by Sarah K. White

10 companies with employee benefits you won’t believe

Dec 06, 2016
CareersIT Jobs

Tech companies keep upping the ante to attract new talent and keep current employees happy, and in the process, they've manage to change how businesses approach benefits. These 10 companies haven't stopped at free food and fitness reimbursements.

Startup culture introduced a lot of change to the traditional workplace by normalizing open office plans, fun break rooms, free food and flexible schedules. Part of these perks are a way to compete for the top tech talent, but they also serve as a way to keep current employees happy, encouraging them to stay with the company for the long haul.

But now that companies like Facebook, Google and HubSpot have grown up, moving past their startup nature, they’ve started taking employee benefits a step further, offering huge benefits to workers. These 10 tech companies each offer employees at least one benefit that flies in the face of traditional employee benefits.

AirBnB’s travel credit

Rated by Glassdoor as the best company to work for, AirBnB offers each employee a $2,000 yearly travel credit to use on AirBnB. Employees can enjoy the site they work for, using that stipend to stay in an AirBnB rental anywhere in the world. Reviews on Glassdoor also praise the company’s dedication to becoming an increasingly family-friendly business for employees. Employee reviews reference 10 weeks of parental leave, regular on-site family activities, flexible work schedules, pre-tax childcare benefits and full-employer paid health benefits.

Hubspot’s sabbatical

Hubspot is ranked fourth on Glassdoor’s list of best places to work, the company offers no shortage of unique employee perks. Reviewers on Glassdoor mention free subscriptions to the Kindle Books program, beer on tap and even a nap room as just a few of the unique perks at HubSpot. But the most impressive benefit is HubSpot’s sabbatical program, which gives workers one month paid leave once they reach their five-year anniversary with the company. That’s a month to travel, work on personal projects or just relax to come back to work reinvigorated and refreshed.

[ Related story: 4 employee benefits that will improve retention ]

Facebook’s paternity leave

Facebook was one of the early tech startups that helped popularize free lunches, commuter reimbursement, onsite gyms and unique office spaces. But as the company has grown, and as Mark Zuckerberg’s family has grown, the company recently brought its employee benefits up a notch. After taking his own extended paternity leave, Zuckerberg decided to do the same for all his employees, extending the maternity and paternity leave to four months that new parents can take anytime during the year after their baby’s birth. In addition to extended leave, Facebook also gives employees $4,000 after they have a baby to use on anything for their new child.

Netflix’s parental leave

If Facebook made headlines for its generous paternity and maternity leave, Netflix has one upped them by offering new parents a full year to take as much time off as they need to. During that year, new parents can choose to work a flexible schedule, part-time, or not at all, but will still receive their full salary and benefits. And to sweeten the deal even further, Netflix extended its generous parental leave to hourly workers as well as full-time employees.

LinkedIn’s wellness credit

LinkedIn offers a lot of the same benefits as other tech companies; employees enjoy free food, free healthcare, pet insurance and on-site fitness, and employees generally seem happy, with a 4.7 rating on Glassdoor. But LinkedIn takes its dedication to employee wellness even further by giving each worker $2,000 a year to be spent on wellness activities like massages or fitness classes. In addition to wellness activities, employees can also choose to spend the money on things like childcare.

[ Related story: Why employee experience trumps company culture ]

Spotify’s fertility coverage

Spotify made headlines for coming first in a comparison of companies with the best fertility coverage. In fact, the data found that out of every industry, tech companies generally offered the most expansive and comprehensive fertility coverage. These tech companies also had the most flexible policies around who can take advantage of the fertility coverage. Employees on Glassdoor note that the coverage doesn’t have a cap and that it extends to both fertility treatments and egg freezing.

Salesforce’s paid volunteer work

Salesforce isn’t the first company to encourage its employees to give back to the community, but it is one of the few that pays its workers to do so; employees at Salesforce get seven paid volunteer days off every year. The company even incentivizes its most charitable employees, granting $10,000 to each of the 100 top volunteers every fiscal year for them to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice. And for teams that want to volunteer together, the company offers grants to help fund those initiatives.

PwC’s student loan pay down

Companies are realizing that their entry-level workers are entering the workforce saddled with debt from their education, which is why PwC introduced a Student Loan Paydown program. Associates or senior associates can get up to $1,200 every year to put towards their loans. Employees can take advantage of the program for up to six years with the company, and the intent is to help new employees pay down their loan as soon as three years faster. PwC also calculates that the program can save workers up to $10,000 on principal and interest as long as they continue making the extra $100 payment after the program ends.

[ Related story: Family-friendly benefits key to attracting top tech talent ]

Accenture’s gender reassignment

Accenture prides itself on an inclusive work environment that embraces diversity, and they made that point extra clear by becoming the first consulting firm to offer employees coverage for gender reassignment surgery. The benefits include coverage for cross-border assignment benefits as well as a global medical plan for employees that need to travel for procedures. Gender reassignment coverage is just one aspect of Accenture’s commitment to building an inclusive environment for everyone, including LGBT employees.

Zillow’s extensive coverage

Zillow doesn’t have just one employee benefit that stands out, instead the company offers what one employee on Glassdoor calls, “an absolutely phenomenal benefits package.” Employee reviews of Zillow’s benefits on Glassdoor have one common theme — Zillow created a thoughtful, expansive benefits package that has something for every employee. In fact, one employee even commented that her doctors and pharmacy were blown away by their healthcare plan, while another says that the health benefits only get better with each passing year at the company. Employees enjoy perks like unlimited PTO, free food, complete health coverage, commuter and gym reimbursement, 401k matching and generous parental leave.

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