Outside the box company perks to improve the employee experience
Benefits 5 minute read

Outside the box company perks to improve the employee experience

Megan Orr | September 28, 2023

There are many different company perks that your organization can offer, from extra paid time-off to flexible work schedules. However, there are lots of ‘outside the box’ perk ideas that many organizations are beginning to adopt.

With many workplaces having adopted remote or hybrid work models, it’s more important than ever to support employees wherever they are—not just when they’re physically in the office. Especially considering that better benefits are one of the top reasons employees start a new job, according to LinkedInsecond, only after higher pay. In fact, research also finds that one in ten employees would be willing to leave their job for one that pays less but offers better benefits.

Supporting employees means looking beyond standardized benefits and exploring the company perks that will set your organization apart and truly benefit employees. 

As many companies shift to work from home, work from anywhere, and hybrid work models permanently, the next step may be introducing a modified work schedule: the four-day work week. 

A company that trialled the four-day work week found that productivity went up by 20% and “staff reported a vast increase in overall wellbeing as a result”. Additionally, work-life balance scores “shot up from 54% to 78% whilst stress levels dropped to 38% from 45%”.

Alternatively, you can consider a 6-hour workday that spans Monday to Friday. One team that tried out the 6-hour workday found that a shorter workday “forced the team to prioritize effectively, limit interruptions, and operate at a much more deliberate level for the first few hours of the day. The team maintained, and in some cases increased, its quantity and quality of work, with people reporting an improved mental state, and that they had more time for rest, family, friends, and other endeavours”. 

Having a wide variety of employee benefits and company perks available—such as pet insurance—is a great way to both attract and retain top talent. 

According to a survey, 45% of pet owners spend as much, or more, on their pet’s healthcare as their own, which can cost between $700 to $2000 per year for a healthy pet. And, having employer coverage is important to employees, with Forbes finding that "over 30% of 18–41-year-olds are most concerned with having pet insurance available as a benefit".

According to the Employee Benefit Adviser, only 15% of companies offer pet insurance, and companies who do offer it might gain an edge when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. Currently, 55% of all Canadians own a pet, with pet ownership on the rise.

Fertility benefits can help people who are struggling with either conception or the cost of conception.

Companies such as Spotify and eBay have pioneered the added benefit of fertility treatments, such as egg freezing and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Fertility benefits are a great way for businesses to show that they are family-centric and that they support their employees’ family life, not just work life. 

As the Canadian Psychological Association reports, regular physical activity can help reduce stress and prevent depression. 

Whether you offer a subsidy for gym/yoga/fitness studios, or have a gym in your building for use, it’s important to encourage healthy habits and help employees break up their day-to-day routine with exercise. 

Increased screen time means eye fatigue and an increase in vision issues.

Comprehensive eye care options allow employees to get regular check ups at their optometrist, pay for prescription glasses, and uncover health issues that are detectable through eye exams (such as glaucoma or diabetes).

Paid volunteer days can help incentivize your employees to help out at a charity or non-profit  of their choice. 

A report by the Conference Board of Canada on the value of volunteering found that “[c]haritable activities can improve the life satisfaction of volunteers and may improve their health” and that “volunteers gain a range of business-relevant skills and can improve their work-related outcomes”. Employees can go with coworkers (maintaining safe social distance, of course) or use it as an opportunity to pursue a passion or cause of their own. 

Never underestimate the power of free food and drinks.

While it's not necessarily "outside the box", free food and drinks can come a long way for both employee attraction and retention. Especially if you've returned to office, offering free food and drinks is a great perk and inventive for employees to come into the office.

Of course, company perks only go so far. If your company culture is flawed in other ways, these perks will do little to improve engagement and retention. But if you already have a positive company culture and employees that are engaged, offering these company perks is a great way to show that you're invested in their wellbeing and want them to stick around.

At the very least, your organization should offer comprehensive employee health benefits. If you want to learn more about Rise Health's benefits offerings, get a quote from us to learn more. 

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