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The Future of Work

These Are The Best Employee Benefits And Perks

From Airbnb's $2,000 to travel, to Netflix's year of paid maternity leave, thousands of employee reviews reveal the best benefits and perks.

These Are The Best Employee Benefits And Perks
[Photos: Flickr users skyseeker, The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Hugo Chisholm; App Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures (The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014)]

Landing a dream job isn’t always just about the actual work. Among the best companies to work for, employee review platform Glassdoor found that employees were just as jazzed about mission-driven company cultures, great career advancement opportunities, and amazing benefits and perks.

Benefits mean a lot to a personal bottom line, which is one reason why companies shouldering the cost of offering extended paid parental leave have made headlines for offering new moms and dads unprecedented time off with full pay, as well as the ability to transition back to their responsibilities. Now with the surge of millennials in the workforce, many of whom are coming in with heavy college debts, even savings options such as the 401(k) are evolving. An estimated 3% of private sector businesses, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, are starting to offer help with student loan repayment.

Recent research from Glassdoor found that more than half (57%) of people said benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job, and four in five workers say they would prefer new benefits over a pay raise.

    The Top Five Benefits Ranked By Employees

  1. Health care insurance (e.g., medical, dental): 40%
  2. Vacation/paid time off: 37%
  3. Performance bonus: 35%
  4. Paid sick days: 32%
  5. 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension: 31%

Perks also factored into the CareerBliss ranking of the happiest companies. As one Adobe employee noted on the CareerBliss platform: "The company has great perks for their employees that include company parties, outdoor activities, indoor pool and ping-pong tables, and a computer gaming room. They also have a great cafeteria that provides excellent food."

Overall, according to Glassdoor Benefits Reviews, there are more than 50 specific benefits and perks offered at any company, including health insurance, 401(k), adoption assistance, tuition assistance, and others. Glassdoor identified some of the more unique benefits and perks in a recent analysis of hundreds of thousands of benefits reviews shared by employees on Glassdoor since August 2014. Each company’s rating is based on at least 20 benefits reviews shared on Glassdoor by employees as of January 28, 2016.

    The Best Company Benefits And Perks

  1. Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents. They also allow parents to return part-time or full-time and take leave as needed throughout the year. (Overall benefits rating: 3.7)
  2. REI encourages its employees to get outside by offering two paid days off a year (called "Yay Days") to enjoy their favorite outside activity. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0)
  3. Salesforce employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, as well as $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice. (Overall benefits rating: 4.5)
  4. Spotify provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. The company also covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance. (Overall benefits rating: 4.2)
  5. World Wildlife Fund employees take Friday off every other week, also known as "Panda Fridays" at the nonprofit. (Overall benefits rating: 4.5) 
  6. Airbnbwhich was named Glassdoor's Best Place to Work in 2016, gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world. (Overall benefits rating: 4.6)
  7. PwC offers its employees $1,200 per year for student loan debt reimbursement. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0)
  8. Pinterest provides a unique take on the parental leave policy by providing three paid months off, plus an additional month of part-time hours, as well as two counseling sessions to create a plan to re-enter the workplace. (Overall benefits rating: 4.7)
  9. Burton employees receive season ski passes and "snow days" to hit the slopes after a big snowfall. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0)
  10. Twillo offers employees a Kindle plus $30 a month to purchase books. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0)
  11. Twitter is well-known for providing perks such as three catered meals a day, but some lesser-known benefits include on-site acupuncture and improv classes. (Overall benefits rating: 4.3)
  12. Accenture covers gender reassignment for their employees as part of their commitment to LGBTQ rights and diversity. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0)
  13. Walt Disney Company wants its employees and their friends and family to enjoy the "Happiest Place on Earth" as much as their visitors by offering free admission to its parks, as well as discounts on hotels and merchandise. (Overall benefits rating: 4.0) 
  14. Facebook provides $4,000 in "Baby Cash" to employees with a newborn. (Overall benefits rating: 4.7)
  15. Evernote hosts classes through "Evernote Academy," which offers team-building courses like macaroon baking. (Overall benefits rating: 4.3)
  16. Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid four-week sabbatical to pursue their creative talents after five years at the company. (Overall benefits rating: 4.3)
  17. Adobe shuts down the entire company for one week in December and one week over the summer. (Overall benefits rating: 4.6)
  18. Asana employees have access to executive and life-coaching services outside of the company. (Overall benefits rating: 4.9)
  19. Zillow allows employees who are traveling to ship their breast milk. (Overall benefits rating: 4.5)
  20. Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next 10 years. (Overall benefits rating: 4.6) 

Among the offerings: Accenture covers gender reassignment for their employees as part of their commitment to LGBTQ rights and diversity, while Zillow foots the bill for moms who need to overnight breast milk to their babies while they are traveling on business.

As you might imagine, these perks and benefits aren’t equal in the minds of employees. For instance, Netflix’s unparalleled one year of paid parental leave scored a 3.7 out of a possible 5, while Evernote’s "Academy," which offers team-building courses like macaroon baking, scored a 4.3 out of 5.

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