Offbeat Benefits Stand Test of Time

Despite heavy competition for talent, relatively few employers sponsor offbeat workplace perks, according to a national survey by Oxford Health Plans.

Still, while the most non-traditional benefits are still shy of the mainstream, most employees take advantage of unusual benefits when given the chance.

The survey found, for example, that only 18 percent of workplaces offer health club memberships. A recent poll sponsored by BenefitNews.com revealed a slightly more generous trend, with 25 percent of respondents affirming that their benefit plan covers health club memberships. But when offered the memberships, 72 percent of employees join, according to the Oxford data.

Among the 29 percent of companies that provide healthy lunches or dinners, 84 percent of employees take advantage of this benefit. And, while only 13 percent of employers offer a meditation room, 55 percent of employees who were offered the benefit actually use it. Similarly, only 6 percent of employers offer massage, but 60 percent of employees utilize this perk.

“Our findings show these perks should no longer be considered alternatives but mainstays since they are so well-accepted among workers and demonstrate an employer’s commitment to promoting wellness in the workplace,” says Alan Muney, Oxford's chief medical officer and executive VP.

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