf reports are posted at the reception desk and particularly outstanding swells generate a company-wide loudspeaker announcement.
Running out to catch a few waves during the workday is an accepted practice and way to keep employees from burning out. Surfing not your thing? Company bikes are waiting outside, as are volleyball courts. Want a more reflective break? Head back inside for the on-site yoga.
3. Chesapeake Energy
Fancy yourself a Jacques Cousteau type? Chesapeake Energy, the largest independent producer of natural gas in United States (and third-largest overall), has an on-site daycare center, a generous benefits package, and a beautiful Oklahoma City campus.
Oh, and scuba certification classes at the company’s very own Olympic-sized swimming pool. Chesapeake pays for the instructors and learning materials. All you need are flippers and a love of the deep.
4. Quicken Loans
Thanks to a cool head and a corporate culture that prides itself on ethics, online mortgage lender Quicken avoided the sub-prime mortgage mess. That a mortgage company survived the crisis ought to be enough of a perk.
But, for sports and music fans, it gets better. CEO Dan Gilbert owns the Cleveland Cavaliers so employees of Michigan-based Quicken get transportation to and seats at Quicken Loans Arena on game days and whenever their favorite band is playing.
5. Holder Construction Company
Never heard of them? Neither had we, but this Atlanta-based company consistently scores in the top of the Great Place to Work Institute’s best medium-sized companies.
Holder offers several intangible perks on top of the usual good ones. To wit: twenty-six paid vacation days, a permanent annual floating “employee appreciation” holiday in addition to the ten regular ones, generous cash advances (more than $200,000 was given out last year to just 350 employees), and a “Family Paid Time Off” program for personal emergencies separate from sick or vacation days.
Daily grind putting your stress meter in the red? Not a problem for workers at the online auctioneer’s two San Jose, California campuses. EBay sets aside ergonomic meditation and prayer rooms decorated in relaxation-inducing colors and replete with pillows and comfy mats so employees can take a load off.
This New York-based audit, tax, and advisory firm proves that when it comes to understanding the need to balance work and play, the Europeans aren’t the only ones who get the big picture.
KPMG employees get five weeks of paid vacation after a year on the job. Vive la difference.
8. Camden Property Trust
Employees at Camden, a Houston-based real estate company, get full dental coverage and higher education assistance. But here, working in real estate has its perks, as all employees get a 20 percent rent discount on company-owned property.
With over 180 residential complexes across the country, including several in Houston and San Diego, finding a home is a no-brainer. With the price of gas and food going through the roof, a fifth off on that roof over your head is nothing to sneeze at.
Sometimes, the best job is the one that lets you not come to the office at all. At Accenture, the global consulting and tech firm, the work day begins wherever you might be or want to be—a full 92 percent of employees telecommute.
Staffers get reimbursed for home office set ups and are required to work just one hour a week to get health insurance. And, it’s family friendly. New moms get eight paid post-delivery weeks off; dads get one.
Their perks are so the stuff of legend that it feels almost redundant to discuss them. Everyone has heard about Google’s free laundry rooms, organic food, gym, massages, bike repairs, on-site doctors, barbers, and game rooms.
Never one to be outdone, Google now offers employees $1,000 toward the purchase of a hybrid vehicle. Add to that the tax break Uncle Sam gives you for going green and Googlers will never have to cry at the pump again.
By David J. Critchell or MainStreet