Employees having a meeting in a modern office.

If you’ve ever seen “The Internship” you know the film showcases some of the unique benefits of working at Google. Free lunch, nap pods, campus bikes, and a ping pong table break-room are only a few that are shown. You may think the film embellishes on the fun atmosphere of Google, but it’s actually a very accurate portrayal of what it’s like to work for the search giant. Offering quirky benefits may have started in Tech Valley, but it’s now expanded beyond. Many other companies now offer unlimited vacation, nap rooms, and paid parental leave. That’s just to name a few! You may wonder, why are so many companies following suit? We’ll explain why today!

The Full Employment Effect

These types of quirky perks used to be limited to the tech giants and small startups. However, there has been a recent shift. Currently, the job market is incredibly close to what’s known as full employment. By definition, statistically at full employment everyone who wants a job, has one. We aren’t currently there, but we certainly are close! This means that employers need to do more to attract and retain quality employees, and do more than just offer good pay. It’s a job seekers market right now, since there are so many openings. Companies are now trying to set themselves apart by offering unique benefits.

At many companies, this has resulted in the creation of a new department: employee engagement. Workers in these new positions are in charge of happiness, motivation, and engagement for employees. This includes growth and development programs, as well as offering unique perks like those mentioned above. A new understanding of the employee – employer relationship is here, and in this case, it seems everyone wins.

Even if a company isn’t able to pay a higher wage, they may be able to offer perks and benefits that encourage employees to stay. A few other examples of them: free haircuts, in office gym and pool, unlimited sick / vacation days, child care centers, tuition reimbursement, and volunteer time off, just to name a few. While you certainly expect these perks to come from companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon, others have begun to offer them as well.

The  New Modern Workplace

So what does all of this mean for you as a job seeker or professional? It means you hold a much bigger bargaining chip as a qualified candidate. Not only can you look out for these unique benefits, you can also negotiate your salary more. Since we’re near full employment, many companies are struggling to find qualified people. So if you do have those qualifications, don’t be afraid to vouch for yourself. Also, if you realize that you’re struggling to find balance between work and life, you may want to seek out one of these companies with amazing benefits and make a change.

While not every company has game-rooms and nap-pods, they may have more relaxed time off rules, or offer free drinks on Fridays. More companies are realizing the value of engaged employees. When this happens, both parties win. The employees have a more fun and engaging work experience, and the employer reaps the benefits of loyal and motivated workers. Many companies are realizing it is in their best interests to foster an environment where employees are happy, and look forward to working. Expect this train of thought to continue to permeate more workplaces as time goes on!