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40 Popular Employee Perks and How To Offer Them

Explore our complete list of enticing employee perks to help attract and retain top talent

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The “perks of the job” are those extra treats you’d miss if you could no longer access them. A movie theater employee might receive the perk of unlimited free movies and popcorn, while a golf course groundskeeper might receive a free round once a week. 

In the corporate world, employers offer truly creative perks to entice and retain talent. From wellness and fitness to pet care and professional development, there’s something for everyone. This guide explores 40 popular options and offers tips on choosing the perfect mix of employee perks to include in your benefits package. 

What are employee perks?

An employee perk is an additional benefit or reward offered by a company to its employees in addition to their regular salary and standard benefits such as health insurance and retirement contributions. These perks can range from small gestures like free snacks in the office to larger incentives like paid vacations. In today’s competitive job market, employee perk programs have become essential for companies to attract and retain top talent.

Belle Doswell, Delivery Consultant at Appoint Healthcare, explains what makes employee perks essential and how they’re a gamechanger for employee satisfaction: 

“Employee benefits aren’t just extras: They’re essentials for those who give their all. They’re not just perks; they’re a testament to an organization’s commitment to its team. From health coverage to well-being to professional development opportunities, benefits empower individuals, driving engagement and creating a culture where everyone can flourish.” 

How to choose the best employee perks for your organization

There are endless perks available, and the more you start looking into the options, the harder it is to decide on the best assortment for your company. Here’s how to choose the right mix of perks to add to your total rewards package: 

1. Know your employees

Understanding your employees’ needs and preferences is crucial in selecting the right perks. Try conducting employee surveys, hosting group discussions, and holding 1:1 meetings to explore what your employees value most. And remember, this can change from year to year. 

2. Consider your budget

Your company’s budget will always dictate your ability to offer certain types or quantities of perks. Bear in mind that employee perks can range from low-cost options like flexible work schedules to high-priced options like company-paid trips. 

Always consider your budget upfront—offering perks and then removing them due to a lack of funds can damage morale. To understand what other companies offer, check out the Benepass Benefits Benchmarking Guide, which provides breakdowns of perks and benefits trends by industry and company size. 

2023 Benepass Benefits Benchmarking Guide

3. Align perks with company values

Your perks should align with your company’s mission, culture, and values. For example, if your organization promotes a healthy lifestyle, offering gym memberships as a perk would be fitting. Similarly, if your company values the act of giving back to the local community, you might offer paid time off for volunteer work. 

4. Embrace flexibility 

In a diverse workforce, your employees are unlikely to have identical wants and needs. Joan, a grandmother from Toronto, will probably enjoy different perks than Juan, a single employee from San Francisco with no kids. Keep every member of your workforce happy by offering a variety of perks to cater to different employee needs and preferences. Flexibility is key in ensuring that all employees feel included.

40 popular employee perks

Whether you’re new to offering an employee perks program or want to refresh your offering, consider the following as a pick ‘n’ mix of ideas. As a best practice, choose the perks you believe will resonate with your employees, work out how much they’ll cost, and then seek feedback from your employees. 

Stipends 

Stipends are a fixed sum of money employers pay employees to cover expenses for a specific purpose, such as paying a cell phone or internet bill. Stipends are increasingly popular as they relieve the administrative burden for benefits administration teams and employees. There’s no need to file expense claims or produce receipts; instead, the employee can receive the stipend through a card-first platform like Benepass. Some popular stipends include: 

Food 

Food stipends enable employees to spend money on healthy meals and snacks. Employees highly value this perk, as it helps them save money while promoting healthy eating habits. Alongside cash-based stipends, employers may offer food stipends in the form of meal vouchers or prepaid debit cards accepted at certain restaurants or grocery stores.

In action: Website development platform Wix uses Benepass to provide an equitable biweekly food perk to employees, which they can use on food delivery, groceries, meal subscription boxes, and local restaurants. The flexibility empowers employees to choose what type of food perk is most beneficial to them and their families, leading to a 100% engagement rate. 

Commuter 

Commuter stipends support employees in covering the cost of transportation to and from work. For example, the stipend might include parking fees, ride-sharing services, and public transportation fees, or you might offer a separate gas stipend to fund their personal vehicle. 

