You can be forgiven for not having work perks at the front of your mind when it comes to applying for your first job post-graduation. It’s an exciting time in your life, but an equally stressful and demanding one. You’re more concerned with getting a job of any kind, rather than looking for one that offers you the best benefits. They’ve become a huge focus in the world of work in recent years though, and top graduate candidates should know what perks to expect and look out for.
Transport and travel
Traveling for work is commonplace nowadays. You have to meet clients, visit new markets and commute into the office each day. This is why we’ve seen so many work perks based around travel and transport in the last few years.
Large scale company holidays and weekends away, work-related or not, are one end of the spectrum, but travel and transport perks are often much more niche and useable. Many companies will now cover the cost of their staff’s commute if they operate in a big city, offering annual public transport cards.
Others will help cover the cost of driving by giving their staff fuel cards, which allow them to pay for fuel with one company card and not have to cover the cost out of their own pocket or through reclaiming expenses. iCompario is new in the industry and compares a range of fuel cards for all types of company vehicles.
In some rare cases where you’re required to travel for work, you may even be given a company car included in the position. Depending on how you’re allowed to use this car though, there may be some extra financial costs.
Technology is intertwined so much in how we work that it’s natural it would play a part in the perks we receive. It’s not unusual for employers to buy the latest devices for their staff to ensure they can perform at the highest level.
Laptops, phones, and more office essentials have been gifted to employees to help them get up to speed with the role and not spend the first two weeks bashing that old laptop as it screeches to a halt every ten minutes. Much like a company car, there may be restrictions on how and where you can use these devices, but there’s no doubt they will massively improve your quality of work and integrate you into the team faster
This perk naturally fits in with another common perk we’re seeing more and more frequently these days — working remotely.
A healthy body often means a healthy mind, and a row of employees sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can get an employer thinking about the physical health of their staff.
Gym memberships are a simple but effective work perk. As a student, you have more free time to keep yourself in good shape. Transitioning into the world of work is jarring and can cause you to gain a couple of extra pounds, it happens to the best of us.
This perk helps you stay in shape by encouraging you to go straight to the gym from the office after a workday. Companies will generally get flat memberships for everyone in the team, but they can be swayed in you’re more interested in specific classes.
It’s not unusual for larger companies to have their own onsite gym either, making it even easier to stay in shape with a quick lunchtime workout.
Flexible working hours
Nine to five, Monday to Friday doesn’t suit everyone anymore. Employees have personal responsibilities and schedules to keep up with, and the flexible working hours perk is a step to making a business more accessible and considerate of its staff.
Flexi work isn’t just about leaving early every so often for a doctor’s appointment, it’s about taking school runs, hobby commitments and the need to finish early on a Friday into account. Sometimes you need that extra half hour for lunch. Flexi work has also taken on new forms, such as a flexible holiday allowance. Some businesses have experimented with allowing their staff to take as much holiday as they require throughout the year. Rather than abuse this, it’s seen staff get the time off they need to deal with any issues or burnout they’re experiencing and not feel restricted by their work.
Be prepared to ask about potential flexible working hours and holidays, especially if you have hobbies or yearly commitments you want to keep. A job shouldn’t completely re-write your schedule.
Wellbeing is a huge topic in the working world today, with employers becoming more and more aware of the less than obvious issues their staff may be dealing with. Graduates need to know they can expect to find wellbeing support from many of the jobs they’re looking to apply for.
Wellbeing perks can look like anything from time off with no questions asked to counsel support paid for by the business. Businesses looking to pick up talented graduates will understand they’re new to the world of work and the issues that can cause. You can feel comfortable asking them about any wellbeing initiatives they offer. They want to make their work environment feel as comfortable as possible for everyone.
Company perks may not be your main consideration as you scramble out your applications. You shouldn’t let them slide through the cracks though, especially when it comes to things that affect your life outside of work. Feel comfortable looking for them and bringing them up.