It’s hard to believe it was March when so many of us packed up our work bags and commuted home, not quite grasping just how long the COVID pandemic would actually last. Ever since, companies everywhere have stepped up their game, doing their best to pivot and support their staffers through the ups and downs of remote work. But who are the true all-stars? Here, ten thoughtful pandemic work perks—plus the companies behind them.
10 Cool Work Perks To Come Out of the Pandemic
Software company ServiceNow gave every employee a $700 stipend to spend on items to improve their well-being while working from home. That includes the cost of a bike—an easy way to get outdoors and exercise, according to an employee interview in The Chicago Tribune.
Complimentary Sessions with Wellness Experts
T-Mobile is providing up to five free sessions each with a counselor, money expert and life coach to their team of 80,000 employees to help them navigate these uncertain times.
For parents employed by Slack, the company is offering childcare credits and unlimited days off to anyone who has to juggle full-time work and watching the kids at the same time. (All Campus is doing something similar, allowing their employees to apply their professional development credit to their child’s professional development—the need for school supplies, paying a tutor, covering childcare—instead.)
Stipends to Cover Work from Home Setups
GoHealth provided either $250 or $400 per person (the amount depends on company tenure) to spend at an online shop that sells home office equipment. Some people spent it on a nice desk chair; others bought themselves a standing desk, according to interviews.
Extra Days Off
Numerous companies—ranging from Maestro Health to VSCO to children’s clothing line Primary—have leaned into shorter work weeks or extra days off to allow their employees time to recharge and focus on mental health. Some, like BrightInsight, have even implemented one mandatory three-day weekend a month to help their employees prioritize family and self-care.
Since they’re no longer shelling out for in-office snacks, companies like Better.com are pivoting to send employees cash to cover groceries. Sendoso, which helps streamline direct mail, offers weekly office-wide work from home lunches by sending employees gift cards, according to LinkedIn’s recent Top Startups to Work for in 2020 report.
Virtual (and Socially Distanced) Events
Team building doesn’t always have to be work-related. Per LinkedIn, Robinhood, an investing and trading app, and Samsara, which works to improve physical operations for essential businesses by using data, have both been offering virtual yoga classes to their employees while A Cloud Guru has been hosting virtual events like drawing sessions, magic shows and socially distanced drive-in movies.
Free iPads for Parents
Another Samsara perk: If you’re a parent on their team forced to navigate distance learning, they’re providing iPads to help make sure your kids have the digital tools they need to succeed. (SMS Assist refurbished old company laptops and distributed them to employees with children to help with distance learning needs.)
Some companies—like Perk Spot and OfferUp—have distributed custom care packages to their employees that include things like plants, puzzles, snacks and coffee.
The Black Lives Matter movement and the duty to fight racial injustice across the U.S. has put a strain on employees who want to participate, but don’t want to risk their job by missing work. Icertis, a contract management platform, added seven days of paid time off to their benefits package that can be used specifically to volunteer and protest.