Silicon Valley businesses, startups and tech giants alike offer some of the best workplace perks in the nation. From free housekeeping services for Evernote employees to a bowling alley at Google, Silicon Valley business leaders provide their workers with some over-the-top benefits, but how much do employees value these benefits? Sure, it is fun to say ‘I have a bowling alley at my office,’ but is an non-traditional benefit like that better than a more tangible benefit like lower health insurance premiums?

These are the types of questions that the leadership team at online deal site 1SaleADay wanted answers to. So, they did what any good business team would do and asked the employees for their feedback.

The company offered its employees free lunches but as its payroll expanded, so did the cost of this perk – to the tune of about $250,000 year in total costs. At the same time, health insurance premiums were also rising.

So, the team asked employees — free lunch or lower healthcare costs? The response was overwhelming: 91 percent of employees said ditch the free lunch and let me pay less for health insurance.

Telling friends and family, "my health insurance costs less," isn’t as exciting as "I get a free lunch at work," but that is exactly what the employees at 1SaleADay wanted. Personally, I’d go with the tangible benefit of paying less for my health insurance and bring a lunch from home instead. It may not be free, but I can pack a mean lunch for less than $5!

I understand that offering creative workplace perks is a tool used to attract top talent, but I’m curious how much of a role these fun benefits play in not just attracting the best employees but retaining them.  

via [CNNMoney]

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