Unique Workplace Perks Blog Header
August 02, 2021 by Taylor Stafford

Unique Perks To Make Your Company More Appealing To Job Seekers

There may be a lot of competition when it comes to recruiting quality talent for your company, but as a small business, you can offer unique things that bigger companies aren't able to. In fact, small businesses have added more jobs than large businesses and account for 64% of new jobs created in the United States. With the advantage of offering flexible work schedules, better communication, specialized products, and more, you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to being a reliable company that others want to be a part of. 

Understanding what is most important to job seekers will help you on your journey to expand your team with top-quality talent that will add more value to your business. With 89% of Glassdoor users actively searching for jobs or considering better work opportunities, it’s clear there’s a real need for benefits and perks that will not only appeal to job seekers but keep them around as satisfied employees. 

Flexible Work Schedule Perks 

At Service Direct, we took an employee survey and found that 92% of employees said having a flexible work schedule is extremely important to their job satisfaction. Based on our survey and feedback from other business owners, here are the top unique perks small businesses are offering in order to be able to compete in the same talent pool of larger companies. 

How important is having a flexible work schedule to overall job satisfaction?

It’s no secret how much work has an impact on our mental health and 94% of employees in America reported feeling stressed in their workplace. As an employer, it should be a priority to add to your team’s quality of life not only for their well-being but for the well-being and success of your company. Offering a wide range of unique perks is just one small way to add to your employee satisfaction and appeal to job seekers who aren’t experiencing the same level of employee appreciation. 

A trend we’ve seen is the importance of flexibility, with 77% of employees saying a flexible work schedule is a major consideration when searching for new job opportunities. 

Here are our top flexible perks we think could make your company more desirable than ever:

Perk #1 - Unlimited PTO Policy

Unlimited paid time off allows employees the freedom of taking time off when needed instead of following a strict number of paid time off days per year. Unlimited PTO establishes trust, allows employees time to wind down and rejuvenate without pressure, and increases employee satisfaction. Fast Company tried unlimited PTO for a year and said it became one of their employees' most valued benefits next to healthcare and a 401(k). Offering this great perk increases employee retention as many people are likely to stay at a company that promotes a better work-life balance. 

At Service Direct, we’ve had unlimited PTO since day 1 and feel like it is just installed in our culture. We like to work hard but also play hard and want to encourage our employees to take the time they need so that when they are at work, they are motivated and dedicated to doing good work.

Perk #2 - Alternating 4 Day Workweek

The difference between a basic 5-day workweek and an alternating 4-day workweek is that the alternating 4-day workweek allows employees to take every other Friday off or another day of their choice off. 

With 96% of employees saying work flexibility is a necessity, it’s no surprise that offering a 4-day alternating workweek has its benefits. For starters, a study in Japan found that it increased productivity by 40%. Employees are less likely to experience burnout as they’ll have a day dedicated to doing whatever they need whether that be spending time with family, taking a mental health day, or doing fun hobbies. 

“In today's work world, flexible hours are becoming more frequent. Flex hours allow employees to work outside of the usual 9-5 workday – come in early and leave by 3 p.m., pick up the kids from school, and continue the day at home or come in and leave later. It costs you nothing to be flexible with your hours, and it helps to foster a work culture that values unique rhythms and schedules.”

Thanks to Jennifer, Authority Astrology 

“We offer completely flexible hours (we just ask that there's some overlap for meetings) and fully remote work with benefits. No watchdog software or monitoring, either. We trust our employees to behave professionally and we treat them with respect. Flexibility and the ability to work from home makes our employees happier and more productive.” 

Thanks to Jeremy, Lawn Love

“When we came back from quarantine I wanted to switch things up to boost morale and to benefit many people looking to get into computer design so I started to implement a 4-day workweek. The feedback has been amazing and we have actually hired people that we know were being offered a higher salary somewhere else but wanted the 4-day workweek.”

Thanks to Jamie, Coffee Semantics

Perk #3 - Work Abroad Program

This perk was considered more "valuable" back in the pre-pandemic days when we were working mostly in the office. However, if you are still planning to go back to a physical office full-time, consider offering a Work Abroad Program. This is a perk where employees are allowed to work remotely anywhere in the world for 4-weeks, and while the company doesn't pay for that travel, we do help equip the employee with the workstation setup that they need to have. Some employees decided to travel to the other side of the world, and others like to just spend this time with their family.

Workplace Culture Perks

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Culture perks could be anything from furry friends brightening up the workplace to mimosa Fridays. Anything that will boost morale and create a space for employees to feel a sense of community in a fun way is a great way to show potential employees that culture and engagement are something you value as a company. In fact, 46% of job seekers said company culture is a very important factor when job searching. 

With 90% of millennials saying they value benefits over pay raises, offering unique culture perks could be a great way to appeal to new talent and save money at the same time. There are tons of benefits to a healthy company culture like higher employee retention, increased productivity, and more. 

Here are a few unique culture perks to consider if you haven’t already:

Perk #1 - Hybrid Workplace

As businesses open back up after a long year (or more) of working remotely, offering a hybrid workplace is becoming more and more popular, for good reason! After seeing how cost-effective working remotely is for businesses, not to mention the mental health benefits that come along with it, it only makes sense to give employees the option to work from home while businesses open up. 

A hybrid workplace policy gives employees the freedom to come into the office at their convenience and work from home on days that work best for them. Employees can choose to come back into the office full time, half the time, or work from home full time. This perk is great to offer as some employees prefer to work in an office environment, while some are more productive at home. Even for employees who like to work remotely, having the option to go into the office is great on days that their home might have more distractions than usual like a kitchen renovation or loud construction on their street. Not to mention, employees say they prefer a hybrid workplace 83% of the time. 

Perk #2 - Pets At Work

Allowing pets in the office is a great way to boost morale and productivity as studies have shown pets reduce stress levels and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. The happier your workers are, the more likely they are to focus their work and put their best foot forward in a positive work environment. 

“Last year was really hard for everyone. That's why surveys have shown that pet adoption has greatly increased and also helped those in isolation cope with our current situation. I know for a fact that separation anxiety between our pets is real and hard, especially for our pets that will probably be left alone at home. Allowing our employees to bring along their pets to the office will not only help the company get moving, but it will keep our employees from worrying too much hence, will have more focus on their work.”

Thanks to Sherry, Petsolino

Perk #3 - Paid Puppy Leave

Paid puppy leave, or Furternity if you will, gives new pet parents more time with their newest family member for the first week they have them home. Those of us who have raised our pets since they were just tiny fluff balls know just how time-consuming and challenging it can be. Potty training and getting them acclimated to the new space plus having time to bond and get things together like food, toys, and other pet essentials is a crucial part of pet parenting. With all this in mind, offering a paid leave designated for pups to have a smooth transition in their new home could be a huge benefit to job seekers who are also animal lovers. 

Here’s what Sherry, owner of Petsolino had to say about this unique perk:

“Paid new pet parents leave is not completely unheard of but still the cutest perk an animal lover employee can have. It’s just like having a human baby, so adopting a pet also needs time, time for them to adjust to their new environment, hence they need extra care from their pawrents. This puppy leave includes not just from adoption day which is a 7 day leave, but our employees can also take carer's leave when their pet’s unwell for an additional 3 days’ carer's leave. This I think is also a nice marketing strategy while at the same time keeping existing employees happy so it’s kind of a win-win. Let’s all be honest, in this pandemic, who didn’t adopt a companion pet to keep you sane?”

Perk #4 - Catered Lunches

Adulting is hard enough already without the added necessity of having to decide what to eat, pay for it, and spend time making it every single day. After surviving quarantine, people who still make their bed every morning and get fully dressed before 9 am are basically champions. So providing a meal a week as a business perk could be a huge help and stress reliever to employees still getting used to life back in the office. 

Not only does offering catered lunches boost company morale and help with time management, it also can promote healthy eating habits and help attract and retain employees. 

“One thing we have done this summer has unique food trucks come to our workplace once or twice a month and provide lunches of their choice for our team. We have received many favorable comments and it’s also just been a fun way to “regroup” our team as we all emerge from Covid-19. Our team members are always looking forward to the next food truck.”

Thanks to Todd, Isaiah Industries, Inc

Perk #5 - Zen Garden

Having an area outside your office where you can garden can be a wonderful, stress-relieving perk to offer your employees. Gardening has been shown to improve cognitive performance, increase physical activity, decrease feelings of depression and anxiety, and provide a positive sense of community. 

At Service Direct, we offer gardening days where the whole office can take a break from work to spend time in the garden, whether that’s keeping up with maintenance like pruning plants, pulling weeds, admiring the area, or trying out some of the tasty vegetables. Connecting with nature and coworkers has proven to be a win-win for us. 

Recognition And Wellness Perks

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Employee recognition and wellness is not something to neglect as a business. Let’s face it, without your employees, your business could not be successful. In 2019 a study found that 79% of employees quit their jobs due to a lack of employee appreciation. The more time and energy you spend ensuring your employees not only feel appreciated but are overall healthy mentally and physically can go a long way. In fact, when businesses practice employee recognition, employees are 63% more likely to stay at their current job. 

Here are a few ways you can recognize the hard work employees do and promote wellness:  

Perk #1 - Annual Employee Awards/Rewards

With 85% of employees believing they should be rewarded for a job well done, showing appreciation to your employees in the form of an award or reward makes a huge impact on employee satisfaction. Giving out specific awards for certain work strategies or unique values your employees have at a holiday party for example is just one way you could recognize your employee's hard work. Another way to recognize employees is to give out merchandise or travel benefits. In fact, 65% of workers strongly agree that travel and merchandise awards are more memorable than cash payments.

“We've been offering top-performing employees a 7-day cruise ship experience every summer and it's helped us attract more talented candidates as time goes by. Moreover, it's been a morale boost that has seen us improve our sales and employee satisfaction.”

