FITBIT FRENZY

The odd new employee benefits coming to American workplaces

In their efforts to retain talent, American companies are getting more and more creative in the perks they offer employees. A survey of more than 400 companies (pdf) by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) has found an increase in the variety of extra benefits on offer, which range from the nice but minor, like fitness trackers, to potentially very expensive, like paying off employees’ student loans:

As well as the new benefits that are popping up, some more established ones are becoming more common. Contraception coverage has grown since 2011, as have some features of the modern workplace such as standing desks and ad-hoc telecommuting:

Though companies in Silicon Valley, famous for their lavish perks, top the lists of the companies people most want to work for, others have been slow or financially unable to imitate them.

Only 1% of SHRM’s surveyed firms offer a Netflix-style unlimited vacation policy, 2% offer on-site haircuts, and fewer than 20% offer paid paternity leave, or more parental leave than what’s mandated by states. Subsidized cafeterias, meanwhile, are actually on the decline:

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