Looking for a little extra perk to offer your employees next year?
There's always pet insurance, but let's face it - that's just old news. If you want to be on the leading edge, you've got to be thinking about housecleaning services. The New York Times has an article describing the trend: "It is the latest innovation from Silicon Valley: the employee perk is moving from the office to the home."
Yes, this comes to us from that land of milk and honey populated by giants like Google and Facebook and Apple who will spare no expense to engage and inspire the creative minds that deliver tomorrow's technology, not to mention a stellar stock price (at least for some - sorry Mark Zuckerberg).
But these companies do seem to be onto something broader than just a fringe-benefit arms race. There is a sense that employees don't just want to be compensated with more money; they want relief from the stresses of daily living. "And the goal," according to the Times, "is not just to reduce stress for employees, but for their families, too. If the companies succeed, the thinking goes, they will minimize distractions and sources of tension that can inhibit focus and creativity."
Or maybe free up a little more evening time for employees to spend thinking about company business.
I'm just saying.
But whatever the motivation, there is clearly some new ground being broken with the notion that employers should look at all 24 hours in an employee's day - rather than just the hours between 8 am and 5 pm - in deciding where an investment in additional compensation will produce the biggest return. And maybe that's the valuable takeaway here: Don't get too constrained by convention when designing compensation programs, or you may miss an opportunity to do something good for both the company and the employees.