Surreal Business

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Beer? Shampoo? Flexibility? Employers have come up with some rather unconventional benefits to keep their staff happy and themselves out of the red.

Job benefits are, more often than not, the primary concern for employees when searching for the right job. But with limited funds, especially for small businesses and startups, it may be difficult to offer legitimate benefit packages.

With job expectations on the rise, and a lack of benefits, it's no wonder that employees aren't too enthusiastic about work. There is, however, an effective solution available for both SMEs and large corporations: unique employee benefits.

Here are seven companies that use creative perks in order to keep their employees happy.

1. Freeborn and Peters

Each year the company holds a "luggage party". Employees that want to take part bring a packed bag to the office on the day of the party. Four names are drawn, and the winners are whisked away by a limo for an all-expenses paid weekend in Las Vegas.

2. InDemand Interpreting

CEO Daniel Pirestani awards an employee who has performed well above average with the keys to his car. He or she is then allowed to drive the Porsche Boxster – most likely the CEO's most prized possession – to a company-paid lunch.

3. Magoosh

Where some companies offer a flexible work schedule or vacation policy, Magoosh takes it to a whole new level. Employees are encouraged to complete tasks at any given time during the day, as long as they get the task done. And so far, the company has yet to say "no" to any requested vacation time.

4. Merchandise Liquidators

This perk has mostly evolved through the need to save money on employee pay cheques. No longer do employees have to pay for life necessities – it's paid for by the company. Cosmetics, shampoos, cleaning products, toothpaste, mobile devices and other products are all given to employees free of charge.

5. Moneycrashers.com

Andrew Schrage has used this perk before, with great results. If the staff manage to reach a certain sales goal or other benchmark, then the management are made responsible for the meniale duties normally performed by staff members.

6. The Nerdery

The Nerdery is open not only to their staff, but employee canine friends as well. Nerd Support even arrange a mobile groomer appointment for dogs upon request. Each Thursday, the company holds what they have called “puppy fight club,” where the dogs get to run around unleashed.

7. Threadless

After thinking long and hard about a unique perk to give his employees, CEO Tom Ryan asked a friend, owning Finch's Bar, to brew a special Threadless IPA. Now, there is always a full keg of Threadless paleale available in the kitchen. “It was a great collaborative project that brought together the Threadless design community and the staff,” said Tom.

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