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This isn’t the first time you’ve seen a list like this on unique company perks or best places to work, but this one has a twist. I’ve pulled together a list of innovative benefits focused on health and wellness that you might be able to offer your employees.   Sure, some of these perks don’t yet have proof of a high ROI, but they all clearly add to company culture and demonstrate to employees that you care about their well-being.  And it has been proven that culture and employee satisfaction does have a positive return1 on investment. In that way, health-based benefits are the best combination of high worker retention, satisfaction, and cost savings!

1. Healthy Snacks and beverages

You don’t need to go all out for an on-site chef and full cafeteria to create something awesome for employees.  Keep it simple with healthy snacks accessible for everyone.  At KIND, they stock the kitchen with KIND products (what else?!), but it’s easy enough to make sure you’ve got fresh fruit available as well.  Don’t worry, there are plenty of office fruit delivery options depending on your geography.

In addition, consider augmenting or replacing sodas and energy drinks with juices, teas and water.  At Juice Generation, they have cold pressed juices delivered to the corporate office bi-weekly, and DropBox offers a fresh-squeezed juice bar on site.

2. Standing desks (or stand-sit desks)

While the research on standing desks is mixed, there are a range of potential benefits from offering these to employees.  In addition to possibly reducing back pain from sitting continuously, standing desks can help employees burn additional calories2 and reduce risk of other complications3.  This trend is really starting to take off, and a number of companies, like ZocDoc, augment standing desks with stability balls.

3. Dogs at work

Sure, may seem more like a general perk than a health benefit, but it’s been proven to lower stress levels at the office4. Naturally, you’ve got to be aware of potential allergens in the office, but there are a ton of benefits to this perk which is why about 8% of companies5, including Gusto and Etsy, have adopted it.

In addition to a number of perks like the above, consider offering a range of on-site services.  Not only are these awesome for employees at addressing a number of health and wellness related issues, bringing services to the workplace saves times and reduces stress for employees.  Definitely a win-win. Here are a few:

4. Onsite fitness classes (e.g. crossFit)

Offering gym memberships or onsite fitness equipment is one thing, but offering on-site classes takes it to another level as it engages employees as a team as well as encouraging a more healthy culture.  FitBit offers Zumba and kickboxing classes at its on-site gym, but if you don’t have the space for that, you can always bring in a fitness truck like GIT Fit Mobile or the Mobile Gym.

 5. Massage and chiropractic

Naturally, at a fast-paced workplace with a high number of desk jobs, people are likely to experience back pain or other back issues.  Many of the other wellness incentives may help prevent this, but there’s nothing wrong with a little massage or on-site chiropractic to improve employee health and well-being.  Employees at Eventbrite can use one of the zen rooms to get a massage on site and Facebook, well-known for its employee benefits, offers on-site chiropractic for employees. And Zeel in Seattle offers on-site massages 7 days a week if you want to provide the benefit right in the office.

6. Onsite acupuncture

One of the leading companies in offering unique benefits, Twitter offers on-site acupuncture.  Not only can this be fantastic at reducing pain or addressing specific ailments, it’s been well-known to be used for stress-reduction as well.  Pretty relevant in the workplace, right?

7. On site dental services

This is a relatively new benefit, but a company called Studio Dental offers a mobile dental office where they can perform a range of services for employees in and around San Francisco.  As a dental benefits company ourselves, we love the idea of more accessible dental services. Plus, the convenience of this option for employees is second to none in the industry.

8. On site child care

It’s one thing to subsidize child care costs for employees with children, but having child care on site takes it to another level.  Not only is time saved for employees by not having to go to another facility to drop off / pick up their kids, there are numerous additional benefits.  While complicated and potentially costly, this can definitely contribute to a better work environment and help attract amazing parents to your team, as both Google and Cisco have found out.

There are tons of unique work perks out there for employees, but hopefully this gives you some great ideas for health-oriented benefits to offer the team.  Any interesting healthy perks that I missed?  If so, connect with me below – I’d love to hear from you.

1 Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices: Journal of Financial Economics 101 (2011) 621-640, http://faculty.london.edu/aedmans/Rowe.pdf
2 Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?: BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24532996
3 Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks: Smithsonian.com, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-health-benefits-standing-desks-180950259/?no-ist
Stressed? This Dog May Help: The New York Times, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/stressed-this-dog-may-help/?_r=2
5 More firms allowing dogs (and other pets) in the office: CNBC, http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/15/more-firms-allowing-dogs-and-other-pets-in-the-office.html
Brought to you by Beam Insurance Services LLC. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only; is not intended to be relied on as complete information; and is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. This material is not meant to be a sale of or an offer to purchase an insurance plan from Beam. Should you have interest in purchasing an insurance plan from or through Beam, you should seek the help of a licensed professional.
Insurance products underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL), marketed by Beam Insurance services LLC, and administered by Beam Insurance Administrators LLC (Beam Dental Insurance Administrators LLC, in Texas). Beam Perks® provided by Beam Perks LLC. Beam Perks® can be obtained separately without the purchase of an insurance product by visiting perks.beam.dental. Policy form series numbers NDNGRP 04/06 or NDNGRP 2010
National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a.k.a. The Guardian, or Guardian Life.

Author Alex Frommeyer

Fro is the co-founder and CEO of Beam, a dental benefits company reimagining dental care. Alex is obsessed with the internet of things, digital health, and all things dental. Find him on Twitter and Medium.

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