With unemployment low and a growing number of people venturing out on their own as entrepreneurs, businesses need to offer some serious perks to attract and retain top talent — it’s time to think beyond beer taps and ping pong tables.
FitSmallBusiness recently shared a few unique workplace perks that you’ll be seeing more companies offer this year. Here’s how businesses are getting creative with enticing benefits that reflect the changing demands of the multigenerational workplace.
1. “Paw-ternity” leave
Anyone who has stayed up all night comforting a crying puppy knows that caring for a new furry friend can be exhausting and time-consuming. As more companies market themselves as dog-friendly, it makes sense that their benefits packages reflect that. Currently, 5 percent of U.S. companies offer one week of leave for employees who get a new pet, and customer data platform mParticle offers two weeks for those who adopt a rescue dog.
2. Elder care assistance
There’s plenty of talk about what corporate America can do to help new parents, but caregivers who are responsible for their own elderly parents are often left out of the conversation when it comes to family assistance. A single month in a nursing home can cost as much as $10,000 per person, and with an aging population, the need for elder care benefits has become a growing concern for many workers. Companies like Prudential are responding to this need with an adult care benefits package, which includes hours of dependent care free of charge and a savings program with employer matching.
3. Required time off
About half of all American workers don’t use their limited vacation days because they worry that it will reflect negatively on their work ethic, and even those with unlimited time off don’t always take advantage of it. But companies know that a de-stressed, happy workforce is also a more productive, energetic workforce, so some businesses are now implementing required time off policies. For instance, Adobe simply shuts down offices for one week in the summer and one week in December, and everyone gets to take a mandatory vacation.
4. Nap rooms
If you struggle to get through that midday lull at the office, you’re certainly not alone — most people don’t get a full eight hours of sleep every night, and they end up experiencing a dip in energy levels after lunch. Today, more workspaces include cozy nap rooms where staff can catch some shut-eye on breaks. Employees at companies like Google and Zappos don’t have to force themselves to stay alert during that afternoon slump — a quick catnap can provide a timely productivity boost.
See the full list of new workplace perks on FitSmallBusiness.
Jane Harkness is a freelance writer who provides blogging, copywriting, and proofreading services to startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including food and travel, and she also contributes political essays to several digital publications.