Continuing education 

While employers should always support their team members with professional growth, a continuing education stipend allows individuals to pursue personal growth, too. For example, an employer may provide a stipend to cover the cost of language classes, art courses, or other personal development activities that aren’t related to an employee’s current role or future career path but are nonetheless enriching. 

Wellness 

Employees can use a wellness stipend for various health and well-being activities, such as fitness classes, meditation apps, or even spa treatments. Employers who prioritize their employees’ physical and mental wellness may offer this benefit to encourage work-life balance.

In action: Mindbody created a flexible wellness stipend through Benepass for employees to spend on exercise, mental health, mindfulness, productivity and focus, and spa and salon expenses. The program engages 89% of the company’s 1,800+ employees and advances the company's mission by supporting wellness through individualized care. 

Work from home 

A work from home stipend can be highly appealing to anyone who works remotely or as part of a hybrid model combining time spent in the workplace with time in their home office. This option allows employees to cover expenses associated with creating an ergonomic and productive workspace at home, such as purchasing office supplies or upgrading their internet service.

In action: Jamf’s choice-based office model gives employees the flexibility to work from home, but leadership knew this created a need to ensure remote employees have the tools and resources they need to do their best work at home. The company created a work from home account with Benepass so employees could purchase the tech and office accessories they preferred, leading to a 98% engagement rate. 

Cell phone or internet

Employees may use a cell phone stipend to pay for their personal phone plan or device if they use it to stay connected with colleagues and clients. For example, if a team member sends or checks emails, sends Slack messages, or updates project management software from their personal cell, the stipend can help offset the cost. Similarly, an internet stipend can cover expenses related to maintaining a stable, high-speed connection for remote work purposes.

Travel 

A travel stipend differs from a commuter stipend—its purpose is to support employees with the cost of traveling on vacation rather than to the workplace. The stipend is usually delivered annually, and employees may use it for accommodation, tickets, passport fees, or any other travel-related expenses that enable restorative vacation time. 

Lifestyle spending account 

A lifestyle spending account (LSA) is the most flexible benefit plan for employers who want to give employees the power to personalize their benefits to their individual wants and needs. You can design your program to cover a variety of spending categories such as fitness, mental health, professional development, food, family support, or home office equipment. 

To learn more about setting up an LSA, download our guide Launching a Competitive Lifestyle Spending Account Program: 7 Steps for Success, which includes best practices, customizable templates, and helpful tips to kickstart your LSA journey.

Launching a Competitive LSA: 7 Steps for Success

Memberships 

Memberships and subscriptions usually involve an annual or monthly payment, enabling employees to gain access to a particular service or product. Some popular options include: 

Gym 

Gym memberships are a great perk for promoting employee well-being. They allow individuals to stay active and healthy, reducing stress while improving physical health. Employers can offer gym memberships at specific locations or allow employees to choose their preferred gym.

Streaming services 

Streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime have gained popularity among employers as a cost-effective way of providing entertainment perks to employees. These services offer a wide range of shows, movies, and music for individuals to enjoy during their free time.

ClassPass 

ClassPass is a membership service delivering access to fitness classes, gyms, and wellness activities. This perk allows employees to try different workouts and exercise routines without committing to a specific gym or studio.

Mental health apps

Mental health apps help your employees support their mental well-being 24/7 from the palm of their hands with resources for managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. For example, you might use Headspace to improve mindfulness or Calm for better sleep.

Pet insurance 

Pet insurance can be attractive to pet owners who want to ensure their furry friends receive the best care possible without breaking the bank. The coverage can include the cost of veterinary treatments, prescription medications, and surgeries for employees’ pets.

Free food 

Around one in eight American households reports food insecurity, which is the inability to access an affordable, nutritious diet. Employers can support their workers’ physical and mental health by ensuring everyone eats well and regularly. This can take many forms, depending on the size of your company, industry, and the type of work employees do.

Catered lunches and office parties 

Catered meals provide employees with a free, nutritious meal on-site while promoting team bonding and socialization. Companies can hire a catering service or have meals delivered from local restaurants.

Gift cards

Employers can support their employees’ mental and physical health by giving them gift cards to local eateries. This initiative also supports small businesses in the community and gives employees a break from cooking or packing lunches.

