20 best work perks, from legal help to free burgers

As the U.S. labor market tightens, employers are engaging in an arms race in the search for top employees. That’s spurring some corporations to create ever-more-lavish perks and benefits to recruit workers and keep them happy. 

These perks go far beyond the standard 10 days of annual vacation time. Take Microsoft’s “StayFit” program, which provides employees with an $800 reimbursement to cover gym memberships, or Gap’s perk of free access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, according to a new study from employment site Glassdoor

While some perks are more lifestyle-oriented, such as Gap’s museum membership, many employers are focusing on core benefits, such as health care, vacation and parental leave, Glassdoor found. The employment site’s research shows that most employees say benefits and perks are a top consideration before accepting a new job. 

Yet while a flashy perk like pet health care may help lure a person to accept an offer, Glassdoor said “core” benefits like vacation keep employees happy. 

“Tech companies are well known for generous benefits packages, but companies in every industry are in a war for talent and competing for the same employees,” said Allison Berry, a spokeswoman for Glassdoor. “Companies across all industries are offering benefits and perks to help stand out against the pack.” 

Even though some top companies are offering increasingly lavish perks and benefits, that’s not the norm for most U.S. workers. Only one out of five large U.S. corporations offered paid maternity leave in 2015, for instance, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The U.S. is one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. (The other two are Oman and Papua New Guinea.)

Because the U.S. doesn’t mandate paid parental leave, some municipalities and states are stepping into the breach. San Francisco became the first American city to require six weeks of paid parental leave in 2017.

With employers demanding more from top employees, such as longer hours and heavier workloads, it may be no surprise that some of the top perks involve services to lift the burdens of daily life. Biotech company Genentech, for instance, offers on-site amenities such as haircuts and car washes. 

Here are the top 20 perks Glassdoor has identified. 

  1. Ikea: The furniture company is offering four months of paid parental leave to both full-time and part-time workers with at least one year at the company. The perk covers both corporate employees and those who staff its furniture stores. 
  2. Reebok: On-site gym with Crossfit classes. 
  3. Bain & Co.: The consulting firm has a two-day global “Bain World Cup” soccer tournament for all employees. 
  4. Goldman Sachs: The investment bank covers gender reassignment surgery. 
  5. Facebook: Interns receive health care coverage and free housing. That’s on top of their generous $7,000 per month salary. 
  6. Scripps Health: Pet insurance for cats and dogs. 
  7. Starbucks: Full tuition reimbursement for employees that covers an online bachelor’s degree program at Arizona State University. 
  8. American Express: Five months of fully paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers. Mothers who gave birth (as opposed to adoptive mothers) receive an additional six to eight weeks of salary under medical leave. 
  9. Eventbrite: Offers a $60 monthly wellness stipend, which covers a range of items, from juice cleanses to gym fees. 
  10. Whole Foods Market: 20 percent discount to all employees, including part-timers. 
  11. In-N-Out: Free Double-Double burger and fries during each shift. 
  12. Deloitte: Two sabbatical programs, including a three- to six-month sabbatical that can be taken at 40 percent pay. 
  13. Gap: Free access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 
  14. Microsoft: An $800 annual “StayFit” reimbursement program for fitness programs and gym memberships. 
  15. Swiss Re: Flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely. 
  16. Amazon: Leave Share, which helps employees share paid leave with their partners, and Ramp Back, which helps new mothers return to work. The perks are available for corporate, customer service and warehouse workers. 
  17. USAA: An 8 percent matching program for its 401(k), compared with the average of 6 percent for U.S. companies. 
  18. Southwest: Its Clear Skies program offers confidential counseling and legal help. 
  19. Genentech: On-site amenities such as haircuts, child care, car washes and dental care. 
  20. Timberland: Workers can take up to 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer.