5 companies that impress with employee benefits

A healthy employee is a happy employee, and these five companies figured that out. These powerhouses offer employees impressive health and wellness benefits to keep stress down and productivity up.

intro title
Credit: Thinkstock
How some companies strive to keep employees happy and healthy

Your office chair is killing you. Well, OK, sitting for eight hours a day at your desk job might not be killing you, but at the very least, it’s not good for your health. On top of that, we’re learning that the stress of our culture’s modern “always-on” lifestyles haven’t caught up with the caveman concerns of our past. Is it an email from your boss stressing you out or are you being chased by a lion? Your brain really can’t tell the difference, meaning many of us live in a constant state of fight or flight. And if you have a bad boss, you could even be at higher risk for heart disease, not to mention depression, sleep problems, anxiety and a number of other health issues.

That’s probably why companies are taking corporate wellness and benefits seriously, as more health concerns pop up over sedentary work and stressful environments. Here are five companies with corporate wellness programs and benefits aimed at keeping employees happy, healthy and most of all, productive.

google sushi
Credit: Thinkstock
Google

Well-known as a progressive Internet company, Google has an impressive corporate wellness program. To start, the café supplies free breakfast, lunch and dinner for employees, with options ranging from sushi to fresh pressed juice. The Mountain View, Calif., office also has its own on-site physicians and nurses, so if you feel a cold coming on, you can get treated on site. Google also encourages its employees to continue learning by offering a reimbursement program for classes and degree programs. And employees seeking legal counsel can also get advice at no cost and even get legal services at a discount.

There are also shuttle buses, complete with Wi-Fi to take employees to and from work, as well as an electric-car share program, plug-in stations for electric vehicles and gBikes to get around campus. There’s more too, Google has on-site exercise facilities, extra time off for new parents, a rumored bowling alley as well as roof decks and unique office layouts.

zappos prescriptions
Credit: Thinkstock
Zappos

Zappos’ decision to do away with bosses and adapt holacracy is a testament to the company’s dedication to staying unique in the corporate world. And that extends to the vast amount of benefits the company offers its employees. Starting with medical, employees get a free employee premium, free primary care and free generic prescriptions. Employees can take advantage of 24-hour telemedicine service, wellness coaches, infertility benefits, on-site health screenings and more.

Zappos’ Las Vegas office features an on-site fitness center with both in-person and virtual exercise classes. Employees can get nutritional advice, take weight management classes, get smoking cessation help, learn to reduce stress, take part in “wellness competitions,” get massages and much more right on campus. There is even a nap room with a “nap pod,” for employees that need to catch a few Z’s before getting back to work. Employees already dedicated to their fitness goals can even receive rewards and recognition from the company for their efforts.

cisco accupuncture
Credit: Thinkstock
Cisco

In addition to full benefits like flexible work and time off, comprehensive benefits and travel benefits, just to name a few, employees at Cisco can get acupuncture, physical therapy and primary care right on-site. The company has its own on-site fitness center as well, where employees can get a workout in during the day. Cisco’s campus also has an outdoor sports club, organized sports leagues and hiking and biking trails for employees to use.

Its café focuses on providing fresh, seasonal and healthy food for workers, and there are also gourmet food trucks where employees can get their lunch. Teams also receive “fun-funds,” so they can celebrate and take part in team-building exercises outside of the office. For employees who want to give back, Cisco will donate $10 for every hour of volunteer work, up to $1,000, and will also match any cash donation, up to $1,000, to a nonprofit organization.

yahoo golf
Credit: Thinkstock
Yahoo

While Marissa Mayer might have cut back on working from home, a highly sought after perk, the company has a number of wellness benefits for employees. Employees can take fitness classes on-site including yoga, cardio-kickboxing, Pilates and even golf lessons. The cafeteria is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for those long work days and employees receive monthly food coupons to help subsidize the cost.

Both men and women get up to eight weeks of leave for the birth of a baby, adoption or foster child placement and new moms can take up to 16 weeks. Employees also get $500 a month for incidentals like groceries, laundry and even going out to eat. And anytime an employee gets to a five-year milestone, they can take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave.

apple beer
Credit: Thinkstock
Apple

One look at Apple’s page on Glassdoor, and its clear people like working for the company. With a whopping 5,500 reviews, the company maintains a 4.5 star rating, out of a possible 5 stars. Benefits kick in immediately for employees and even part-time workers in the Apple store get full benefits.

Some companies might keep employees stocked with soda and bagels, but Apple instead supplies its workers with, well, Apples. And every few weeks the company throws a “beer bash,” where employees can get together on the campus to mingle, listen to live music and drink free beer. Apple also helps with the strain of commuting to Cupertino by offering shuttles and stipends for those traveling by bus or train.