With our country in the middle of a financial meltdown, many of us are wondering how we can arrange our own bailout to strengthen our personal financial situations. Given the current economic climate, right now might not be the best time to ask for that long overdue raise because we may be asking for money that doesn’t exist. But now is the perfect opportunity to think outside the money box and ask for an alternative—a non-cash company perk. These little extras might just be the band-aid your “no raise available” wound needs.
Additional Paid Time Off
The next best thing to a getting a paycheck is getting paid for not working. Propose a certain number of additional PTO days, using the number of years you’ve been with the company as your guide. You might also consider asking for a more flexible paid time off plan, which would allow you to arrange a set amount of days off that can be used at your discretion. Call it a personal day, sick day, or vacation day—you decide.
Work from Home
Who wouldn’t like to do the weekly conference call in pajamas every once in a while? Telecommuting offers flexibility of location and hours, and provides you some relief from the day-to-day monotony of cubicle culture. Today’s tech world has made it possible for the workforce to take their business online, so take advantage. Talk to your manager about the possibility of arranging specific days of the week or month to work from home, and outline a plan of action for the days you’ll be out to ease his or her mind about what could go wrong in your absence.
Reimbursement for Transportation Costs
You can also get some financial relief (that was meant to come with your raise) by asking the company to pay for your transportation costs. Whether you drive to work or purchase public transport passes every month, your company may be able to compensate you by covering the basic transportation costs each month.
Pick up an evening class on the company’s dime. Research some professional or developmental courses in your area that would complement your current job and propose them to your manager. Employers have a vested interest in making sure employees have the appropriate knowledge and skills to help them grow within the company, and the cost of providing that is likely a much smaller investment than a raise would be. Plus, those skills make you more marketable to earn promotions down the line.
If you’re fortunate enough to work for a larger company, don’t be shy about asking for things beyond these basic perks, such as personal development classes, subsidized massages, paid childcare, lunch reimbursements, or alternative/holistic services. When it comes to asking for company perks of any kind, remember to be reasonable and be prepared before the negotiating begins. Depending on the type and size of company you work for, if you ask for something that doesn’t cost a lot, you’re more likely to get it.