14 Modern Work Perks Your Parents Never Had (And Probably Don’t Understand)
Our parents were simple folk. All they wanted from a job was a Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 schedule with maybe a side of health insurance and a puny pension to sustain them through their twilight years. We’re different. We’re young, we’re fun, and we want more from our employers. In fact, we’d like to waste as little time at work as possible so we can see the world, eat all the things, and have the most amazing experiences life has to offer. These 14 modern work perks are becoming ever more common, and they’re ones our parents probably don’t understand (or maybe they do, but they’re pissed because they didn’t ask for them when they were employees). Sorry that work-life balance wasn’t a thing when you were toiling away for the man, Mom and Dad. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to commute from our bed to the couch for our remote work day.
Now that’s more like it: 9 Millennial-Friendly Jobs You Can Do In Your Underpants
Offices are outdated. There's really no reason anyone should have to get dressed up, commute to a workplace, and sit at a desk all day if their tasks can be completed on a computer. Someday, we hope, remote jobs will be the norm.
Previous generations were wowed if their workplace had a cafeteria. Now, workers want more than just mass-produced entrees under heat lamps. They want free, healthy snacks and three square meals during their workday. And why shouldn’t they have it? No one does their best work when hungry.
Because the “What’s for dinner?” question will never, ever end. You might as well have a plan (and some skills) to lean on when you slog through your front door after that 12-hour day.
Liquor Cabinet Access
Ad men have had this benefit forever, but now it’s catching on in other workplaces, too, where beer and other booze is on tap for employees whenever they want.
Many modern jobs involve a lot of sitting, which research says is just as bad for your health as smoking. (Yikes.) Bad health raises insurance premiums, so companies are fighting back by offering free fitness classes on their campuses. Whether you’re into CrossFit, Pilates, tai chi, or yoga, you’ll have your pick of sweat sessions.
Your dog Snowflakes has separation anxiety and can't be home alone for 8 to 10 hours a day. She also has social anxiety so she can't go to doggy day care, either. We understand. Now employers are starting to get it, too, allowing employees to bring their pups to work. Let's just hope all their furry friends are house-trained.
Music app Smule stocks instruments in the office so its employees can enjoy spontaneous jam sessions.
Many employees don’t take their vacation days because they can’t afford to go anywhere or they end up spending their entire vacay checking their work email. All work and no play result in burnout. That’s why companies like Airbnb and HotelTonight offer their employees globe-trotting allowances or hotel vouchers.
Why should you have to waste your off-hours going to the bank, the bodega, the car wash, the dry cleaners, or the salon? Companies now offer many of these venues on-site.
Tuition Reimbursement and Student Loan Repayment Assistance
No, your plan isn’t to be a Starbucks barista your entire life. Even the higher-ups at the massive coffee chain know this. That’s why they offer full tuition reimbursement at Arizona State University for a first-time Bachelor's degree.
For those of us who got scammed into five figures of debt on a degree we may or may not be using, some employers now offer student loan repayment benefits, chipping in thousands of dollars per year to help you get that balance down to zero.
Paid Volunteer Time
It seems like an oxymoron, but some companies, like Thomson Reuters, give their employees paid time off to volunteer…which kind of makes you wonder if you can still call it volunteering…or if it's just another side-hustle without the do-gooder bragging rights.
Because your fertility won’t last forever and you wouldn’t procreate with anyone on Tinder anyway.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby)
So, by choice or by fate, you have a baby. Why should that stop you from putting in your 40 hours a week? At some non-profits, like Pollen Midwest or Think Small, it doesn’t. We only wonder, though, what life is like for the childless employees who get saddled with their coworkers’ spawn. Maybe ask for a raise and get a sitter instead.
If you get your foot in the door at Google, they want your ass in that seat until you kick the bucket. That’s why they offer death benefits, shelling out 50 percent of the deceased’s salary for 10 years to your spouse! Now the only problem is finding someone worthy to marry before you drop dead.