6 work perks changing our workplaces forever

Some companies are giving their employees as much as $2000 to spend on holiday accommodation.

Keeping employees happy can be a tricky business.

But increasingly employers are seeing the benefits of offering in-house incentives to boost morale and reduce staff turnover. And Australian employees are reaping those rewards as companies roll out schemes aimed at keeping their employees in the job.

Here are some of the perks taking workplaces to the next level.

IVF

Australia’s largest IVF company Virtus Health has taken the lead from global giants Google and Facebook by subsidising egg freezing for its female employees.

Facebook was the first to implement the policy in 2014, storing eggs for staff at a capped cost of $22,000.

Queensland’s Virtus Health is the first in Australia to offer the service, which is considered an insurance for any staff who want to delay having children, or those with health concerns.

Untracked holidays

Entertainment streaming service Netflix is among a growing number of companies that have taken the extraordinary measure of allowing staff to only work when they want and take as many holidays as they wish.

The catch? There really isn’t one. The entertainment streaming company says as long as each employee completes the work required, there are no strings attached.

Netflix and Virgin don't care how many holidays you take, as long as you get your work done.

Netflix and Virgin don’t care how many holidays you take, as long as you get your work done.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group adopted a similar policy of unlimited time off for its employees in the US and UK.

”It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours a day, a week or a month off,” Branson says.

The concept has yet to be rolled out in Australia.

Travel credit

Employees at Sydney’s headquarters of AirBnB can cash in with $2000 in travel credit every year.

It means staff can stay at any AirBnB property anywhere in the world for free – or at least until their credit runs out.

Pets at work

Australian office spaces have become a leader in the doggy domain, with domestic pets welcomed at work like never before.

Vic Health is among government departments that have embraced the culture.

Companies are increasingly allowing pets in the workplace.

Companies are increasingly allowing pets in the workplace.

While larger private employers are yet to warm to the idea, boutique offices are increasingly allowing staff to bring their furry friends into work on a rotating roster. Recent studies have shown employees are less stressed on the job and show signs of a healthier work-life balance.

Cash for sleep

Spaces where employees can have a power nap have been around for some time.

But what if you were paid to hit the hay at home?

US health insurance company Aetna introduced a program that pays employees who regularly get more than seven hours sleep a night. Those who choose to participate can have their sleep patterns tracked by Fitbits and can receive up to $500 a year.

Yoga is a close second to alcohol when it comes to improving employee happiness.

Employers are targeting workplace happiness through things like yoga.

Big bucks for your body

“Wellness” is the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to workplace design. And some companies are taking the implementation of schemes that promote health and wellbeing to new extremes.

For example, employees at LinkedIn’s Australian office receive $2000 a year to spend on wellness. The payment is intended to cover any form of activity from hot yoga to massage but can also be used for childcare.