Private chefs. Pet insurance. Fully paid sabbatical years.
When it comes to employee benefits and perks, companies are pulling out all the stops—and with good reason. According to a recent Metlife report, 73% of employees believe that employers have a responsibility to address the health and the well-being of their employees.
It’s no surprise, then, that nearly one-fifth of HR professionals alter their benefits programs to retain employees.
Experts can talk all they want about one-off benefits and trendy employee perks. But what will actually make a positive impact on an employer’s workforce?
A strategy that fosters total wellness. A holistic approach to employee benefits includes all areas of wellbeing, including financial wellness (including financial literacy), physical wellness (the traditional wellness program with the benefit plan), emotional health (employee assistance and mental wellbeing programs) and social wellness (team building, corporate volunteerism).
There are so many possible benefits to include in holistic wellness programs. To help get you started, we’ve come up with 100 ideas for employee benefits and perks that appeal to a diverse, multigenerational workforce.
Download this entire list as a pdf. Easily save it on your computer or print it out.
- Workplace Pension Scheme: Your employees make contributions to their pension. You match them (up to a certain percentage), and their contributions are doubled. Simple!
- Student Loan Repayment Plans: The average student loan debt is £36,000 (not to mention the cost of the stress that comes with debt). You could make a real difference in their lives by setting up a student loan repayment program.
- Workplace ISA: An ISA provides employees with an easy and tax-efficient way of investing money. Unlike most other sorts of investment, you don’t have to pay any tax on investment income or capital gains.
- Private Medical Insurance: Private cover will typically give your employees access to increased medical resources, reduced hospital waiting times and a wider range of specialist treatments, as well as a private room.
- Critical Illness Insurance: This enables your employees to receive a tax-free lump sum if they’re diagnosed with one of a number of specific medical conditions.
- Discounts on Travel + Ridesharing: More than three-quarters of employees drive to work alone. Commuting can come with significant stress—take some of the financial pressure off your employees’ commutes and help build comradery by offering shared transit.
- Discounted Family Mobile Phone Plans: Mobile phones are now as necessary as heat and electricity. Make it easier for your employees and their families to stay in touch and up-to-date.
- Tuition Reimbursement: Invest in your employees by giving them an opportunity to further their education (like an MBA). Oftentimes, this benefit includes a contract requiring the employee to stay with their company for a certain number of years after graduating.
- Professional Development Fund: Set aside a quota for continued education through approved development opportunities.
- Pet Insurance: People love their pets—but pets can get expensive. Pet insurance means Felix can stay healthy and happy (and Felix’s owner can, too).
- Childcare Reimbursement: It’s a tough choice for many parents: Do I stay home with the children, or do I work and leave them at a daycare? Childcare reimbursement can help give your employees the peace of mind that their children are cared for while they’re at the office.
- Child Care and Education Stipend: Parents typically spend a lot of their salary on their children’s care and education. A stipend means a little less financial weight on your employee’s back.
- Restaurant Vouchers: This is a great reward for small successes in the office (especially if it’s a new, trendy restaurant everyone’s been dying to try).
- Employee Prize Catalogue: An employee prize catalog offers unique bonuses, which can be anything from extra holiday, experiences, or prizes, based on their performance.
- Employee Referral Program: Streamline recruiting by incentivizing your employees to refer top talent to your organization.
- Financial Literacy Program: Help employees and their families meet their financial goals, whether it’s saving up for a new car or paying off their mortgage, with a financial literacy program.
- Employee Rewards Program: In addition to more traditional wellness benefits, employee rewards programs like Perkbox help employees save on things like technology, food shopping, and clothing.
- Technology Reimbursement: Top-of-the-line laptop computer. Multiple monitors. High-speed internet connection. Purchasing tech for on-the-road and at-home work use can be a significant personal expense.
- Investment Programs: Help employees build equity with smart investment programs. Computershare, for instance, is a fractional ownership program that lets employees buy “pieces” of otherwise high-value shares that they wouldn’t have access to.
- Petrol Reimbursement: In the UK, the average commute is an hour. Factor that in twice a day, and that’s a lot of petrol (and a lot of money out of pocket) used to get to work. Petrol reimbursement programs can mitigate the financial and psychological stress of commuting.
- Complimentary Company Parking Space: The worst part of driving? The parking (especially in a city). It’s usually expensive, inconvenient, and time-consuming. Complimentary parking means all those troubles go away.
- Complimentary Car Wash/Car Detailing: Imagine how happy your employees will be when they walk out of work and see their (formerly mud-covered) cars all shiny and clean.
