Work Perks: Companies Pamper Their Employees With Luxury Amenities

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Google is well known for its workplace amenities, but if I ever get to Burlington, Vt., I want to work at Dealer.com, a provider of websites and creative marketing tools for car dealerships.

Here are some of the things that the 360 employees have access to: fitness center, subsidized organic food cafe that delivers food to your desk or is available for take-out, season pass discounts for snowboarding, chair massages, and indoor tennis court. And the company is soon adding a yoga studio with retractable roof, a solarium and rooftop vegetable garden, juice bar and two saunas.

Dealer.com organic cafe
"What's keeping me in Vermont? It's my job," said Jill Badolato, a marketing director at Dealer.com who is divorced and has thought about moving back to where she last worked, in San Francisco, but prefers her job in Vermont. Yes, Vermont, where the low temperature in January is 8 degrees.

Of the $12,200 that Dealer.com spends yearly on its employees, about $4,000 is for workplace amenities, with the rest for health insurance.

Such amenities could encourage workers to stay at work longer, since having a gym and organic meals can beat going home. For Badolato, who lives three blocks from work, the extras allow her to work when she needs to instead of having to rush off to go to a gym or shop for a meal when her refrigerator is empty. She estimates she spends four to six hours per week at the office doing non-work things, such as taking a tennis class.

"When I am there I feel that I can really be there," she said of her work.

Plenty of other businesses have workplace luxuries to keep their workers happy. Forbes recently detailed some of the latest office perks, such as nap pods and laundry rooms at Google to make it a city within a city that workers never have to leave. Here are some other workplace amenities that may get you thinking about changing jobs:

  • Skullcandy.com half pipeFree season ski or snowboard pass for employee and dependents at Vail Resorts.
  • Half pipe skate ramp inside the corporate offices of Skullcandy in Park City, Utah.
  • Free villa. Tom Bentley was a copywriter for an unnamed travel consolidator that sold vacation packages to Los Cabos. A major perk, according to Bentley, was to stay in the 10,000-square-foot villas for free. They had stunning ocean views, infinity pools, spa tubs, Jacuzzis, theater rooms, and other amenities in rooms that normally went for thousands of dollars per night.
  • Razor scooters and skateboards to use at the office.
  • Mr. Youth, a social marketing agency, also has an ice cream truck social.
  • A conference bike that can be pedaled by seven people, making for an interesting meeting.
  • Sony PlayStation is popular at many workplaces. At the marketing agency GlobalHue, the Guitar Hero game is popular. Its creative department also has flat-screen TVs and pool tables to play at.
  • Photo booth. The T-shirt company Threadless has a photo booth where workers can have their photos taken for free. It's one of the old-fashioned booths that spits out a strip of photos. It sounds like being in middle school, which seems to be a popular pasttime at companies with these fun amenities. Threadless also has a slushy machine, DJs who spin music in the warehouse, gaming chairs to play Wii and other video games, old-school arcade games, and of course, free T-shirts.
  • Bring your child to work day, every day. KC Auction Co. in Kansas City, Missouri, lets workers bring a child to work any day of the week. The company's gallery manager has an entire area with a pack and play, swing, and bouncy seat. Under the main counter there are boxes of toys, coloring books and games.The small company only has three employees at work regularly, so there aren't many kids for everyone to watch.
  • Games. Many companies have games, such as video games, but FatWallet goes above and beyond. The company in Rockton, Ill., has a custom shuffle board, pool table, foosball, ping pong, 9-hole par 3 golf course, basketball court, many pinball machines, and arcade games. Everyone has a personal copy of Call of Duty which serves as a daily after lunch kill frenzy. Threadless, the company with the free photo booth, also has classic arcade games, such as Big Buck Hunter.
  • Free amusement park rides. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California offers free amusement park rides to its employees, as many parks do.
  • Segway skiing at FatWallet looks fun, and hopefully not dangerous.




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