By Sarah Landrum
Now, more than ever before, job seekers are looking for companies that think outside the box when it comes to thoughtful employee perks and benefits. Below are 15 modern companies that put their team members first, with an abundance of on-site amenities and events.
Google (Mountain View, CA)
If we're looking for a place to start, we should begin with the company that sets the gold standard for modern employee benefits. Google is currently sitting pretty as Fortune Magazine's #1 Best Place to Work, an honor its claimed for the past four years and a total of six times. Aside from comprehensive healthcare coverage and tuition reimbursement programs, employee benefits include on-site gourmet food, game rooms, basketball courts, a bowling alley, and more. Not enough for you? Snag a job at Google and you can also get a professional massage during your lunch break, get a haircut, or catch up on your laundry at the on-site laundromat. Not to mention, the company has been in the news as of late for its new paternity leave policy, which gives parents of ALL genders, including domestic partners and surrogates, up to 12 weeks of paid time off.
S.C. Johnson (Racine, WI)
It's no accident that S.C. Johnson's TV commercials boast that they're a "family company." There's a clear commitment to family deeply imbedded in this company's culture, including childcare for employees with young children, generous amounts of family leave for both new mothers and new fathers, and paid sabbaticals. But that wasn't enough, so the household cleaning company's Racine, WI headquarters also includes a concierge service, which helps employees with everyday chores like picking up dry cleaning, returning library books, and more.
DreamWorks Animation (Glendale, CA)
Known for such timeless classics as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks is clearly a powerhouse of artistic talent. Besides attracting great creatives with its cutting-edge projects, DreamWorks also works hard to make sure its employees keep their skills sharp as time goes on. The company provides formal training on how to pitch ideas and keeps the creative juices flowing with art shows, art classes, yoga classes, sculpture classes and craft fairs. As far as more formal benefits, there are health insurance programs, free daily meals, and even an on-site fitness center.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas, TX)
Traveling the world can be expensive, so if you're looking to broaden your horizons in a literal way, consider a job at Southwest Airlines. Employees of this major airline enjoy free travel for themselves, their friends, and their family, and they also receive sizeable discounts at several hotel chains, theme parks, and car rental services. A little closer to home, Southwest employees enjoy an annual chili cook-off contest and other fun traditions like their "Haunted Headquarters" every Halloween. Then, of course, the company also boasts competitive health benefits and a solid 401(k) plan.
Mattel (El Segundo, CA)
You probably know of Mattel through their successful, multinational toy brands such as Barbie, Matchbox Cars, and American Girl Dolls. Mattel products bring joy to children the world over, and that mission logically extends to their employees' children as well. Mattel helps cover the cost of adopting a child, and for employees with school-aged children, it allows parents 16 hours of paid time off to accompany their child to school field trips or parent-teacher conferences.
Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA)
When a company names its on-campus fitness facility the LifeConnections Health Center, they're pretty serious about employee well-being. More than just a gym, the health center is essentially a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to achieve a truly healthy work-life balance. The amenities include a primary care physician, a pharmacy, and acupuncture and physical therapy specialists. Cisco also provides telecommuting technology, so employees can work from the comfort of their homes when necessary.
Vynamic LLC (Philadelphia, PA)
Vynamic is currently hiring in Boston and Philadelphia, a clear sign they're making a name for themselves in the healthcare consulting business. Employees at Vynamic understand better than most what it really looks like to strike a good work-life balance and sustain a healthy lifestyle. The company "strongly encourages" employees not to check their work email accounts between 10pm and 6am during weekends or during the work week, and quite unsurprisingly, it was amongst the Best Small Firms to Work For in 2015 in the work-life balance category in a recent Consulting Magazine awards ceremony. Benefits include fun monthly outings (think sushi making and Segway tours) and employee-led yoga and meditation sessions, alongside many of the usual suspects (health plans and generous paid time off policies).
Zynga (San Francisco, CA)
You won't find a more pet-friendly work environment than Zynga's San Francisco headquarters. Nicknamed "The Doghouse," Zynga's headquarters features dog beds, free pet insurance, a dog play area on the building's roof, as well as on-campus grooming for dogs and humans alike. Not to mention, they have a 100% healthcare coverage policy, an unlimited open vacation policy, free daily meals and on-site car washes and dry cleaning services.