- Diapers + Wipes Subscription: A new baby can use up to 2,700 diapers in a year. And that’s just diapers. Such a subscription can help wipe away those financial worries.
- Home Buying Assistance: On the list of significant adult milestones, few are bigger than buying your first home. Being the company that supports their employees in doing this? That’s sure to earn you points.
- Summer Camp for Employees’ Children: Kids need campfires and ghost stories. And if it’s on the company, it’s just that much easier.
- Retirement Planning: For some, retirement is a long way off. For others, it’s right around the corner. Whatever the situation, you don’t want to go into retirement with uncertainty. Planning can help you go in with a smart, sustainable strategy.
- Egg Freezing: More women are choosing to focus on their career when they’re young but don’t want to sacrifice motherhood. Egg freezing empowers female employees to have both career and family ambitions.
- New Baby Fund: Provide your employees with a set amount of funds to welcome their bundle of joy into the world.
- Free Wearable Swag: Both Steve Jobs and Barack Obama vocalised that one shouldn’t waste brainpower deciding what to wear when there are many more important decisions to be made. You can remove this distraction for your employees by stocking their closets with cool, company-branded gear.
- Fitness Classes: Active employees are engaged employees. By providing employees with affordable, flexible fitness options, they’ll be happier and healthier. Gympass offers a network of over 50,000 fitness facilities in 14 countries around the world.
- Wellness Reimbursement: Reimburse your employees for achieving certain wellness goals, like taking 10,000 steps a day or checking in at the gym 3 times a week.
- In-Office Massages: Whether your employees spend the majority of their days at their desks or on their feet, a relaxing massage is always a welcome treat to help reduce stress. Even if it’s only once a quarter, this rejuvenating reward can be just what the doctor ordered.
- On-Site Health and Wellness Facilities: Need to speak with a therapist about some problems going on at home? Or a nurse to check if that cut really is infected? On-site health and wellness facilities help employees save time and money, setting them up for success in the workplace.
- Free Flu Vaccines: Not only do free flu vaccines keep everyone healthy, but they also help protect your employees and their families from getting sick, as well.
- Treadmill Desks: Some people just can’t sit still. Treadmill desks can do wonders for stress and productivity. Rather than sitting in a chair for hours on end, your employees can hop on a treadmill and get moving.
- Fitness Reimbursement Plan: Hit fitness goals, get rewarded. Thanks to technology like FitBit, companies are giving employees incentives for staying healthy, from putting in time at the gym or the park to meeting daily step count goals.
- Screen Protectors: Your employees’ vision is a valuable commodity—both for you and for them. Extended exposure to blue light from staring at screens can lead to vision problems, migraines, and a slew of other issues. A screen protector, like the EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector, is a quick and easy fix to mitigate eye strain.
- Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits: One of the key aspects of a successful health benefits program is inclusivity. Employees who are transgender may have medical costs that aren’t covered by the NHS.
- Unlimited Sick Days: Everyone hates being forced to ration sick days. Limiting an employee’s allotted sick days can lead to all sorts of problems, from using holiday days to cover illness to getting the entire office sick because an employee has no sick days left. An unlimited sick day policy makes employees feel respected, comfortable and trusted with their time.
- Vouchers for Massages, Osteopath and Chiropractor Appointments: The costs attributable to low back pain in the UK were estimated at £12.3bn a year. Imagine how thankful they would be for a voucher for any of the above.
- Private In Vitro Fertility Treatment Coverage: For employees who want children but are having trouble conceiving, in vitro fertility is a great option… if they can afford it. Fertility treatments can cost upwards of £5,000 per cycle. Offering coverage for this treatment can mean the world to your employees.
- Breastfeeding Rooms with Hospital-Grade Pumps: Pumping breast milk (especially at work) is taxing, and commercial-grade pumps can often leave a lot to be desired. A proper breastfeeding room gives new mothers both the equipment and privacy they need.
- Biometric Screening: Complimentary biometric measurements, such as blood pressure, height, weight, and cholesterol, can help them be aware and take control of their overall health.
- Eldercare Services: Families with elderly parents and relatives often face limited, highly expensive options for live-in care. Removing the financial burden from this decision can help make for an easier transition.
- Family-Building Benefits for All: A new baby is both incredible and an incredible amount of work, especially when you have to balance a job with it. The better your family-building benefits, the better your employees can get situated with their baby.
- Cycle-to-Work Scheme: Reduce your carbon footprint. Get in a workout. Get rewarded by your employer. Why not give your employees benefits for using their legs to get to work?
