Can You Guess Which Employee Benefits are Real?

In the interest of employee engagement and retention, organizations are coming up with ever more creative employee benefits. See if you can guess which of the following are real, and which are too outlandish to be true:

  1. 1
    $50 monthly credit for Exec, a housecleaning and errand-running service.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  2. 2
    Take your dog to work day.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  3. 3
    Free beer. This speaks for itself.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  4. 4
    $20 per month to ride your bike to work.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  5. 5
    Surf breaks (not the online kind). Not only are workers allowed to hang ten in the middle of the day, reception posts daily surf reports to let staff know when the waves are killer.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  6. 6
    Pet insurance. A record number of dogs, cats and other non-human companions are being covered for veterinary expenses.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  7. 7
    Hamster derby day. Employees are given the day off to support a fundraiser through a competitive hamster ball race around the workplace.
    REAL •or• FAKE?
  8. 8
    Paid weddings. (And coming soon — divorce parties.)
    REAL •or• FAKE?


  1. Real. Weebly offers this particular perk, but many organizations now provide concierge services for their employees for all of those time-eating errands, from picking up dry cleaning to waiting for the cable guy.
  2. Real. This perk first started in 1996 in the U.K. and 1999 in the U.S. with Canadian companies increasingly participating. The next official Take Your Dog to Work Day (not to be confused with Take Your Kid to Work Day) is June 23, 2017.
  3. Real. A number of Canadian breweries offer this perk. In 2012, Toronto’s Steamwhistle Brewery tried to argue the weekly 12-pack vouchers employees received was part of their quality control process. Sadly, the party poopers at the CRA convinced the Tax Court of Canada that the free beer was indeed a taxable benefit.
  4. Real. In the U.S., the little known Bicycle Commuter Benefit allows employers to offer employees up to $240 per year tax free to promote green commutes and healthy living.
  5. Real. Patagonia is the company behind this one.
  6. Not only is pet insurance real, it is one of the fastest-growing employee benefits in the U.S. with 5,000 companies now offering it, including Microsoft, T-Mobile and Yahoo.
  7. Okay we made this one up, though hamster ball derbies are real.
  8. Partly real. The e-commerce platform Boxed has said it will reimburse any full-time employee for their wedding up to $20,000. They don’t offer extravagant salaries or see the value in frivolous perks like ping pong tables, but they do provide a few amazing fringe benefits, like picking up the tab for weddings and unlimited maternity and paternity paid leave. As for the divorce parties, well that one’s fake. We just thought: Why should married people and people with kids get all the perks?

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