- In a new survey, 62% of people said “vacation time” is one of the most important job benefits.
- FlexJobs has created a list of 10 remote-friendly companies that will help pay for employee vacations.
- In a Q&A with Jennifer Strauel, Chief People & Diversity Officer at arrivia, she explained the benefits of company-sponsored vacations for workers.
In a new survey, 62% of people said “vacation time” is one of the most important job benefits, following closely behind remote work (77%) and salary (83%).
With today’s competitive talent market and the summer travel season fast approaching, many companies are leaning into more creative benefits around time off, such as helping cover the cost of employees’ travel expenses.
FlexJobs has created a list of 10 remote-friendly companies that will help pay for employee vacations:
- Airbnb. In addition to allowing employees to live and work from anywhere, employees receive an annual travel and experience credit.
- BambooHR. BambooHR offers employees what they call “paid paid vacation”—$2,000 each year to travel as they please.
- Calendly. In addition to flexible time off and a “pick your own perk” benefit, the company offers employees a $1,000 annual vacation stipend to encourage team members to take time away from their “work family” to recharge and relax.
- Evernote. The company offers employees unlimited vacation days and a $1,000 yearly vacation stipend.
- Expedia. Employees receive a travel reimbursement between $250 and $750, depending on how long they’ve been with the company. They also receive discounts on retail and travel packages purchased through the site.
- FullContact. In addition to unlimited vacation, FullContact provides staff with an annual lump sum vacation bonus.
- PulsePoint. PulsePoint offers paid vacation and company holidays (including birthdays) and provides a $500 annual travel reimbursement for vacation.
- Thirty Madison. For vacation, Thirty Madison has an unlimited vacation policy bolstered by “an annual vacation stipend to prove that we mean it.”
- TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor offers staff an annual Lifestyle Benefit spending account. While this includes personal travel, employees can also use it for other personal needs, like physical well-being or family support. The company also offers personal travel discounts.
- United Airlines. Employees enjoy unlimited standby travel and discounted ticket rates anywhere United Airlines flies.
According to a recent use case from arrivia, employer-sponsored travel rewards and benefits can help companies recruit, retain, and engage workers in a highly competitive labor market.
When companies expand their benefits package to include perks and incentives such as travel, it allows employees to unplug and enjoy their lives outside of work and helps companies achieve their recruitment and retention goals.
Goldman Sachs recently made headlines with a new flexible vacation policy for its managers. The “unlimited” vacation perk is common in the tech industry, but some leaders say that it’s actually problematic and can lead to employees actually taking less time off and facing burnout.
Kathleen Quinn Votaw, the CEO of TalenTrust, disagrees.
“Your employees want flexibility and trust! Time away is a great example of providing what your employees want and need. Time is a precious commodity for all of us. Imagine if you could take as much time as you needed and be treated as an adult to manage your time at work against your personal time. Why do we care as employers when the work gets done as long as the work gets done?” said Votaw.
In a Q&A with Jennifer Strauel, Chief People & Diversity Officer at arrivia, she explained the benefits of company-sponsored vacations for workers.
Allwork.Space: How can employer-sponsored travel benefits help recruit, retain, and engage workers?
Jennifer Strauel: Traditional benefits like health insurance coverage and paid time off are generally an expected (though vitally important) part of an employee’s compensation package.
In highly competitive sectors like tech, other benefits like free meal programs, nap pods, etc., are used more explicitly as incentives to recruit new workers and retain existing ones. Ultimately, these kinds of in-office work perks are about keeping employees happy while at the physical office.
But with COVID and with many companies deciding to extend remote work options and other flexible work arrangements, these perks are no longer as impactful or desired by current and prospective employees.
Now, as levels of employee burnout and mental health struggles rise, helping employees disconnect from work is becoming increasingly important and a strong differentiator for employer brands.
After more than two years at home, people want to get out and see the world again, increasing the demand for travel and boundaries between work and life. This is where employer-sponsored travel benefits can have a real impact.
An employer that offers employer-sponsored travel benefits sends a clear, employee-centric message, which is: we expect you to take your vacation time, want you to truly disconnect and recharge, and believe that helping you experience our world first-hand makes us all better together. Offering a benefit like this puts companies on the leading edge in the benefits space.
In terms of employee engagement, the ability to do something like that builds a lot of goodwill towards the employer.
At arrivia, our employees receive a free resort stay on their one-year anniversary, receive $25 in vacation cash annually in their accounts, and receive larger awards on milestone anniversaries. We also highlight the travel benefits as part of our overall total rewards package when recruiting new employees.
Allwork.Space: What are some benefits that matter to employees today?
Jennifer Strauel: It comes down to work-life balance. The benefits that really resonate with employees are the ones that help them lead better, more enjoyable lives, and make them feel valued.
Examples that we’re hearing from our employees and candidates include:
- Remote work arrangements, hybrid work, and/or flexible schedules
- Benefits that demonstrate company commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), like adoption assistance, coverage for gender reassignment surgery, pawternity leaves for pet adoptions, and employee resource groups (ERGs) to name a few
- Benefits that demonstrate company commitment to social responsibility, like volunteer time off, matching charitable donations, and employee events to help local communities to name a few
- Perks that demonstrate a healthy company culture, like facilities designed with the employee experience in mind, plentiful rewards & recognition, fun activities and events, and open communication with leaders
- Opportunities for personal and professional growth like mentoring, continuing education, paid memberships to professional organizations, clear career paths, and leaders who demonstrate care
- Unlimited PTO, volunteer time off, paid parental leave, compassionate care leave, and other time-off programs even opportunities for unpaid time off
- Expansive wellness programs that include mental, emotional, physical, and financial well-being education & activities
- Mental health benefits – Employers are now offering enhanced benefits to employees, making access to mental health care easier and less expensive for employees in need
- Lifestyle Spending Accounts, which provide company contributions that employees can use for things like student loan repayment, new home purchase, gym memberships, mental health apps, and so many more things to help their financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing
- Rewards & Recognition – employees want to feel appreciated for their contribution and both formal programs and informal options for recognition are important benefits.
- Employee discount programs like:
- Gym Memberships
- Car purchase