- Designated Parking for Expectant Mothers: Pregnant women have a laundry list of new issues to deal with, among them: walking places. Getting them a parking spot close to the office entrance is a small gesture that will feel like a grand kindness.
- Paid Bereavement Leave: Losing a loved one takes not only a severe emotional toll—it takes a financial one, as well. Having proper time to mourn the loss of a loved one with the knowledge that you’re still being compensated is a welcome kindness in a tough time.
- Mental Health and Stress Management Workshops: 40% of employees find their jobs extremely stressful, and one-quarter said work was the single biggest source of stress in their lives. Interactive workshops can help everyone find healthier ways of achieving work-life balance.
- Mental Wellbeing App Subscription: Mental wellbeing apps allow your employees to take control of their well-being with accessible options like texting and video chatting with licensed therapists. These kinds of interactions can be game-changing, especially in light of rising depression rates amongst Millennials since 2013.
- Mindfulness App/Facilities: Stress is a powerful force in offices. A subscription to a meditation app (coupled with an office meditation room) can show a commitment to positive employee mindfulness.
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): EAPs do not fall neatly into one box—they can help with a wide range of problems, from psychological disorders and substance abuse to stress and emotional well-being. EAPs can help employees with everything from short-term counseling to establishing strategies for long-term wellness treatments.
- On-Site Sleep Pods: Consider this a 40-minute nap can boost job performance by 34%. Who wouldn’t benefit from a quick power nap after lunch? Sleep pods are a valuable investment for both companies and their employees.
- Mental Wellbeing Days: Companies often give employees a set number of physical sick days, but what about mental wellbeing days? Emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health and should be treated as such.
- “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” Allowance: Ever hear the expression, “Do one thing every day that scares you”? You could give your employees a budget to try just that. (Maybe not daily, but at least once a quarter.)
- Remote Work Program: Maybe your employee wants to spend a year in Sri Lanka or Japan or Uruguay. Why stop them as long as they’re still working for you? A smart remote work program can keep everyone happy.
- Travel Benefits: Show your employees you want them to get out and take that holiday they’ve been dreaming about by giving them travel benefits or offering them an annual budget to go out and see the world.
- “Fur-ternity” Leave: New kitten or puppy? It’s a lot in the beginning. There’s pet-proofing, house training, and of course, time to get to know one another. Fur-ternity leave can give employees up to a week off to get everything situated for their new furry friend.
- Military Leave: Military leave is about more than just securing their job, it’s about knowing they can return to the life they once had.
- On-Site Daycare: Covering childcare for your employees is great, but having childcare at the office means your employees are physically that much closer to their children. Plus, it could ultimately save your company money, over covering childcare for multiple employees.
- Adoption Assistance: The adoption process can take over a year. It’s filled with complicated paperwork, intense interviews, and certain frustrations. Adoptive assistance can help aspiring parents to navigate this difficult process.
- Free Travel Companion for New Mothers: New mothers need backup everywhere they can get it, especially when breastfeeding. This could be a relative, a nanny, or any person accompanying a new mum and her baby on a business trip.
- Complimentary Breastmilk Shipping: This complimentary service lets women send their breast milk home for free.
- On-Ramping Programs for Parents Re-Entering the Workforce: Going from full-time baby duty back to full time-employee isn’t always the smoothest transition. Smooth out the process with an on-ramping program.
- Gender-reassignment assistance: Gender reassignment process is a complex journey. As an employer, you can make it easier by offering access to financial, legal, medical, and emotional support.
- Culture Pass: Art. Music. Theatre. Literature. Dance. Give your employees free admission to some of the best cultural experiences in town.
- Movie Night: Sometimes, everyone needs to unwind with a good film and some movie theatre popcorn. Up the appeal by adding decorations and prizes tied to the movie you’re showing.
- Company Book Club: A great way to promote learning, communication, and team-building. Earn higher engagement by putting aside an hour of work time each month to discuss the current book.
- In-House Mentorship Program: All employees (but especially young and new employees, in particular) can benefit from having a guide to help navigate their professional landscape.
- Paid Industry Certifications: Paid industry certifications are an absolute win-win. Employees earn proof of new skills and employers build a more accredited team.
- Unconscious Bias + Diversity training: We all need to be respectful of one another. Classes can help your employees gain valuable insights into both their conscious and unconscious behavior.
- University Coach program: Help employees navigate their children’s university admissions process and financing process by giving them access to a University Coach program.
- LGBT Awareness Training: Much like with diversity training, kindness and understanding are critical in the workplace. Education and awareness can help foster acceptance and inclusivity.