AirBnB (San Francisco, CA)
San Francisco-based AirBnB is almost single-handedly building what's come to be known as the "sharing economy" by putting homeowners in touch with travelers and helping them share spare rooms and couch space for a fraction of what a hotel room would cost. AirBnB also brings its pioneering spirit to employee happiness and recently topped Glassdoor's 2015 Best Places to Work list. The company aims to cultivate the same amount of fun associated with most vacations, and offers Moustache Monday, where each employee wears a fake moustache to the office, and Formal Fridays, which is a fun reversal of Casual Fridays. Workers also get an annual travel credit, can bring their pets to work and benefit from the typical healthcare and retirement perks.
WebpageFX (Harrisburg, PA)
If you live in Central Pennsylvania, digital marketing firm WebpageFX is hard to ignore…especially if you're part of Gen Y. It was recently named the number one place to work in PA, and it also made it on to the Best Companies Group's Best Places to Work for Millennials list in 2015— and for good reason. Employees enjoy weekly access to a local food truck, a Fitbit-powered fitness incentive program, an incentive learning program linked to cool rewards, an on-site gym and kitchen, a generous family leave policy, and the opportunity to take part in fantastic charity opportunities like Pencils of Promise.
Dropbox (San Francisco, CA)
Dropbox is a leading name among online cloud storage providers. A few years ago, company leadership turned down a sweetheart of a deal that would have brought them into the Apple fold. Instead, the company now soldiers on with a commitment to excellence and an independent spirit. Dropbox employees are regularly empowered with talks and workshops, and they can take advantage of push scooters as well as an on-campus games room, fitness classes, and a music studio. Did we mention the free daily meals and well-loved company tradition called "Whiskey Friday," which is precisely as it sounds. Cheers!
Epic Systems (Verona, WI)
You may not have heard of electronic health records company Epic Systems yet, but if its astronomical rise continues on, that probably won't be the case for much longer. Epic has made itself a textbook case for how to treat veteran employees, which in this case takes the form of a month-long, all expenses-paid vacation to anywhere in the world. Better yet, if the employee chooses to visit a part of the world they've never seen before, they can bring a friend along, too. And while you're not travelling, you can at least get the same kind of thrill just by walking through the super cool office, which recently graced Forbes' pages thanks to a hallway designed to look like a New York subway and a treehouse meeting space. There's also tuition reimbursement, excellent healthcare coverage and retirement and stock options.
Lendio (Salt Lake City, UT)
This online marketplace for business loans prides itself on fueling the American Dream, but it also does a pretty darn good job of making sure the dreams of its employees are easily realized too. For starters, workers get unlimited paid time-off, they can participate in awesome team-building activities (think ping pong tournaments), they can destress thanks to on-site spa services, and they can stay healthy a la an annual gym membership. Perhaps even more importantly though, there input is incredibly valued, which is why they can make suggestions for improvements in monthly culture committee meetings.
General Mills (Golden Valley, MN)
General Mills stands apart from its peers in a number of ways, not the least of which are its day-one perks for new employees: all new hires receive three weeks paid vacation. The company also helps employees feel more comfortable, both in the office and at home. Team members can take advantage of generous telecommuting practices. When they do work in the office proper, they can set up shop in any part of the building that makes them feel most at home — no assigned seats. These perks, alongside an on-site fitness center, tuition reimbursement and paid time-off for volunteering, are just part of the reason that more than half of the company's workers have been on the job for more than a decade.
Zappos (Las Vegas, NV)
It's no wonder Amazon tried to buy Zappos — twice (they were successful the second time)! Besides being a leading name among footwear retailers, Zappos also enjoys the distinction of being one of the happiest places to work, if its employees' perpetual smiles are anything to judge by. In addition to being headquartered in Las Vegas, Zappos provides an on-site bistro, yoga studio, nap room, rooftop deck, and video games in the elevators. Fun is the name of the game, and it comes in the form of derby races, talent shows, pajama days and ice cream trucks. Do you know a company with mind-blowing benefits? Tell us all about it in the comments!