Perks are employee benefits, usually in addition to salary and standard employee benefits. The word, perk or perks, is a short form of the word perquisite which means incentives, bonuses, extras, or sweeteners. In use in business, the term perks has come to mean benefits or extras above and beyond the normal comprehensive benefits package.
Perks also refers to nonstandard benefits that are unusual or for which only a limited number of employees are eligible. You will hear employees in the business world use the word perks in reference to any nonstandard benefit, though this is not the usual reference.
In organizations, perks are often viewed as an incentive or a form of gratitude that is offered to executive level employees or employees with seniority or longevity – something that sets the employee aside from the average employee.
Perks also refer to employee benefits that are discretionary and optional on the part of an employer. Perks do not necessarily involve a monetary cost to the employer. Perks may consist of privileges, rewards, or options.
Examples of Perks
The following are examples of perks of both the monetary type and perks that are available as a privilege.
- Company supplied cars
- Free lunches or beverages
- Company logoed shirts, hats, and other merchandise supplied at low cost or no-cost
- First choice of vacation schedule
- First chance to work overtime
- Professional association membership
- Conference attendance
- First chance for lateral moves or promotions
- Job openings posted and filled internally before externally
- Flexible schedules
- Telecommuting opportunities
- Office, larger office with window
- Tuition reimbursement
- Cafeteria benefits plan
Additional information about benefits and perks and a comprehensive list of types of perks is available in: Types of Benefits and Perks.
Disclaimer – Please Note:
Susan Heathfield makes every effort to offer accurate, common-sense, ethical Human Resources management, employer, and workplace advice both on this website, and linked to from this website, but she is not an attorney, and the content on the site, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality, and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The site has a world-wide audience and employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country, so the site cannot be definitive on all of them for your workplace. When in doubt, always seek legal counsel or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. The information on this site is for guidance, ideas, and assistance only.