By now most of us have heard of outstanding workplace perks at giant corporations like Netflix or Yahoo—free childcare, all-expenses paid vacations, remote work opportunities. As Company Folders has pointed out in their graphic, these things definitely sound like fun. But are such lavish employee incentives really necessary?
Critics are quick to say no, assuming that these workplace wonderlands are a byproduct of a bunch of spoiled millennials. However, that mentality tends to come from looking at the perks themselves, rather than the reasons behind them. Companies aren’t offering cool incentives because they want to pay people to party. They’re doing these things because they foster creativity, teamwork, and innovation.
Traditional office environments, however, are less conducive to these positive traits. In fact, they can generate more stress than productivity. Employees often get bored inside standard cubicles, and more workers are becoming frustrated when they’re forced to adhere to a strict 9 to 5 schedule, because it prevents them from taking care of personal needs unless they call in sick or use vacation time.
By providing these unconventional incentives, top brands are alleviating their employees’ stress. For example, working parents at Cisco know their children will be safe in one of the company’s free on-site day care centers, letting them do their jobs without worrying about when to pick Joey up from school. Johnson & Johnson even provides its employees with a concierge to run errands like picking up dry cleaning or standing in line for concert tickets.
When companies take an active role in alleviating employees’ stress, those workers in turn show greater motivation and dedication to the company. Not only do these incentives increase employee loyalty, they’re great for attracting new hires. Top talented workers know what they’re worth and what they want—which is the freedom to do their job well. Thanks to incentives like the ones below, employers are giving them just that.