17 Companies With Awesome Perks That Will Make You Jealous

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By Melissa Stanger and Aaron Taube

While paying for top talent is important, studies consistently show that money isn't the only thing that makes people happy at work.

The savviest companies today have figured out that offering awesome perks can help them get, and keep, the very best employees.

We've found 17 companies that understand the value of rewarding their staff - and do it in some of the coolest ways possible.

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17 Companies With Awesome Perks That Will Make You Jealous
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17 Companies With Awesome Perks That Will Make You Jealous

Healthcare tech company Epic Systems gives employees at least one great reason to stick around — a monthlong paid vacation. Even better: If employees choose to spend their sabbatical in a country they've never visited, Epic will pay for most of the travel costs for the employee and a friend.

Epic's expansive offices, on a farm outside of Madison, Wisconsin, are another impressive perk. The campus features an Indiana Jones-themed tunnel, a tree-house conference room, a moat, and plenty of green space for outdoor activities.

There’s a reason Google has been ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” each of the past three years. The company has incredible offices around the world that offer, among other benefits, free food at gourmet, on-site cafes.

Meanwhile, employees don't even have to leave work to partake in a range of recreational activities — Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters have a gym, a bowling alley, a game room, and basketball courts.

For chores, there's also a barber shop, a massage parlor, and a laundromat.

Cisco's LifeConnections Health Center is more than just a fitness center; it also offers primary care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and even a pharmacy.

The company believes in supporting a healthy work-life balance, and it provides employees with telecommuting technologies like data and voice services to create a home office experience.

The cleaning products company S.C. Johnson helps employees with their chores via access to a concierge service that does everything from returning overdue library books to making sure the dry cleaning gets picked up on time.

"To make the best products for your family, we need the best people in our company family," the company's website says. The company also offers childcare for parent employees, paternity and maternity leave, and paid sabbaticals.

Southwest Airlines employees get free flights when they fly with their employer, and they can also give the hookup to friends and family. Employees also receive discounts with a handful of other airlines as well as at several hotels, theme parks, and rental car companies.

When they're not traveling, workers can participate in events like the annual chili cookoff contest, and the Halloween party — when Southwest turns its Dallas offices into the "Haunted Headquarters."

General Mills is a firm believer in work-life balance, with all new hires immediately receiving three weeks paid vacation.

General Mills also offers employees a great deal of flexibility, both in terms of telecommuting and in working from its Minneapolis headquarters. There, certain departments do not have assigned seats, allowing employees to work from the part of the office in which they are most comfortable. 

Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation's biggest natural gas producers, gives half-price SCUBA-diving classes to employees and their families. And once they've learned how to swim with the fishes, Chesapeake also helps its workers organize trips to exotic locales like Cozumel, Mexico.

Those who don't have a desire to SCUBA dive can still enjoy the company's on-site, 72,000-square-foot fitness center, which includes an Olympic-size pool, a sand volleyball court, and a rock-climbing wall.

Employees get a real welcome when they join Smucker's. "New hires get a gift basket sent to their homes; [other] employees enjoy softball games and bowling nights," according to Fortune

For employees who have the time, there's no excuse not to get a second degree. The PB&J company reimburses employees 100 percent for tuition costs with no cap. Smuckers employees are also offered free technical training in the event they'd like to learn new workplace skills.

Yahoo offers perks to its employees both in and out of the office. The Yahoo offices have on-site fitness centers with yoga, cardio-kickboxing, pilates, and golf classes. The offices are also equipped with ergonomic support chairs and healthy snacks and drinks on every floor.

Outside the office, Yahoo offers discounts to ski resorts and California theme parks, and it hosts an annual Oktoberfest party. The company will even throw a baby shower for employees who become parents.

The law firm Quinn Emanuel has some interesting perks for a profession often associated with stodginess. Above the Law reports that lawyers are given a $2,000 allowance to work for one week from anywhere in the world, so long as they work their normal hours.

The firm also has a casual dress policy to increase employee creativity, and it evaluates prospective summer associates (extremely well-paid interns) with parties on law-school campuses instead of the typical job interview.

New employees won't feel alone at Boeing, which connects new hires through what it calls the "REACH program," which sets employees up with community service and social activities.

Best of all, the aerospace and defense company gives its workers 12 paid holidays and a winter recess between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Mattel is devoted to the happiness and futures of employees' children. That's why it offers a program that defrays the cost of adopting a child and a policy that offers 16 hours of paid time off for school-related absences like parent-teacher conferences or field trips. And the children will love that their parents get discounts on toys sold by Mattel.

In addition, the toy company has its own non-profit organization — The Mattel Children's Foundation — that offers volunteer opportunities to Mattel employees.

The Microsoft Corporation gives new parents maternity and paternity leave, but what sets Microsoft apart from many other companies is that the leave is paid, rather than unpaid.

Microsoft also provides a network of support systems, such as mentoring programs and health care coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, which treats autism. Microsoft is the first major corporation to offer this benefit.

The World Wildlife Fund is home to what it calls "Panda Fridays," the Washington Post reports, through which employees work a little extra during the week to take every other Friday off.

In addition to giving workers a breather, shutting down the non-profit's Washington D.C. office saves energy and reduces its carbon footprint. The office is extremely well-designed, and of course, environmentally friendly.

The truck and military vehicle manufacturer shows loyalty to its employees through extensive training and advancement opportunities. Trainings can be instructor-led, web-based, or video-based, and the company also offers tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees.

Oshkosh lists job opportunities specifically for internal candidates, and hosts a Rotational Engineer Program that gives engineers the ability to learn multiple skills in a variety of different units.

Known for scotch tape and office products, 3M also has a reputation as an employer with fair benefits. The company offers life insurance and retirement plans on top of the standard medical, dental, and vision health — and it extends those benefits to same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.

The family-oriented company offers childcare and eldercare consulting services, a smoking cessation program, weight management reimbursement, and stress management coaching.

TIAA-CREF wants to make sure its employees are taken care of in many ways. The financial company offers on-site medical services, full-time childcare at any Bright Horizons daycare center, and company-funded retirement savings.

Employees can also take advantage of access to the Toastmasters communication development program and TIAA-CREF's Corporate Athletic Program, which allows employees to play up to six sports on site.

The company is also committed to hiring veterans through its membership with the 100,000 Jobs Mission.

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