Food & Culture

These Local Companies Offer Seriously Cool Employee Perks

Free coffee and soda pop? A basketball hoop in the parking lot? Those were yesterday’s office perks. Today’s employers are finding other creative ways to stand out.

By Sheila Mickool with Megan Lamb January 1, 2018


This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Check out the rest of Seattle’s Best Places to Work from our January issue.

Artist in residence
Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program features local artists, such as Seattle’s Sasha Barr, who create innovative art on site for permanent installation. Employees and artists observe, mingle and interact during the artist’s residency, giving employees an up close and personal view of the creative process.

Staying fueled
During tax season, Sweeney Conrad, the Bellevue-based accounting firm, provides dinner two nights a week, lunch on Saturdays and a stash of healthy snacks for added energy during the workday.

Health tools
Puget Sound Energy’s MyWellness at PSE program includes activities such as Walk Around PSE, Weight Watchers and Ignite Your Life nutrition and stress management coaching. All can be done on site or online, and are valued by employees as aids in achieving work-life balance.

Culture immersion
The Global Exchange program offered by communications agency WE encourages employees to apply to travel to and work from a WE office in another country. The four-week assignments give employees the opportunity to discover a new culture and gain a fresh perspective.

Hit the road
Some new employees at public-safety tech company Axon receive a free Tesla when they start work. Employees of tenants at trendy 8th + Olive, a commercial office building in downtown Seattle, have access to a dedicated fleet of ReachNow cars (a car-sharing membership company) featuring BMWs and Mini Coopers.

Nature call
REI employees are encouraged to get outside and play. They’re entitled to two paid “Yay Days” per year for that purpose.

Employees of the new Seattle office of global architectural firm Perkins + Will have the benefit of working in a toxin-free environment. No chemicals—identified by the company as potentially harmful to human health or the environment—were used in creating the office space.

Hit the gym
WE Communications employees receive a $300 wellness credit for use on any wellness activity—from a class on meditation to rock climbing equipment or a spin class. Limeade employees receive Fitbits the first day on the job.

Nytec, a design, engineering and manufacturing firm, installed a permanent sculpture garden on site to enhance creativity and inner peace.

Relax in a terrarium
Amazon is completing three joined spheres to house exotic plants as part of its new $4 billion headquarters. The spheres, to open sometime in 2018, will be a restful oasis for employees. 

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