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good work benefits

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When people were first ordered to stay home in March, there was concern about the virus and about isolation. Those living paycheck to paycheck, who couldn’t go to work, worried about that element, of course. But, it was just two weeks. Then that turned into another two weeks, and another. Working America became frustrated as they simply weren’t allowed to go to work, but then there was the other massive fallout that few expected: companies couldn’t pay their employees anymore, because there was just no business coming in. Or very little.

When customers stop showing up to brick and mortar establishments, advertisers start pulling their advertisement deals, and investors stop investing for fear of market instability, all of which trickles down to payroll. One way companies minimized layoffs was by giving pay cuts. A lot of them did this, in every industry – even executive-level individuals took pay cuts. With that landscape in mind, should you find yourself looking for a new job right now, you may find that companies can’t give you the salary you’re asking for. But, salary isn’t everything when it comes to compensation. We spoke to Keirsten Greggs, founder of TRAP Recruiter, about what other benefits you can look for if the money isn’t all there. Greggs encourages job seekers to ask themselves: “At this stage in my career, what’s the best benefit [for me]?” Greggs says sometimes it’s peace of mind, mental health, work-life balance, or something you can’t quite put a dollar sign in front of.

Keirsten Greggs

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An expansive medical package

Some companies will not only pay for all or most of your medical insurance, they’ll also help cover your spouses or domestic partner’s, you children’s, and even your pet’s! When you consider what it costs to buy individual plans for all of these loved ones, having a company pay for that – or at least most of that – means several hundreds of dollars if not over a thousand stay in your pocket each month.

good work benefits

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On-site childcare

Today, even “cheap” childcare can cost you well over a thousand dollars a month. And, don’t forget that, if you drop your child off at childcare, that means adding that commute to your workday, every day, at the front end and back end. However, some companies offer on-site childcare either for free or at a very reasonable price. And, dropping your child off at work means making just one drive every morning and evening. That’s money and time back.

good work benefits

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Legal assistance

Nobody thinks they’ll ever need a lawyer. But when you suddenly do need one, for many of the unexpected things that come up in life, you can find that a simple consultation costs you several hundred dollars. But some companies give you full access to a legal team, free of charge, as part of their benefits package. Those savings can mean the difference between remaining whole and going bankrupt in the event of a big legal battle.

good work benefits

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Concierge service

Greggs once worked at a company that had an on-site concierge service for its employees. The service would take an employee’s car out to get washed during the workday, pick up their dry cleaning, and run other odds and ends errands for them. Those who work long hours during the week know the tremendous work-life balance that is returned when you don’t have to spend precious time after work running errands.

good work benefits

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On-site lunch

Think about the cost of lunch. Even when you make it yourself, the best you might do is throwing something together for five dollars. Even if that’s your case, on-site lunch saves you hundreds a month and saves you the time you spend making and packing a lunch every day. Plus, the on-site lunches at companies that offer them are usually pretty tasty. Pad Thai Fridays and Taco Tuesdays is way better than a sad sandwich every day.

good work benefits

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Flexible hours

Again, if work-life balance is important to you at this stage in your life, see if your company offers flexible hours. If you know that you will get your work done, on time, even if you don’t stick to the traditional 9 to 5 hours, and your company is willing to let you work on your time, that can mean that you can be at your kid’s soccer game. Or you can take your kid to his doctor’s appointment, instead of paying a nanny to do it. It can mean being home for dinner or breakfast with the family.

good work benefits

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Work from home days

Work from home days take work-life balance to the next level. If your company doesn’t offer childcare assistance, then, being allowed to work from home at least on some days can mean skipping the expense of childcare on those days. Again, working for a company that trusts you to get your work done, even if it’s on your time, and remotely, is a huge plus.

good work benefits

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Access to counseling

These are particularly trying times during a pandemic, but life can always be stressful. And therapists can be expensive. Some companies provide access to therapists to their employees. In fact, some of the smartest ones do, knowing that the good mental health of their employees is at the root of a good foundation for their company.

good work benefits

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Covered Internet or phone bill

If you are currently working from home, then that means you’re using your Internet and your personal phone to do work and make work calls. Some companies will cover those bills for you, or bring you onto a company plan that slashes your Internet or phone bill down to a fraction of what it was.

good work benefits

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On-site gym

Some companies have an on-site gym provided for their employees. That means no dealing with the crowds of other gyms. This one is just for that company’s employees, so equipment is more readily available. It also means not having to drive to another location to go to the gym. Just walk out your office door, and into the gym. That gives you more time back.

good work benefits

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Stock options

When the salary you’d hoped for isn’t an option, stock options can go a long way, especially if this company is really going places. You’ll want to do some research on how their stocks are doing, but sometimes, this financial benefit can be even bigger than the salary for which you’d hoped.

good work benefits

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Proximity to home

Maybe one job can pay you 10K more a year, but it will require a 45-minute commute, both ways, every day. Another job can’t give you that extra 10K a year but you can walk to work, or it’s just a five-minute drive. Getting that more than an hour back, every day, is worth something. Perhaps it’s worth more than money at this time in your life.

good work benefits

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401K matching

401K matching can be a huge benefit if you plan on being a dedicated 401K contributor. If your plan, with the extra money from the larger salary you won’t be getting, was to save that money anyways, then impressive 401K matching is nearly just as valuable. And, it will incentivize you to make those contributions.

good work benefits

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Regular bonuses

Perhaps a bigger salary cannot be promised, but you can get some bonuses worked into your contract. Perhaps a retention bonus, to see a little bump right away, and another annual bonus. Maybe it’s a guaranteed bonus for every X amount of business you bring in. Those things add up, and they’re a show of good faith on the company’s part that they want you to feel valued.

good work benefits

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On-site convenience facilities

Some companies are so big that they’re actually called “campuses.” You know the ones. Within them, there are almost little cities. They have grocery markets, banks, gyms, dog parks, tailors…you name it. These facilities are only available to the on-site employees, so you deal with far fewer lines than you do at the public spots. And they eliminate the need to drive all over town to run errands, giving you back precious time.

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