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9 Companies Investing in Happiness
Achieving work-life balance can be complicated, and there’s no one universal definition. But when employers make an effort to invest in their employee's happiness it can make a huge difference. That’s where these companies come in. Their benefits packages go above and beyond free snacks in the office (though those are great too).
The tech giant has been investing in employee happiness , when it lengthened its paid maternity leave policy from 12 to 18 weeks — ultimately improving female employee . Google also offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for new parents (moms, dads, domestic partners, adoptive and surrogate parents). Bonus: New parents get to use during the first few months after birth.
Beyond parental leave, Google employees get paid time off to volunteer and for courses that help them be better employees, such as learning a new coding language or revamping technical skills. With unlimited sick days, they don’t have to worry about dipping into vacation days if the flu hits. Employees don’t have to hustle to get to the gym, either: They can use the on-site fitness center (or enjoy a discounted gym membership).
The leading shoe retailer is not only 60 percent female, , but it pays 100 percent of premiums for medical, dental, vision, and primary care visits, . The company prefers to have employees work on their own, instead of being traditionally managed by a supervisor, in the hopes of encouraging creativity and self-direction. Other perks include nap pods, an employee library, weekly team fun (including games of ping-pong, air hockey, and pool), no dress code, half days on Fridays, and puppies visiting the office on occasion, to name a few. Free food and coffee are the norm. Zappos also offers an on-site fitness center and wellness coaches, so working out is that much easier.
Nordstrom’s staff is , and with an on-site medical care facility and fitness center, health and wellness are priorities. Nordstrom also gives employees the option of — such as working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days — or even to telecommute. Benefits for same-sex couples are no question.
The toy retailer is 86 percent women, and nearly one-third of its employees are people of color, With flexible schedules at the World Bearquarters in St. Louis, employees can personalize their workweeks based on their lifestyles. And for employees who still can’t find the time to balance everyday to-dos in and out of the office, Build-a-Bear offers — a doggy day spa with pickup and drop-off, on-site oil changes, and dry cleaning pickup and delivery. Pets also get to work alongside employees on designated days.
Maybe it’s no surprise that a leading health-care organization would care about employee wellness, but Mayo Clinic eclipses its peers. , it offers an on-site fitness center, discounted gym memberships, and a medical care facility. The cafeteria offers healthy meals, according to the , and the building has private lactation rooms for nursing women. Mayo Clinic also reimburses employees’ adoption expenses up to ,000. For commuters, Mayo Clinic provides free bus passes, vanpools, and campus shuttles to make traveling to and from work that much easier. And for employees with kids, a ,000 annual scholarship is available based on national college entrance exam scores.
St. Jude’s for employee benefits is: “We understand that you don’t check your life at the door when you come to work.” Through the program Work/Life Balance, the St. Jude team helps employees handle everything from parenting to general life stress. Through LifeCare, workers can take part in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free professional counseling for both employees and dependents; get low-cost legal advice; and even get emotional and logistical support when planning funerals for loved ones. The company offers time-off programs and compressed workweeks for employees who work 20 hours a week or more. And , St. Jude’s team is 67 percent women.
The Container Store simplifies storage for its customersandmakes employees’ lives easier. It offers , fully paid , and transportation benefits for commuters. Its corporate wellness program is available online 24/7 for health and wellness needs, and pet insurance is offered for people with furry friends at home. Domestic partners and common-law spouses are covered by these benefits as well.
Amex offers , plus an on-site gym and cafe. Qualified employees are reimbursed for public transportation costs and tuition costs. For those who enjoy volunteering but can’t find the time, Amex offers to help the community. The organization thrives on building networks for employees to have discussions and build a community focused on work-life balance: The largest of its company networks is The Women’s Interest Network (WIN) — 60 percent of Amex’s employees are women — and a favorite in the U.S. is the BlueWork Network for the nearly 2,000 employees who work on the road or from home.
Bright Horizons is known for providing high-quality child care at workplace centers. With a workforce that’s , the company not only understands family needs but has created comprehensive systems to accommodate them, too. Some is available for full-time employees to reduce the high costs of the process, and backup child and elder care is available 24 hours a day and last-minute. That backup system bolsters the standard child-care discount offered to support families who shouldn’t have to sacrifice care for work. Rounding out the perks are an on-site fitness center, college tuition reimbursement, and full same-sex partner benefits.
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