Plenty of companies give employees Fridays off in the summer or shut down the week between Christmas and the new year. But with competition for talent at an all-time high, some businesses are getting extra creative with their time-off perks.
Radius Financial Group, a mortgage lender based in Norwell, has Jelly Bean Day. The average American life span is roughly 29,000 days, which is sometimes represented by jelly beans to show how many days we have on earth. Radius wants its employees to ponder: What if you had one more?
A jar of jelly beans sits in the corporate cafe with a sign that says, “What are you going to do with your day?” Employees can write a paragraph to their supervisor describing what they’d do to get a bonus day off every year. Some have used it to run marathons or volunteer. The jelly beans also make a great snack. “I have no idea how many jelly beans we’ve burned through, but they get you thinking about life,” says Dustin DeMeritt, director of marketing.
TTA, a corporate training company in Westborough, has Fun Days to encourage employees to take up to five extra paid days off a year — no more than one a month — on top of their regular vacation time. One employee, Judy Gadd, took a day off to go to Hampton Beach for her granddaughter’s first trip to the ocean; she used another to attend her son’s college graduation.
Salesforce, a cloud computing and customer relationship company with an office in the Back Bay, offers not just PTO but VTO (volunteer time off) — as many as seven paid days a year for community service projects ranging from helping kids code to working in animal rescue shelters.
At True Fit, a Boston-based startup that helps customers find the perfect clothing size, time off is not so much creative as extensive. A newbie gets 40 paid days off after the first year of employment, including a weeklong year-end close, summer flex days, holidays, and birthdays.
But perhaps the most coveted day off is at Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich, which is adding a new holiday to its calendar next year: Super Bowl Monday. Mark J. Novota, managing partner of the Cape Cod club, says the Monday after the game is generally not that productive. But he admits the policy is a little self-serving.
“I always dread the postgame feeling,” he says. “Knowing that work is upon us the next morning.”
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance writer in Lexington. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.