Stocked kitchens and snack stations 

Snack stations with healthy options like fruits, nuts, and granola bars keep employees fueled throughout the day. This treat is ideal for those who work long hours or get hungry between meals.

Cafeteria meals 

Some companies provide subsidized breakfast or lunch options in their office cafeterias. This can be a cost-effective way of offering discounted food perks while allowing employees to take a break and refuel during their workday.

Meal or snack box delivery 

To ensure equity for remote employees who lack access to on-site food and snacks, consider sending meal or snack box deliveries to their remote offices. This perk allows employees to receive pre-packaged meals and snacks at home to support a healthy lifestyle.

Meal allowances

Meal allowances are a good fit for employees who travel as part of their role or work long hours. The allowance covers the cost of meals to ensure they’re well-nourished while away from home.

Flexible working 

The traditional 9-to-5 work pattern is outdated—it doesn’t suit each person’s ultradian rhythms or support those who must squeeze childcare or other caring duties into their workday. The Flex Index Report for 2024 reveals rapid growth in organizations offering work location flexibility, rising from 51% in January 2023 to 62% in October 2023. This is just one example of the flexible working arrangements that support workers in achieving a better work-life balance, leading to increased job satisfaction and employee retention rates. Here are some flexible working perks you might offer: 

Hybrid or work from home 

The option to work remotely, full-time or a few days a week, has become increasingly popular and necessary in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees can save time and money on commuting while enjoying a better work-life balance without the need for lengthy commutes.

Flexible hours 

A flexible schedule allows employees to adjust their working hours according to their personal needs. This could mean starting and finishing earlier or later than the standard 9-5, taking longer breaks for personal appointments, or working compressed workweeks, such as four 10-hour workdays instead of five 8-hour ones. This perk enables employees to better manage their time and reduce stress. 

Casual dress 

A relaxed dress code is an easy perk for organizations or industries that don’t require strict professional attire. Banishing the suit and tie allows individuals to feel more comfortable and express their personal style at work. 

Social 

69.5% of employees would be happier if they had deep connections with their work colleagues. Social perks can achieve this by promoting team building, boosting morale, and creating a positive company culture. Perks in this category range from small gestures to larger events encouraging employees to interact and bond outside their regular working hours. When selecting perks in this category, ensure they’re inclusive. Not all your employees will enjoy the same activities, so ensure you cater to different interests and preferences. 

Team outings 

Team building events bring employees together outside of work by providing opportunities for bonding and developing relationships. You might consider company-sponsored lunches, retreats, family picnics, or activities like escape rooms. 

In action: Tech company Automox uses Benepass to sponsor their AX Connect program, which is designed to foster professional and social connections among employees. The program pairs employees for a physical or virtual coffee date they can pay for with their Benepass funds. AX Connect is a highly utilized feature of the perks program, with an engagement rate of 66%.

Team sports 

Organizing team sports such as a company softball or soccer league can promote fitness and teamwork while fostering camaraderie and friendly competition among coworkers. Remember: physical sports may not appeal to everyone on your team. But you can achieve the same benefits by organizing a less intensive sports activity like bowling or mini-golf. 

Volunteering opportunities 

Supporting causes that align with your company’s values can unite employees for a common purpose and foster a sense of community. Consider organizing volunteer opportunities for your team to participate in, whether it’s cleaning up a local park or helping out at a charity event. 

Clubs or hobbies 

Set up hobby-specific groups such as book clubs or knitting circles that allow like-minded individuals to connect and share their passions. Employees can develop new interests and skills, promoting personal growth and well-being. 

In action: Public relations software company Muck Rack used Benepass to help employees pay for supplies for a company-sponsored art project. The company also gave employees a stipend on their Benepass cards to purchase a meal for them to enjoy during their annual virtual holiday party. 

Muck Rack team photo

Game nights 

For a more laid-back social perk, consider hosting game nights where employees can unwind and have fun playing board games or video games together. 

Professional development 

According to MetLife’s Advantages of Employee Care report, 36% of employees consider learning and development among the top three elements of the employee experience. This increases to 49% for those working for IT companies. There are numerous ways to offer professional development as a perk, including the following: 

Mentorship 

Mentees can learn and grow from seasoned professionals, known as their mentors, within their organization. These pairings can be cross-departmental, allowing employees to connect with colleagues they may not interact with regularly or within a specific team to enhance their skills and knowledge.  

