- Companies are offering unique workplace perks and benefits that weren’t available 30 years ago, perhaps to lure or cater to millennials.
- Some of the latest perks include paid time off for new pet owners and companies covering the costs of egg freezing for women.
- Student loan repayment programs are also popular among young workers, with one survey reporting 45% of employees considering it the most desirable benefit.
Unemployment rates are near an 18-year low in August, indicating a promising time in the job market.
With increasing job selection, millennials on the hunt for a career have an opportunity to survey a company’s benefits when deciding between jobs, instead of accepting the first offer.
There are several workplace benefits that can set a company apart from its competitors that weren’t available 30 years ago.
Parental leave wasn’t required in the US until 1993. Today, mothers and fathers are being offered weeks and even months of paid leave to spend time with their newborns. “Fur-ternity” leave for new pet parents was probably never even considered decades ago. And with rising student loan debt, companies like PWC and IBM are helping employees repay their college debt.
Below are some of the best work perks millennials have today that their parents didn’t.
Breast milk shipping
Some companies also allow bereavement time after losing a pet. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants allow three days off, Mars Inc. gives one day and flexible hours, and VMware and Maxwell Health offer flexible days.
4-day work weeks
At some companies, the 40-hour work week is a relic of the past. Perpetual Guardian, A New Zealand company, experimented with a four-day work week and reported employees were more creative, more punctual, and more energetic.
Companies including Google, NASA, Samsung, Facebook, NASA, and Huffington Post have nap pods at work for sleeping breaks, according to Forbes.
“It’s clear there’s a difference between generations,” Christopher Lindholst, CEO & Co-Founder of MetroNaps, told Forbes. “Millennials have a more flexible attitude to execution of responsibilities and are more open to ‘sleeping on the job’ facilities that boost performance than their predecessors.
Student loan repayment programs
Companies like PWC, First Republic Bank, Penguin Random House, IBM, Peloton, and Honeywell are matching employee contributions to student loans to help pay off employee college debt.
A 2017 study by Oliver Wyman surveyed over 3,000 households with a bachelor’s degree or more and found 45% of employees say student loan repayment is the most desirable benefit offered by a company, placing it above retirement contributions and health insurance.
Reproductive egg freezing
Facebook first started to cover the cost in 2014 after a female employee with cancer told COO Sheryl Sandberg she couldn’t afford to freeze her eggs.
Paid paternal leave
New fathers are finally receiving equal recognition for parental leave. Several companies have jumped on the paternal leave bandwagon in recent years, including DocuSign, now offering six months of paid leave for all caregivers.
Other notable companies are Twitter, Etsy, Adobe, Netflix, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which offer between 20 weeks to a full year of paid parental leave.
Expanded parental programs, including money toward adoption
Estée Lauder announced an expansion of its benefit package in May to include 20 weeks of paid parental leave regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.
The program also announced that parents who are trying to adopt will receive $10,000 towards the process. The company also offers $20,000 for fertility treatments, in-home child care, and elder care.
Paid gender reassignment surgery
Companies including Goldman Sachs and Starbucks offer to cover employee gender reassignment surgery, a procedure that can cost more than $100,000.
“The approach was driven not just by the company’s desire to provide truly inclusive coverage, and by powerful conversations with transgender partners about how those benefits would allow them to truly be who they are,” Starbucks vice president of benefits Ron Crawford said.
Free parking and complimentary cars
For companies based in major cities, it can be hard for employees to find parking. Facebook offers employees who drive to work a free valet service and free charging stations for electric vehicles.
Tesla has a carpooling program that lets employees drive a Tesla car to work and keep it on the weekends.
Major companies born in the age of the internet offer free food to employees at the office. Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Google, and Airbnb offers free meals and snacks throughout the day, according to Glassdoor.
Paid and encouraged travel
It’s almost expected that a hospitality service like Airbnb would cover $2,000 a year in travel expenses for every employee, but other companies are encouraging exploration and travel as well.
Software-maker Qualtrics gives each employee $1,500 to spend on experiences every year.
Extended bereavement leave
In 2017 Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced Facebook’s paid bereavement leave program would extend time off up to 20 days to grieve the death of an immediate family member and up to 10 days for extended family members.
Gym memberships in major cities don’t come cheap. Apple gives employees free gym memberships, Reebok pays for CrossFit classes, and Microsoft offers an annual $800 “StayFit” reimbursement program to help cover the cost of gym memberships and fitness programs.
Personal care on site
Trying to find a hair or spa appointment that fits your schedule during a busy work week is nearly impossible. Tech company Genentech offers haircuts and spa treatments at the office.
Similarly, Google offers haircuts, car washes, dry cleaning service, subsidized massages, and free laundry machines, according to Mashable.
Work benefits aren’t always exclusive to full-time employees. Facebook offers a monthly housing stipend of $1,000 for housing to all of its interns and Google provides housing for employees.
College tuition reimbursement
Several companies offer to pay for schooling, including Apple, Bank of America, Best Buy, Disney, Ford, and Gap. Starbucks offers full reimbursement to employees who get an education through Arizona State University.
Major companies including Hilton, Dell, Amazon, and Williams-Sonoma allow employees to work remotely, a popular work perk among millennials.
About 43% percent of Americans worked from home at least once in 2016, according to Gallup.
It can be hard to stay focused 40 hours a week. You can find a game room at companies like WeWork, Havas, Intuit, Quicken Loans, and Adobe Systems – who have a rock climbing wall, according to Fortune.