Why Perks Go Above And Beyond Unlimited Time Off: A Response to the BBC

An eagle soaring above the clouds
It turns out that some office wellness alternatives actually work and go beyond what are considered ‘softer’ perks like free dinners and unlimited time off. Chris Stokel-Walker at the BBC seems to agree in his piece on the state of office perks today. However, some of the services traditionally labeled as perks may no longer be enough. For example:

    1. Free dinners! Except…“The employer thinks it’s a perk, but on the other hand what you’re doing is reinforcing a long-hours’ culture.”
    2. Unlimited time off! Except…out of fear, employees often don’t use their entire holiday allotment.

While these are not necessarily bad perks to avoid, Stokel-Walker cautions that, if not managed properly, they can lead to more stress and erode workplace culture. Instead, he also recommends things like gym memberships, fitness initiatives, and banning after-work emails.

So what is an employer to do with all of that information in his article surrounding perks and their options? PERKS recommends:

    • Avoiding labels when it comes to your perks. All of them have value to someone inside your organization. Each is neither frivolous nor boring.
    • Listening to what your employees really want.
    • Making sure the perks you choose are comprehensive to these needs (more on this below).
    • Communicating their benefits and purpose in support of your company’s culture.
    • Get excited! The more your employees embed your perks into the company culture, the easier it will be to encourage adoption and value

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re evaluating ways to help your employees stay fit. You could choose from free massages that can benefit workers with chronic pain, a gym membership, in-studio or in-office fitness, or something else altogether. In some cases, your employees might hate the local gym, or would perhaps rather go down the street to a specific fitness studio. Listening to them will help you pick the right perk. For example, Peerfit is a perk that gives employees access to a network of different fitness studios and gyms, offering a variety of classes that cater to individuals at any level of fitness.

At PERKS, we’re aiming to change the conversation and transform the way we all think about work.

Check out other perks available on our perks page or come to our PERKS conventions across the nation to see them in one place! Our PERKS NYC convention kicks off SOON on 4/18 with PERKS Boston on 5/2. We hope to see you there. Oh, and! Sign up for the PERKS newsletter to get future blog updates sent directly to your inbox.