Canines and Cupcakes: The Strangest Employment Benefits
There are some strange professional perks out there and time-honoured employment benefits like family leave, bigger office space and medical insurance barely scratch the surface.
Allow us to share with you a story. Once a month, a woman called Helen bakes cupcakes at home and brings them to her place of work as a special reward for those she deems the best and brightest.
Now allow us to elaborate. ΓÇÿHelenΓÇÖ is Dame Helen Ghosh and the ΓÇÿbest and brightestΓÇÖ sheΓÇÖs baking for are the civil servants in charge of immigration, drugs, crime and counter-terrorism in Britain.
ΓÇ£Cappuccino cupcakes are my speciality,ΓÇ¥ the Permanent Home Office Secretary confirmed to the Telegraph in February.
ItΓÇÖs an unusual approach, but one that Dame Helen swears by. So what other weird and wonderful benefits of the office are motivating the UKΓÇÖs workforce? Join us as we leave aside the dull humdrum of dentistry and retirement plans and venture boldly forth into the unknown…
Her Ladyship isnΓÇÖt the only one who frequently brings cakes into the office. The Guardian consumer desk sees the occasional boss-bought baked good according to journalist Mark King, and offices up and down the UK report such gourmet gratuities as fruit, crisps and even beer. Google employees have, unsurprisingly, 24/7 free access to anything delicious, from snacks to full course meals.
You may have worked in the same office as a child cr├¿che, but a puppy pound? ItΓÇÖs taking off in America; indeed itΓÇÖs becoming almost commonplace. Is this the next big benefit to arrive in Great Britain? We canΓÇÖt be sure, but we can point out that the most famous office pet lives in the United States and no one has so much as batted an eyelid at him. Little Bo Obama makes his home at the White House in Washington DC.
Another American office benefit comes in the form of staff shopping sprees. At Fun Bike Center Motorsports in Florida, high performers from the companyΓÇÖs sales team benefit from free shopping excursions. Be warned though; itΓÇÖs a little more intensive than it sounds. The best employees are lined up against each other for a mad monthly dash around the Fun Bike Center that can win them up to $1000 in products…
Big Screen Bonuses
A PR company, Firmani and Associates, based in Seattle, Washington give their staff regular free days at the cinema to reward them for their spectacular efforts. Apparently taking place on a quarterly basis, the Firmani owner pays his staff to visit their local picture house and make the most of the latest blockbuster releases.
We draw your attention back to Google for this one, as the search giant provides massage parlours for weary staff to recharge. But for once, Google isnΓÇÖt alone in this high-flying employment benefit; according to many professional masseurs, the ΓÇÿcorporate massageΓÇÖ is becoming quite the done thing both in the UK and abroad.
Putting the weird world of wacky benefits to one side for a moment, itΓÇÖs worth noting that the majority of respondents to a 2011 Work:Life UK survey identified their most important benefit to be the flexibility to work from home.
WhatΓÇÖs your most treasured benefit? Is it run-of-the-mill or completely random?
Elsewhere on the Blog…