Career coaching

Career coaching differs from mentoring as a structured and goal-oriented activity. A career coach typically works with a client for a limited period to address particular career-related challenges, develop skills plans, or navigate transitions. For example, a person trying to decide between two opportunities could work with a coach to determine the best fit and make a plan for their career trajectory.  

Formal training 

Online or in-person training can help employees develop the necessary skills for their current role and future career growth. This perk shows that you’re invested in your employees’ professional development, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention rates. 

Conferences 

Sending employees to conferences or training workshops benefits both the individual and the company. Employees will learn from industry experts, network with other professionals, and bring back new ideas and skills to their team. Consider covering registration fees as a perk or providing a stipend for travel expenses.

In action: Coda achieved 90% engagement rates by consolidating their various non-taxable and taxable benefits programs onto Benepass, including a professional development benefit covering conferences, conference travel, online courses, educational materials, ChatGPT subscriptions.

Lending library 

Create a library of relevant books and learning and development resources for employees to borrow. This is a cost-effective way to provide access to valuable information and resources, and employees will appreciate the opportunity to expand their knowledge. 

Tuition reimbursement

If your company has the budget, consider offering tuition reimbursement for employees who want to pursue further education or certifications related to their role. Demonstrating a commitment to employee growth and development may attract top talent seeking career advancement opportunities. 

Professional memberships 

Professional memberships like SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) or HBR (Harvard Business Review) provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and industry insights, ensuring your team stays up to date on industry trends and best practices. 

Cross-training 

Cross-training employees in different roles or departments develops their skills while strengthening the overall team with increased flexibility and a better understanding of how other company areas operate. You can expect more efficient teamwork, improved problem-solving abilities, and increased individual job satisfaction. 

Rewards and recognition  

Employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their hard work, so finding ways to regularly acknowledge your workers’ contributions can produce exceptional results for your business. 

O.C. Tanner’s 2024 Global Culture report finds that employees with highly integrated recognition systems are 10x more likely to trust their organization and 9x more likely to believe the organization cares about its employees. Set your company up for success by incorporating the following rewards and recognition systems

Peer-based recognition 

Peer-based recognition allows employees to acknowledge and appreciate their colleagues’ work, fostering a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. This can be as simple as a shout-out during team meetings or having a designated channel on your company’s communication platform for employees to recognize their peers publicly.

In action: Automox uses Benepass to support its Automox Perks program, a peer-nominated $200 monthly culture award that awards employees who display the five company values. 

Employee awards 

Consider implementing a system for recognizing and rewarding exceptional work, whether it’s a regular Employee of the Month award or an end-of-year awards ceremony. This boosts morale and encourages employees to strive for excellence in their work.

Spot bonuses

Surprise your employees with spot bonuses, which are unexpected monetary rewards given for exemplary performance or going above and beyond their job responsibilities.

Challenges 

Organizing friendly challenges within the company, such as sales competitions or employee wellness programs, can be a fun way to recognize employees while promoting healthy competition and teamwork. This type of recognition also creates excitement and motivation for employees to perform their best.

Service anniversaries 

Recognizing and celebrating employees’ service anniversaries is a simple but effective way to show appreciation for their commitment and loyalty to the company. 

Rewards 

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, a sales win, or an award, allow employees to choose rewards, such as gift cards or experiences, to make the recognition more personal and meaningful. 

Add perks to your benefits package with Benepass 

Benepass is a flexible benefits platform that enables companies to select and deploy the perfect mix of employee perks and benefits for their workforce. We offer a range of fully customizable perks programs, including:

Ready to find innovative ways to attract and retain the best people in the market? Book a free no-obligation Benepass demo today, or contact sales@getbenepass.com with any questions. 

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Rebecca Noori

Rebecca Noori is a freelance HR Tech and SaaS writer who is obsessed with our world of work. She writes about everything from employee benefits and performance management to upskilling and productivity tips. When she's not writing, you'll find her grappling with phonics homework and football kits, looking after her three kids.

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