How To Get Free Food, Longer Maternity Leave & Other Perks At Work

Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Tech companies like Google and Facebook are known almost as much for the products they create as the perks they offer their employees. Free food all day long? Check. Impressive family leave policies? You got it.
These enviable benefits got us wondering: If you don't work for a major tech company, how can you get your boss on board with offering similar perks?
The answer is pretty simple: Go directly to your HR department.
"Say 'this is the perk what I want, where does this stand, and what's the likelihood of getting it,'" advises Scott Dobroski, the community expert at job and recruiting site Glassdoor. "If you don't ask, you won't receive it."
However, you want to do a bit of research before getting in touch with your HR manager.
"Wherever possible, come armed with data," says Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of The Muse. "Google whether other companies your size and stage are [offering a certain perk or benefit], and make sure to note any statistics or useful quotes that indicate a positive effect on performance, recruitment or retention."
While crowdsourcing your coworkers to see if the perk is one that they'd also want can't hurt, it's best to wait on that until after you've made your initial pitch. If, for example, your HR team is already working on putting the perk in place, you don't want to find out that you've wasted a lot of time for nothing, Dobroski says.
It's also important to look at how your company is currently spending its money.
"What companies choose to invest in can be very different, Minshew says. "Some companies may spend money on a fun office, great snacks, or flashy awards for top performers, but skimp on healthcare, 401k matching, or parental policies. Others might take a very different approach. When you're considering whether to join a new team, it's sometimes less about whether a company offers a specific perk and more about whether that company's perks and benefits philosophy aligns with what you value most."
To find out what companies are offering in terms of benefits, go to Glassdoor's company reviews, search for a specific company, and select the "benefits" tab. Here, current and former employees weigh in on the company's various perks and give honest feedback. You can also use the "Explore Companies" section of The Muse to choose a company and get insider takes on the office space.
Just remember: When pitching a perk, make it less about yourself and more about why it's a good thing for the company overall, Minshew says.

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