Before accepting a job offer, it’s helpful to understand what benefits are included in your offer so you can evaluate the complete package. Learning about the inclusions of a benefits package helps prepare yourself as an employee or an employer who may offer these perks to people working at your company.
What are workplace benefits?
Workplace benefits are compensation that employers give to their employees to motivate and encourage them to work for you. Employees receive benefits in addition to their salary and wages.
18 examples of workplace benefits
To help you better understand the benefits you can offer or what job perks an employer may offer to you, here is a list of common inclusions in a benefits package:
1. Paid time off
Paid time off (PTO) is a time where an employee can receive a day’s wages without going to work. This includes sick days and vacation days. Employers provide employees with a set amount of PTO for them to use during the year. Sometimes employers add unused PTO into a new year’s balance.
PTO may also be accrued, which means you earn your paid time off as you work. This allows employers to offer this benefit as a reward for their employees’ loyalty to the company.
2. Health insurance
Many employees receive health insurance through their employer, which can reduce the cost of medical expenses. Health insurance is a benefit that usually has tiers for the employees to choose from since they may pay a small amount from their salary for their health insurance policy depending on the coverage they choose.
Health insurance helps pay for visits to your doctor, emergency care, prescription medications and specialty physician exams.
3. Life insurance
Life insurance is a policy to provide financial aid to beneficiaries when the policyholder passes. This gives employees reassurance that their family receives assistance. Companies can offer affordable quotes for this insurance and pay a portion of the policy. If you have family or support others, a life insurance policy is useful and can be comforting.
4. Dental insurance
Dental insurance helps cover costs of examinations by dentists and dental work you may need, such as fillings, veneers or a root canal. Similar to health insurance, when companies offer dental insurance, it’s at a much lower rate than what you’d pay for private insurance. Dental health is essential to your well-being, so it’s important to be able to cover this service with insurance.
Since there’s less variety in dental care and expenses for this service are universal, companies may not offer this benefit in tiers.
5. Vision insurance
Vision insurance is for your eye health. Vision insurance can cover costs such as eyewear, eye surgery and routine examinations. Healthcare can be expensive, so receiving financial assistance from employers is very motivating for employees.
6. Retirement benefits or accounts
When accepting a job offer, consider your plans for retirement. Retirement benefits help provide financial assistance after you stop working. Retirement accounts help you create a plan and hold you accountable for saving money for retirement. Sometimes employers match your contributions to your retirement fund or they help you save by sending the amount you choose into a savings account during each pay period.
7. Healthcare spending or reimbursement accounts
Healthcare accounts are arrangements for you to receive compensation for healthcare expenses or are accounts to help you save money from healthcare. Employers may help set up these accounts or provide an account to you, which is beneficial because not everyone is always eligible for these types of accounts. Here are examples of healthcare spending or reimbursement accounts:
- Health savings account: This is a savings account for both employer and employee to contribute in order to help cover certain medical expenses. This helps develop savings habits and ensures you have funds to cover emergency health costs.
- Flexible spending account: This is an account both employers and employees contribute to and it helps cover expenses of various healthcare costs, including care for your dependents. This account allows employees to use the funds for a wider variety of reasons than an HSA does.
- Health reimbursement account: Only an employer can contribute to this type of account and companies only offer this when they offer other healthcare coverage, such as insurance. It’s an account to save funds for healthcare.
8. Long-term disability insurance
Long-term disability insurance is a policy that helps provide you with an income if you are unable to work for an extended period of time because of an illness or injury. Long-term disability insurance policies can cover you for five to ten years. This differs from worker’s compensation, which provides you with income if you receive an injury at work. Disability usually pays a percentage of regular wages.
9. Short-term disability insurance
Short-term disability insurance is a policy that provides you with compensation if you cannot work due to an injury or illness. Short-term usually covers three to six months of being unable to work. Receiving payment requires a recommendation from a medical professional that states you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.
10. Tuition reimbursement
Tuition reimbursement is a benefit where your employer pays a portion of your educational expenses. This can include tuition for a degree, study program or certification exams. Sometimes an employer offers this benefit to encourage employees to pursue advanced education. This is a common benefit for careers that require professional certifications.
11. Childcare benefits
Childcare benefits include any assistance a company offers to employees to help cover childcare expenses such as daycare or making arrangements to accommodate parents and guardians, such as paid leave. This is a benefit that’s becoming increasingly popular and is useful for retaining employees. Here are examples that childcare benefits may include:
- Paid leave
- On-site daycare
- Financial assistance for school programs
- Dependent care assistance programs
- Flexible work schedules
12. Wellness programs
Wellness programs are initiatives to promote health and well-being for employees. A wellness program may include balanced meals in the cafeteria, a gym on-site, exercise space or an education program to teach employees about their physical and mental health.
Offering a wellness program shows a company cares for its employees and wants to help improve their quality of life.
13. Gym memberships or discounts
Sometimes if a company doesn’t have space for its own recreational space, but wants to promote health, they offer a free gym membership or a discount to encourage employees to maintain their health. This can be part of a wellness program or may be an additional perk. Having a gym membership may motivate you to become more active and help reach your health goals.
14. Employee recognition programs
Employee recognition programs are initiatives to reward employees for specific behavior and achievements. Providing incentives such as verbal recognition, small prizes or monetary compensation motivates employees to accomplish goals quickly. This also benefits the company because they become more efficient and productive.
An employer may inform you of their employee recognition program upon hire, but this is also a benefit that the company may develop over time.
15. Relocation assistance
Relocation assistance is compensation to help employees move to a new home in order to work at a certain location. Relocation benefits can include financial aid for travel, living arrangements, education and recreational activities like gym memberships.
If a company asks you to relocate for work, a relocation benefit package is usually part of their negotiations to encourage you to move for work.
16. Commuting/travel assistance
Commuting or travel assistance is financial aid employers offer to employees for making work trips. If a company offers you commuting assistance, this means they may give you a company car and pay for your miles or offer compensation to get you to and from work.
This type of benefit is common for project managers who may travel to work sites to oversee construction. Representatives for companies also travel to attend conferences and meet with clients.
17. Telecommuting options
When employers offer a telecommuting option, this means that employees can work remotely. This may be a fully remote position or a remote position with some in-office obligations. Telecommuting options make job positions more accessible and can be highly motivating for employees.
If you telecommute to work, you may need a laptop and reliable internet so that you can virtually attend meetings and complete your work tasks online.
18. Workplace perks
Workplace benefits may also include features to improve your work environment, such as recreational activity rooms for employees to de-stress with exercise. Employers may also provide coffee in the break room and buy lunch for employees sometimes. Other workplace perks include:
- Flexible work schedule
- Casual dress days
- Employee parking