Unique work perks are the name of the game

‘Happy Hour’ is an HR Dive column from Reporter Ginger Christ. Follow along as she dives into some of the offbeat news in the HR space.

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will darken the sky across a swath of North America. Cleveland, where I live, is in the path of totality. That same day, the Guardians will take on the White Sox in front of a sold out crowd in the team’s home opener. I’ll be there for both. 

I didn’t even think twice before taking half a day off to witness the nearly four minutes of total darkness in a ballpark surrounded by about 35,000 of my closest friends. At HR Dive, we have an open paid time off policy, something for which I am constantly grateful. 

Coming up through the ranks in journalism, you typically have to work long hours to prove your commitment to the craft. After just shy of 17 years in the industry, I’ve finally found balance. 

At HR Dive, we’ve written a lot lately about how employers are turning to unique benefits to attract and retain workers. From tuition reimbursement to fertility benefits to flexible work arrangements, companies are trying to create attractive total rewards packages. 

New Belgium, a Colorado-based craft brewery, provides employees with a custom bike after one year with the company. Compt, an employee benefits reimbursement platform, gives employees a lifestyle spending account they can use for a variety of purposes, including professional development, remote work office equipment, child care and pet expenses. Bank of America offers a sabbatical program, which employees quality for after 15 years of continuous employment. Accounting firm EY provides pet insurance.

I turned to social media to find out what other kind of perks readers and friends get at their jobs. 

Johns Hopkins University sets up an ice rink, complete with hot chocolate and snacks, every winter for faculty, staff and students to use for free. Many employers have a points reward system, letting employees earn points that can be redeemed for prizes. Some provide workers with meals or meal vouchers and have food delivered to the office or to employees’ homes from local restaurants. And one company reimburses workers for taxi rides on holidays so they can celebrate safely. 

One benefit starkly missing from these packages, however, is giving employees the day off for Major League Baseball’s opening day, which was Thursday. I call that a strike out.