5 non-traditional benefits to be thankful for

Increasingly, more companies are offering unique perks as a way to attract and retain top talent

5 non-traditional benefits to be thankful for

Nothing screams boring more than “401k,” “flexible spending,” or “dental insurance.” Enjoy planning for retirement? Might as well list alphabetizing your books on tape as one of your interests. Yawn.

Obviously these benefits are core to many company’s benefits packages—and they should be. No one likes cavities and small bank accounts. But increasingly, more companies are offering non-traditional benefits to their employees as a way to attract and retain top talent.

Here are five awesome employee benefits.

1. Want a vacation? Take one!

How would you like working for a company that provides unlimited vacation days to its employees? As it turns out, some companies do this. Does that mean you can spend 365 days a year on a beach in Antigua? Not exactly.

Companies such as Netflix, Evernote, and GrubHub are offering this benefit with the caveat that you must complete your work prior to flying off to the Caribbean. They’re valuing results over time spent working and why not? Happier and healthier workers = more efficient workers. Probably tanner too.

2. Prefer working from home? That’s also okay

Which of the following describes your preferred working environment?

            A) A cubical, following a 45-minute drive through congested traffic

            B) Your couch

What if I told you that option B is better for the company as well?        

Offering telecommuting positions, or at least the option to work from home on certain days of the week, is advantageous not only for the employee but in certain situations for the employer as well.

Work-from-home positions may attract top talent who live far away and might not be able to make the commute to headquarters. And to those who do work on-site, it demonstrates flexibility and the company’s ability to be innovative and adaptive.

It might even save the company some dough in real estate costs. No one wants to have to start stacking cubicles. I’ll take bottom cube, thanks

3. Hit the gym...in the office

Ever been so stressed you had the sudden urge to pump some iron? Well, you may be in luck. Some companies, like Forrester and Rodale, offer in-house gyms that employees can take advantage of during lunch hours or after work.

Proponents say the cost of healthy employees can outweigh the initial and maintenance costs of having a gym in the office. Companies also claim having a gym is a great way to attract talented candidates. AND you can prove to your boss you can bench 200 lbs.

Critics of office gyms hate being healthy. That’s a fact.

4. Company outings

All work and no play makes companies unattractive to candidates. That’s how the quote goes, right?

Company outings are opportunities for companies to demonstrate that they like to have fun as well as show a casual side of a more formal workplace, posting photos and videos of the outing on social media and their website.

Even if it’s just to the hotel down the street for the holiday party, these outings show employees and prospective employees that fun is had.

5. Relax. Your personal masseuse has arrived

I once had a message therapist tell me that most of my work stress had gone to my shoulders. Man, was she ever right. Turns out hunching over in a cubicle 50 hours a week isn’t good for your body.

Companies like Baptist Health and Cisco are offering comped massages as part of their benefits packages. That’s just cool. Who could say no to that?

This Thanksgiving, take a moment between bites of pumpkin pie to be thankful for what benefits your company does offer. And if you’re looking for work? Make sure they have an 18-hole company golf course. Don’t cheat yourself.