Note: This article’s a Muse original. That’s a nice way of saying that it might be a little bit out-of-date. However, it sounds like you’re taking corporate perks into consideration as you job search. So, you might as well use that your advantage and stand out in your interview (here's how!). If you want some more direction, send us a note, and we’ll do our best to help you out.
When it comes to benefits, most companies provide the basics: healthcare coverage, vacation time, maybe even annual bonuses or company-sponsored breakfast.
But others—well, let's just say that we've seen companies that truly go above and beyond, offering their employees everything from travel stipends to a company boat.
So, whether you're a job seeker looking for a great new place to call work-home or a manager who wants to offer your employees something extra-special, check out 10 of our favorite office benefits and perks.
1. Love to Cook? It's on Us
ZeroCater, San Francisco
The employees at ZeroCater really, really love food: It's their job to create custom menus for their corporate clients.
And in their off hours, they get to enjoy some culinary creations of their own—the company offers each employee a $500 budget to take cooking classes each year (not to mention daily catered lunches and awesome foodie outings like Napa wine trips).
2. Here's $100. Go Nuts!
Pocket Gems, San Francisco
SF-based gaming company Pocket Gems has invested in making its office an amazing place to work—and in getting everyone involved in the effort.
Each team member is given $100 to use in a creative way that contributes to the office environment or workspace for everyone to enjoy. Employees frequently pool their funds for big-ticket items—which have ranged from a ping pong table to a keg.
3. Learn a Language—the Fun Way
Voxy, New York
Employees at English-teaching startup Voxy are passionate about learning new languages of their own: All of the staffers are in the process of actively learning one—on the company! First it was Mandarin Monday nights, now it’s Spanish-speaking lunches at Mexican restaurants—and through it all, learning has been far from dull.
4. Travel the World on the Company Dime
Airbnb, San Francisco
Not surprisingly, almost everyone working for unique accommodations company Airbnb loves to jetset around the world. So, what better employee perk than an annual $2,000 travel stipend?
(Bonus: When employees are in the office, they hang out in conference rooms modeled after the most popular Airbnb listings—an apartment in Berlin, a loft in SoHo, a lounge in Hong Kong, even a treehouse!)
5. Team-Build in Puerto Vallarta
Email marketing startup SendGrid believes in investing in building a strong team, and so it hosts a yearly retreat to give employees a chance to let loose and spend some quality time bonding.
Traveling to exotic locales like Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the retreat is filled with fun team-building exercises and lots of free time to chill out, enjoy the scenery, and build genuine friendships outside the office.
6. Skip Your Commute, Get $500
imo, Silicon Valley
A long commute can be a big energy-drainer, so imo offers its team a $500 housing stipend to support employees who want to live within five miles of the office. Most employees live close enough to bike or walk to work, and co-workers who live near one another form groups to travel together—making their mornings a lot more fun.
7. Indulge in Fine Liquor Fridays
Justin.tv, San Francisco
The week always ends with a party at entertainment and gaming company Justin.tv. Friday is known as Fine Liquor Friday—the company provides $300 for employees to purchase fine (or even not-so-fine) liquor from the corner store, and the end-of-week celebration begins at the office.
When staffers need a change of pace, they head to the gaming room for impromptu video game competitions.
8. Cruise on the Company Boat
iCracked, San Francisco
The team at iCracked works hard fixing people's broken iPhones and iPads, so the company has invested in making the working environment a peaceful oasis. Surrounded by glistening water and lush views in Redwood Shores, California, iCracked's office boasts a communal dock and a boat that employees can take out to relax and recharge on the water. (On rainy days, they enjoy an on-site gym.)
9. Streamline Your Life Maintenance
eBay, Silicon Valley
Ecommerce giant eBay wants its employees to be able to focus on work when they're at the office, so most of its offices offer dry cleaning pick-up, oil changes, and more services that help make life a little bit easier. Not to mention cafeterias, coffee shops, a free Wi-Fi-enabled shuttle service, and gym memberships!
10. Get On-Site Everything
Facebook, Silicon Valley
OK, Facebook has probably every perk on the planet—think free transportation, unlimited meals, and a state-of-the-art gym, but we particularly love the community that the company has created. The campus is filled with restaurants, shops, banks, barber shops, and bike shares, all of which help Facebook’s Headquarters be a center for building community—just like its online social network.