Thanks to Katherine, Spyic

“Spa and massage for every employee is our unique perk we offer twice a month which is effectively appealing to new hires. Two of their family members can also enjoy it. It’s a way of giving back for their hard work since nail and beauty salon work can also be as stressful as other office work. Employees also deserve to be pampered the way they pamper the customers. They feel refreshed and cared for, resulting in a more productive workplace for us.”

Thanks to Lynda, Polish Perfect

Perk #2 - Wellness Challenges

Wellness challenges are a fun way to promote employee health and bring everyone together. Employees can all keep track of things that boost their overall wellness like reading, drinking more water, exercising, or showing daily gratitude. Employees can compete to get the most points and get prizes at the end of the competition. Plus, 56% of employees were shown to have fewer sick days due to wellness programs. Whether your business is remote or in the office, a wellness challenge can be done either way. For in-office employees, you could make time to do some wellness activities together like a company hike, and for remote offices, you could offer virtual meditation sessions to feel refreshed and ready to conquer the workday! 

Providing wellness programs has been shown to reduce stress, increase employee satisfaction and productivity, plus boost company morale. 

“Some employees are dedicated to health and wellness and value employers who promote a healthy lifestyle. Investing in their well-being also demonstrates your concern for them. We Provide wellness incentives like healthy eating contests to keep employees well. Winners receive prizes such as gift cards or bonuses.”

Thanks to Jennifer, Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers

Perk #3 - Gym memberships or Workout Groups

Providing gym memberships or workout groups is a great way to support employee wellness and encourage healthy activities. Promoting employee health means lower costs for your business on health insurance and lower costs for your employees to invest in their own health. Plus, employee morale was shown to be the most improved benefit by 54% from implementing wellness plans. 

“Designing electronics for manufacture requires a lot of time in front of the computer. In order to incentivize our employees to take care of their health, we offer to cover the cost of gym memberships or any other expense deemed to be health maintenance. This could be anything from yoga classes to meditation retreats. This perk not only saves our employees money but makes for healthier, happier employees and more productive life.”

Thanks to Keesjan, Titoma

“A healthy body translates to a healthy mind. Physical activity has been demonstrated to boost creativity and problem-solving abilities while also lowering sick days. Covering the expense of gym memberships and fitness classes is a simple method to relieve stress for employees while also enjoying the benefits of a healthy lifestyle on their productivity.”

Thanks to Ebony, Formspal

Perk #4 - Covering Subscription and Internet Costs 

It’s no secret how quickly monthly subscriptions can add up, especially with new streaming services popping up every year on top of the mandatory Audible, iTunes, and YouTube Premium subscriptions. We’re only human—and sometimes watching an episode of The Office or listening to the latest mystery series on your commute home is the best way to wind down to relax and feel refreshed during a lunch break. So covering the costs of some of these subscriptions or even internet services is a great perk to have to keep employees happy. 

“My small business offers employees a mental health break package, which consists of subscriptions from different apps, including Netflix, Spotify, and Headspace. Employees can be overwhelmed by too much pressure and demands of work that may impact work performance and productivity, and helping to care for their mental health is one of my responsibilities as an employer.”

Thanks to Ryan, Ant and Garden Pest Control

“We reimburse our employees for their home internet service to our regular employees who are doing remote work. Offering to pay for their internet service help us keep employees and new recruits find this perk valuable since this saves them and their family money each month. Offering paid home internet service increases employee satisfaction since employees can often upgrade to a faster, more reliable internet connection. Absenteeism has been reduced, and our employees are more efficient and profitable for our company.”

Thanks to Randy, Funeral Funds of America

Tips For Promoting These Perks To Job Seekers

In order to ensure job seekers are aware of your unique job perks, it’s essential to promote them online. You’ll want to stay consistent with the perks you offer across all channels and don’t leave out the why. When job seekers understand not only the special perks but your motivation around offering them, it humanizes your company and makes you stand out as more than just a number. People want to feel valued at any workplace, so if the job description shows proof of showing employee appreciation through these perks, you’re already ahead of the game in growing your business.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when promoting your perks online:

  • Align them with your values on your careers page and call them out - Your careers page is a perfect place to list your company perks and highlight why you think it’s valuable for your company. Has it helped create a sense of community? Does it increase productivity and support mental health needs? Be specific!
  • Promote them on your social channels - Don’t neglect this! Job seekers browse through social media channels just as much as employers do to get an idea of the company values and to see if it’s a good fit before applying. 
  • Be sure to list them in your benefits section of the job post - Your job post is the first area job seekers will see and learn any information about the role and your company. Certain perks like bringing pets to work or having a hybrid workplace could be a huge selling point to some people that you wouldn’t want to leave out. 
  • Reach out to local media about your perks and hiring needs in order to create awareness - Get people talking about it! So many people find jobs by searching, “best companies to work for” or “companies with the best perks” online. Putting effort into having your company appear on articles like that is a great way to get more people aware and excited about your company.  
  • Apply for Employee Best Workplace Awards - Another great way to bring awareness to your awesome perks and appear in articles that job seekers are looking at! 

We hope these ideas help your company add value to current and potential employees, and we wish you look on growing your business and making employee satisfaction a top priority! 

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