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13 Companies With Unusual Employee Perks

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Bomb Benefits

Most of us work at jobs where benefits are pretty standard: health coverage, paid time off, sick leave, and the like. But there are companies that take a decidedly more innovative and generous approach to letting their employees know just how much they're appreciated. Here are some companies where workers get everything from regular sabbaticals and unlimited vacation time to free meals and housecleaning. 


Related: 20 Work Benefits You Shouldn't Overlook in Your Job Hunt

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LinkedIn: Unlimited Holidays

You might think that a social media company that helps people find jobs and network might also follow the usual workplace patterns. Back in 2015, however, LinkedIn's chief talent officer, Pat Wadors, announced on the site that it was implementing a policy called "discretionary time off," or DTO. In essence, "there is no set minimum or maximum amount of vacation time employees can take in a year." LinkedIn isn't the only company offering policies like this to its employees; according to human resources-focused website Workstars, Netflix, Evernote, Roku, and Kickstarter are among the companies that also offer this perk.


Related: The Top Job Search Sites — and Who Should Use Them

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Hootsuite: Nap Room

This social media management company, which employs around 1,000 people, has two Vancouver, British Columbia, office spaces. One of them has a log-cabin-themed "nap room" complete with cots, blankets, and pillows, and there's another area fashioned after a ski resort that includes huge beanbag chairs and other nontraditional places for employees to work. According to company execs, these perks are just part of the company's overall approach to wellness. "By offering programs that support our people in all aspects of life," Hootsuite's Angela Wright told Medium.com in 2018, "we hope to enable balance and let people be their best self holistically."


Related: 10 International Work Benefits Americans Wish They Had

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Think Productive: Four-Day Workweek

Perhaps it's not too surprising that a company devoted to productivity and well-being would have adopted a four-day workweek for its U.K.-based team sooner than most — back in 2011, to be exact. As Think Productivity noted in a blog post about the effort, which was initially a one-month trial that turned permanent: "We measured productivity and stress levels via staff surveys. It turns out you basically get the same amount done, but are just much happier." Years later, they still stand by the policy: "The productivity impact is transformational. Psychologically, knowing that every day is a quarter of your entire week ensures a sharper focus, and we think it significantly reduces procrastination."


Related: America's Most Successful Employee-Owned Companies


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Akraya: Home Cleaning

For some people, working hard means the state of their home suffers and those dust bunnies go nowhere. But that's not the case for employees of this IT consulting and staffing firm, which has offices in the United States and India. Akraya sends a professional cleaning service to interested employees' homes every two weeks to spiff up. Must be perks like that earns Akraya a spot among Glassdoor's Employees' Choice Awards "2021 Best Places to Work." 


Related: 15 Industries That Would Benefit From a Recession

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Patagonia: Surf Breaks

The surf in Ventura, California, is often excellent, a fact Patagonia owner and founder Yvon Chouinard doesn't let his employees take for granted. He encourages them to get out there and enjoy the waves, with the company's reception desk even posting daily surf reports and making announcements when the waves are particularly awesome. "We have a policy that when the surf comes up, you drop work and you go surfing," Chouinard noted on the NPR podcast "How I Built This," adding: "I don't care when you work as long as the job gets done."


Related: 50 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in America

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Chesapeake Energy: Free SCUBA Certification

This Oklahoma City company, one of the country's largest natural gas producers, employs about 2,300 people, and it puts a large focus on the health of those workers. In addition to the Olympic-size swimming pool where employees can get SCUBA-certified for free, Chesapeake Bay also has a 72,000-square-foot fitness center offering physical therapy, personal training, nutritional counseling, group classes, a climbing wall, walking track, and a sand volleyball court. According to its website, all of this is part of the company's employee wellness initiatives. "We champion healthy lifestyles and offer resources encouraging our employees to put their health first," it notes.


Related: 22 Jobs That Make the Gym Redundant

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Genentech: On-Site Car Washes and Haircuts

The list of benefits offered by this U.S. biotechnology corporation in San Francisco is pretty long. It includes many of the usuals, plus other perks such as fertility support and on-site child care. We love, however, that they have on-campus services such as car wash facilities, bike repair, haircut services, and even an "on-site dental van for full-service care."


Related: These Companies Mastered Remote Work Long Before COVID-19


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Axios and Workfront: Mental Health Days

Could companies finally be realizing that mental health is just as important as physical health? U.S. news site Axios and software company Workfront grant their employees one day a month to attend to their mental health. Workfront refers to them as "recharge days." Axios told the website Comparably that "our employees' mental health and well-being during a time of global crisis was our collective leadership team's top priority, so we invested time and money to ensure our team members could stay as well as possible and take good care of themselves." 


Related: 25 Expert Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance While Working from Home

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Propellernet: Dream Balls

This internet marketing service in Brighton, England, encourages its employees to submit "Dream Balls." What in the world, you may ask, is a dream ball? Employees are encouraged to write down their life's dreams for insertion into the company's large, vintage bubble gum dispenser. Each time Propellernet hits a target or exceeds expectations, managers pull a random Dream Ball and make one worker's fantasy a reality. Among other dreams that Propellernet has made come true, the company has sent two employees to the World Cup in Brazil and funded another on a motorcycle trip across Africa. That in and of itself is a pretty impressive perk, but this employer also has a "Fun Ministry" that plans activities such as massages, group classes, parties, game nights, and more, all funded by 5% of all company profits. 


Related: Warning Signs a Job Isn't as Good as It Sounds

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Google: Free Meals

This perk has been pretty well documented but Google — a company we're fairly certain you're familiar with — has various dining halls at its Mountain View, California, campus offering meals, snacks, coffee, and more at all times of the day. All of it is free. Google employees can also bring their dogs to work, are provided with free shuttle service, yoga classes, massages, and more. Oh, and its campuses are also pretty famously cool, with the Sydney, Australia, campus offering plush, padded pods and hammocks for a more relaxed work environment. 


Related: 30 Lies That Bosses Tell Employees

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Drift: Regular Sabbaticals

Boston-based sales and marketing company Drift, which employs about 500 people, offers one-month sabbaticals to its workers after three years' worth of employment, and for each three-year period thereafter. The company noted to Comparably that the break "offers employees the chance to relax and reset a little bit after all their hard work. People use this time to travel, work on a passion project, or to rejuvenate and spend time with friends and family. We have seen people spend a month motorcycling around Vietnam, move to Cape Cod, learn the sport of horseback riding, and take an extended honeymoon across Australia and New Zealand."


Related: 30 Ways Your Employer Could Be Cheating You

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Goldman Sachs: Gender Reassignment Surgery Coverage

In 2007, years before most other companies in the investment banking company sphere had adopted such perks, Goldman Sachs began covering gender reassignment surgery in its employee medical plan. That's not the only area in which it proved itself supportive to the LGBTQ+ community — in 2000, it also expanded employee perks to offer health and relocation benefits to same-sex couples.


Related: 12 Small Towns Known for Being LGBTQ-Friendly

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Scripps Health: Pet Insurance

Sure, lots of companies cover some health expenses for employees' family members, but what if those family members have fur? Scripps Health, a nonprofit health system in San Diego that employs around 15,000 people, extends medical coverage perks to its workers' dogs and cats. The company offers comprehensive coverage for accidents, illnesses, and routine care through any licensed veterinarian.


Related: 20 Companies Where You Can Bring Your Dog To Work