All Articles Tagged "perks"
Your business may be appreciated in more ways than you think. There are freebies to be had at the places you do business with every day. They are there for the taking—you just need to know who to ask, when to ask, and what to ask for.
When considering the career options, there are the obvious things people look for: good salary, company stability, the opportunity to advance. But there are other things — the extras — that you should also keep in mind.
Earlier this week, we talked about the opportunities available at small companies, especially a couple of those listed on the Great Place to Work list of Best Small Workplaces. These companies emphasize the importance of diversity, which can foster an innovative workforce.
Looking over the list of Best Medium Workplaces, I noticed a heavy emphasis on a different kind of workplace incentive: good, old-fashioned perks. At Colorado’s Rally Software, they provide “a game room, office scooters, nerf gun wars, and Friday afternoon happy hours.” Cirrus Logic, an electronics company, has access to VIP tickets to South by Southwest and hosts bake-offs. And at Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, a business consulting firm, they work 11 months out of the year and give employees a $500 vacation stipend biannually.
And then there are the more serious extras, like tuition reimbursement, health coverage for the family, and extended maternity leaves that other companies offer.
By no means do we suggest that perks should make or break a decision to take or leave a job. But in the US, we work long hours. Oftentimes we’re on call when we leave the office. At the end of the year, it’s not uncommon for staffers to have vacation days that remain untaken.
According to the recent Harris Interactive online survey “Vacation Deprivation,” more Americans are taking less time off. Last year, Americans on average took 14 days off, this year it was only 12 days. ”‘Fear of being replaced’ and ‘too much work’ were two of the biggest reasons respondents cited in the survey,” the TODAY show website reports.
So a company should make the time that’s spent at the office as pleasant as possible. Moreover, they should respect the time that you spend away from work, resting and recharging, enjoying your family and friends.
A medium-sized company can offer the best of both a small company and a large one — a business that’s intimate enough to offer workers the opportunity to try their hand at a few different roles and build personal relationships, but big enough to offer perks and advancement.
And for someone who might still be exploring the professional options, or has moved up a couple of notches into the midpoint of their career, a mid-sized company could be a way to settle into the next phase of your professional life.
If these are things that you’re looking for, your next job search might be for a position with a mid-sized company. Thoughts?
A British journalist, Oliver Burkeman, conducted a little experiment: He left his credit cards at home for a few weeks in favor of going all-cash (or all-Pound, as it were). The idea is that people who use plastic spend more money than those who use hard currency.
According to Fox News, there is research to back up this belief. However, proving the “cause and effect” — using credit cards causes a consumer to spend more money — hasn’t been proven. “People who use plastic are often more affluent than average, while people who pay in cash sometimes do so because they have no choice. Perhaps they can’t get approved for a card because their finances are in a mess, and consequently they endure serious liquidity constraints,” the article says.
Moreover, there’s the suggestion that people who use credit cards think differently about their purchases, taking features and benefits into greater account. Those using cash, the research asserts, think foremost about price. Perhaps. But surely, anyone spending money on an item would be willing to spend a little more, if possible, to ensure that what they’re buying won’t fall apart right away.
We would recommend that you try and use cash as much as possible, especially if you are living on a tight budget (saving for a big purchase, trying to pay down debt). It’s really mental. When you think about your lush, green dollars slipping from your hand and into that cash register, you can’t help but to ponder a little more closely whether the purchase really needs to be made. And, once the purchases are made and your wallet is empty, it’s much easier to see where your money went. How many times have you looked at your bank statement and had your memory refreshed — Oh yeah. I spent $50 on drinks with friends on Thursday. And $75 on that dress on Saturday. And $50 on that fancy body lotion I treated myself to in celebration of surviving a rainy Monday. You’ll wish you’d just gone right down the block and gotten some Nivea.
The story points out some clear benefits to using plastic. If you run into a problem with a purchase, you have a record of it. A lost card can be replaced whereas money is gone forever. And the rewards can add up to a nice little something.
