Which Employee Perks Are Best? 10 Affordable Ideas

Looking to make your team happy without breaking the budget? Sometimes the best things in life are pretty simple and low-cost. In 2019, we asked office workers which employee perks were meaningful to them, and their answers show that you don’t always have to think big to show your appreciation.

Which employee perks are best?

  • Tea. “We have a big selection of tea and a good electric kettle,” Jean B., Portland, OR
  • Fruit. “Fruit in the break room,” Susan G., San Francisco; “Seasonal fruit for meetings or lunch,” Robert., Philadelphia
  • Guest speakers. “I like to go see the guest speakers; there’s usually a catered lunch,” Brian B., Chicago (university employee)
  • Massage chair. “There’s a vibrating massage chair that I like to go relax in at the end of the day on Friday when no one’s around,” Gary B., Hillsboro, OR
  • Live music. “We get live concerts in our studio—classical, contemporary. I just have to go across the hall to hear them,” Christine O., Denver
  • Personal products. “Lotion and hair products in the bathroom,” Belinda Z., Portland, OR
  • Tissues. “A box of tissues on every desk,” Miriam W., Portland, OR
  • Tampons. “I am a big fan of free tampons in the ladies’ room. I had them the last two places I worked,” Joan W., Portland, OR
  • Drinks. “Soy milk in the coffee room,” Cordelia A., Boulder, CO; “All the La Croix you can drink!” Neil W., New York City
  • Healthy snacks. “It’s great being able to fit a large variety of snacks to everyone’s taste.” Gabriela S., San Bruno

In 2023, these small gestures still hold up! A 2023 ezCater report revealed that 57% of employees consider free or subsidized food such as fruit and snacks their favorite workplace perk. They said having those treats on hand encouraged them to engage with their coworkers, increased their company loyalty, and even incentivized them to come into the office.

The FruitGuys’ B Bounty Gift: Delicious, thoughtful snacks from B Corp Companies.

Employee gifts are another affordable perk to consider. Spending just $50-$100 per employee on a gift for the holidays, to mark a promotion, or to celebrate their return from remote work can have a big impact. Our B Bounty Gift is a great option in that pricing sweet spot. To learn more about that, check out our blog covering five reasons employee appreciation gifts matter in 2023. 

If your company plans to ask employees to return to the office in 2024, keep these affordable perks in mind while you craft your RTO strategy. A regular fresh fruit and thoughtful snack delivery can work side-by-side with other desirable benefits (like commute stipends and relaxed dress codes) to keep your employees feeling happy, appreciated, and excited to come to work. 

This blog was originally written by and published on Jan. 1, 2019. It was updated by Lex Flamm on Nov. 27, 2023.

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