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Do Workplace Perks Actually Matter?


"With things like catered lunches, flexible hours and unlimited vacation time becoming more commonplace, it’s important to think about about why companies are adopting extended perks and what tangible impact they have on an organization."
Do Workplace Perks Actually Matter?

by Melissa Ramos

3 months ago


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With things like catered lunches, flexible hours and unlimited vacation time becoming more commonplace, it’s important to think about about why companies are adopting extended perks and what tangible impact they have on an organization.

Many companies opt for more perks to do things like improve their culture or keep employees engaged, but do perks really help with any of that? Do workplace perks actually matter to you and your employees?

Well, sort of. As with most things, the answer is a bit complicated… so let’s dig in.

The Real Impact of Perks

Whether perks matter or not depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re trying to improve your culture with perks, you’re probably looking in the wrong spot. Culture isn’t shaped by how many dogs are in an office; it’s built every day by the actions and choices that people make in the workplace. Culture is people-centric, not perk-centric. It’s the total experience of a workplace based on the behavioural and social contributions of everyone in it.

Yes, there are some ways in which perks can influence the overall culture of a company. Catered lunches relieve the nightly stress of prepping food for the next day. On-site childcare helps busy young families get peace of mind. These things add up and can lead to a happier, more relaxed team, but they still are not the be-all-end-all of a company’s culture.

Instead, the true value of perks is evident in two other areas: Talent acquisition and talent retention.

Talent Acquisition

It might go without saying, but when candidates are considering leaving their job for a new offer, or even weighing one offer against another, perks come into play.

A salary is a salary, but perks are signals of something more to prospective employees. Perks are aspirational. They represent what life might look like at a new company. According to Glassdoor, 57% of people say that benefits and perks play an important role when considering a job offer.

The perks that you offer can set you apart, especially if you’re in an industry where perks like snacks, beer on tap and a pet-friendly environment are standard. At the very least, you need to remain competitive, but anything you can identify that would make your company a more enticing place to work at is worth exploring.

Talent Retention

Attracting new hires is really only half of what perks bring to the table.

Your employees hopped onboard because of your perks and, as long as you remain competitive, your perks can keep them there too.

The perks your company chooses to offer can make the difference when an employee is thinking about leaving, or even stop them from thinking about leaving in the first place. And that’s especially true for younger generations of Millennial workers, 46% of whom say more workplace perks would improve their happiness.

Keeping your team happy and engaged is a key part of maintaining a healthy retention rate. Add opportunities for personal and professional growth into the mix and your retention strategy will be primed for success.

Types of Perks

If you’re looking for some inspiration for the types of perks your company could consider, here’s a list of some that have been gaining popularity in recent years:

  • Flexible hours
  • Catered lunches
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Beer and wine
  • A pet-friendly environment
  • Daycare
  • Unlimited vacation
  • Gym memberships
  • Yoga classes
  • On-site massages
  • Conference and education spending
  • Monthly field trips
  • Extended maternity and paternity leave
  • Video games, ping pong, and other recreational activities
  • Housecleaning service

Adding Value to Your Employees’ Lives

When it comes down to it, the perks you offer need to reflect both the team you have and the team you’re hoping to build. You need to offer things that resonate with your employees and that will make their lives easier.

Do workplace perks matter to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 comment


  • Great article, Melissa. We offer snacks & cereal all week long, plus beer (only on fridays of course ha ha) but thinking of adding a gym membership subsidy recently as well. Compared to previous work environments, I definitely find our team seems happier overall and interviewees are always very interested about our perks. Thanks again for writing this! Mitchell

    Mitchell on

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