11 Company Perks That Basically Put Money Back in Your Pocket
It’s the bonus you didn’t know you had
Next time you’re negotiating for a new job (or seriously contemplating a move from the one you’re in), don’t forget to consider employee perks before you sign on the dotted line. You’d be surprised: They might be spelled out less clearly than your salary, but they can add up to some serious cash. Here, 11 you definitely don’t want to overlook.
It’s a Dog-Friendly Office
This is a growing workplace trend: More and more companies are allowing their employees to bring Fido to the office, a perk that not only makes you more popular but also helps offset the expense of a dog walker or doggy day care (which can cost as much as $500 a month).
You Get Reimbursed for Working Out
Be sure to pore over your health-insurance plan and read the fine print. A lot of employers offer cash back for fitness expenses, whether it’s a monthly gym membership, yoga classes or workout gear.
They Cover the Cost of Professional Development
Sure, that includes conferences and classes directly related to your position, but many companies will also assist with the cost of education outside your area of expertise. Parlez-vous français?
And Have 401(k) Matching
We’re basically talking about free money here. If your employer offers a company match on the amount you put into your 401(k), find out exactly how much it is and then adjust your contributions accordingly. (Read: Put in as much as you can possibly afford.)
They Provide Free Coffee
That $4 latte five days a week adds up to $1,000 a year. Pour yourself a daily cup of joe at the office and it’s sort of like a mini raise.
And (Occasionally) Free Lunch
Pizza Friday = money in your pocket.
They Offer Flexible Spending Accounts
A health-care flex spending account allows you to use pretax dollars to cover the cost of health-care products and services--everything from over-the-counter drugs to acupuncture. (Here’s a sample list of eligible expenses.)
And a Dependent-Care Flex Spending Account, Too
This is actually one of the most underutilized office perks: Just like your health-care FSA, you can use pretax dollars toward day care, summer camp--even a babysitter.
There’s an Office Nurse
Flash back to elementary school. More and more workplaces are offering in-house infirmaries that can treat minor illnesses (sore throat, sinus infection) sans co-pay. Sadly, they rarely call your mom and send you home.
And Work-from-Home Days
Flexibility is life. The option to work from home on occasion helps you avoid costs for unexpected child-care issues, car trouble and the like.
They Offer Concierge Services and Discounts
Check with your HR department: A lot of offices are now setting up services--like prescription pickup and dry-cleaning discounts--to make life easier for their employees. This not only saves you cash, it saves you time. A win-win.