Dislike your job? As these "benefits" show, it could be worse.
"Oh, great! Office meditation! In our suits! Together! This sure isn't weird. Nope. Not weird at all." (via Thinkstock)
This week, the Society for Human Resource Management (aka the Society for People Who Use Terms Like "Thought Leadership") released its annual benefits survey. Respondents reported what, if any, benefits their company added or removed in the last year, thus giving you a reminder of how much your employer sucks (or, if you work at one of the 2% of responding companies with unlimited paid time off, how awesome your employer is).
I don't mean to be entirely dismissive of the survey — one good piece of news from it is that workplace benefits are, overall, up from last year. And some jobs are offering really cool perks, like helping pay off your student loans (3%), paying for spouse travel expenses (6%), or buying employees computers for personal use (5%). That said, some of the benefits offered are odd or just straight-up depressing. And obviously, those are the ones I really want to tell you about.
Benefits for the end of the relationship ruined by your job.
1% of companies are now offering divorce insurance, so when the insufferable hours of your job manage to tear your marriage to shreds like a hyena tears apart a bird it's eating, you'll get a tidy cash sum.
Benefits for your inability to start a family.
Are you a woman who feels the crush of "children or career?" tightening more and more each year, like a burning vice clamping on your uterus? You could work for a company that has a sensible view of work/life balance and recognizes that family and career can coexist, or you could work for one of the 2% of companies that offer you compensation to freeze your eggs. But, y'know, no pressure.
Benefits that let your parent come to your job.
You know how your parents are already kind of overbearing, even when you only talk to them occasionally? Well, great news for you! Your parents can now land their constantly humming helicopters at your job if you work at one of the 2% of companies that offer a "take your parent to work" day. That sounds like FUN.
Benefits that turn you into free marketing for the company.
64% of the companies surveyed offer "company paraphernalia," which I guess is cool if you work for something awesome like Candy, and your free paraphernalia is candy, or if you actually work at a job you like (I'd 100% rock a someecards shirt). But for those of us who work shitty jobs just because we need a gig, getting a free tote bag that turns you into a walking billboard for Diversified Diversity Cog Systems (or whatever your weird-ass company is) seems like more of a benefit for the company than the employee.
Benefits that remind you that your company has money to waste instead of paying you more.
If you're traveling for business, a whopping 9% of companies will pay for anything you take from the minibar. So the next time your raise request is denied, remember that they won't pay you more money for the work you do, but they are totally cool with buying you an $18 can of nuts when you're in Toledo.