- Charitable Contributions: Make a point of supporting social causes and charities, and make it a mission around the office to achieve goals connected to these organizations.
- In-Office Volunteer Opportunities: Whether it’s a mentoring program or a virtual class taught via webcam, there are countless opportunities for volunteering from the office.
- Out-Of-Office Volunteer Opportunities: Get your employees involved in their community by partnering with volunteer groups for social and environmental causes.
- Additional Holiday for Charity Work: Your employees are busy. Maybe they want to volunteer but just can’t find the time. Providing additional holiday for charity work can give them the time (and incentive) to do good.
- Monthly Team Activities: Want to form stronger bonds between your employees? Get them involved in non-work team activities to help them get to know each other outside the office.
- Unlimited Holiday: More and more companies now provide unlimited holiday. Focusing on getting work done efficiently—rather than being at the office when there’s nothing to do—can have a powerful effect on your employees’ focus, productivity, and overall well-being.
- Agile Fridays: Everyone knows that Friday is the best day of the week. Work from home Fridays can lead to fewer meetings which means more time to focus on complex projects, prepare reports, or get the next week squared away.
- Lunchtime Speaker Sessions: Everyone’s got to eat. Why not provide a catered lunch with some inspiration or thought leadership? It’s a fantastic way to keep employees engaged (and eating well).
- Summer Fridays: When summer comes, employees will want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Let them! Half-day Fridays throughout the summer are something everyone can look forward to.
- Birthday Leave: Getting a cake in the office on your birthday is nice. Spending the day doing whatever you want and getting paid for it is even better. Birthday Leave is an invaluable perk that shows your employees how much they’re appreciated.
- Paid Sabbaticals: Employee burnout is real. If you want to retain employees, sometimes you need to let them spend some time discovering their passions by teaching yoga, volunteering abroad, or learning how to make wine. Sabbaticals are shown to decrease stress and increase life satisfaction.
- No Official Work Hours: Much like Unlimited Holiday, if your company believes in just “getting the work done,” you don’t need to instate official work hours. Some people want to sleep in, while others want to burn the midnight oil. Some may even want to work from halfway across the world. Giving employers the freedom to work when they’re most productive will reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.
- 4-Day Work Week: With studies showing a 40% boost in worker productivity, a 4-day work week lets employees focus more while they’re working and take more time to relax and unwind when they’re not.
- Flexible Hours: Parents don’t want to sacrifice time with their kids to work. Let them work around their children with a schedule that provides flexibility. It’s a great way to keep them happy and boost retention.
- Travelling Briefcase Program: A perk for top-performing employees: You provide airfare and accommodation for an employee and one guest to visit another company office and provide their expertise there for a week. It’s a great way to learn from other teams, develop new skills, and even practise different languages.
- Game Rooms: Want to play some Table Football? Pool? Ping Pong? A game room makes a great social, low-pressure outlet for stress in any office.
- Team Off-Sites: This is a chance to get away from the office for a day or a week and have meaningful discussions about strategy and the future of the organization.
- Dress-Up Day: Sure, it’s silly. But an Ugly Sweater Party, for example, can bring an intangible fun to the workplace, especially if there are prizes involved.
- Bring Your Pet to Work Day: As long as you get the okay from any allergic employees, bringing your pet to work can be a fun way to see the furry, four-legged children of your employees.
- Job Shadowing: Send your employees to be part of another team inside your company for a day to a week. Not only will this serve as a platform to learn new skills, but it will also give them valuable insight into the corporate structure and operations of a completely different team.
- Bring Your Child to Work Day: It’s a great relationship-building exercise between coworkers and families, plus it’s just a lot of fun in general.
- Child-Friendly Christmas Parties: There’s nothing wrong with renting out a bar for an office Christmas party. But one that’s fun for the whole family? That’s likely to yield a better turnout and more bonding across the board.
- In-House Barista / On-Site Cafe: Employees can spend a lot of time on coffee breaks outside the office. Having something on-site will not only be a treat for their wallets; it will also save them time (and, by extension, save you time as well).
- Catered Lunches & Snacks: Much like an on-site cafe, in-house lunch means convenience, saving money, and focus.
- Free Drinks After 5 PM: A couple of cold pints or a glass of red after a long workday can be a much-needed release and promote some good, old-fashioned happy hour bonding.
- Complimentary Food Delivery: To save your employees time from going to pick up their food, offer complimentary food delivery. You cover the costs so they can spend more time handling business.
- Supermarket Delivery: When you’re working nine to five (or six… or seven), there’s not a lot of time left for food shopping. Company-sponsored supermarket delivery can give your employees the free time they crave.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.