But with all of these perks, what’s really important is strategy. For instance, you have a card that offers points, which can be redeemed toward an airline ticket. Perhaps you decide that all of your clothing, restaurant and salon purchases for the next six months will go on the card. There’s no need for an extra pair of boots, an additional night out on the town, or an extra deep conditioner. The point is to get something extra. If you spend the cost of the airline ticket on all these extraneous items, what have you gained? If you find that you’re not earning enough points, maybe start putting your groceries or gas purchases on the card; things that you would normally buy anyway. The point is to make the money you spend every day go a little farther. But keep in mind: credit cards charge interest. If you can, pay off the bill in full every month. Then, you’re really taking advantage of that bonus.
Credit and debit cards definitely have their advantages, so we wouldn’t say you should swear them off entirely. But if you have spending issues, you have to take that into account when you’re budgeting your credit card expenditures. If you go swipe happy, you’ll eventually get very, very sad.
From books like the 48 Laws of Power to cliché sayings that reference the art of getting what you want, some have immediately come up with the ideal that you have to hurt or use people to get ahead. While you can’t always be Miss Nice Girl in every situation, there is a clear difference between capitalizing on opportunities and using people and taking their kindness for granted.
It’s human nature to operate out of a self-driven nature. If someone will let you borrow the money, indefinitely, why not take your time paying it back? Or if the guy who has a huge crush on you will shower you with lavish gifts, why not accept them although you know you have no interest in him whatsoever? All of these things may seem harmless, but are in fact ways of using people to your advantage. That’s not cool.
While you can sit and attempt to justify reasons for these actions, try explaining them to karma, who requires no explanations, just payback. It’s really as simple as the golden rule when deciding if you are a user. Ask yourself one simple, yet effective question, would I want this done to me?
(Wall Street Journal) — Bridget Bland thought using an iPhone, with its applications and WiFi access, would make it easier to work with clients on the go. The hard part, the 28-year-old realized, would be convincing her superiors to pay for one. So Ms. Bland, a social-media producer in New York, researched different smartphone plans and payment options. When she approached her superiors, she explained how the iPhone’s apps and WiFi access would keep her in constant communication with her clients and save her employer, Social People, money in the long term.
In the end, Ms. Bland had to buy the phone herself, but her employer agreed to pay for more than half of the monthly service charges. ”I started the conversation with something positive” about client relationships, she says, “instead of ‘I want this, I need this, you need to give me this.’” Asking for extras that don’t come with your position — corporate credit cards, smartphones, laptops and even classes or conferences — can be tricky for young professionals. While you want to express your rationale for a tool, you don’t want to come across as entitled, especially if you are just starting out. The best approach, experts say, is to avoid making it personal; focus on why your use of a product or service benefits your company.
(ABCNews.com) — A funny thing happened after the Securities and Exchange Commission tightened up the disclosure requirements on executive perks in 2006: Companies began to scale back dramatically on the personal jet flights, sports tickets and other benefits they used to slip top executives unnoticed. Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson must not have gotten the memo. Last year Adelson, worth $9.3 billion by our reckoning, reported $2.7 million in perks, nearly equal to his $2.8 million in pay and bonus. The bennies included $2.45 million for security for himself and family members, $168,812 for a car and driver, and $67,000 in reimbursement for the taxes due on $118,000 in personal aircraft usage. And by “personal”, we do mean personal: Adelson charged the company $6.1 million for the use of two 747 jumbo jets he owns through a Bermuda corporation.
(Entrepreneur.com) — Value is the essential component of business travel in these difficult times. Of course, that means paying attention to the bottom line–but more important, making sure you’re getting the most for your money.
Entrepreneur’s 2010 Value Award winners manage to give you both: They provide more amenities, perks or service than the competition and do so at a terrific price. Even better, they all seem poised to offer even more in the months to come.