business

More Companies Offering Special Employee Perks

But don’t pass up a competitor’s higher salary just to get on-site dry cleaning.

Next time you’re on a job hunt, don’t be surprised if potential employers dangle a nap room or the proverbial free lunch as a fringe benefit. Following the lead of Silicon Valley tech companies, firms in all kinds of industries are using incentives to compete for top talent. Sweeteners include sports facilities, fitness rooms and lounges with TVs, games and snacks, and services such as on-site dry cleaning, massages, dog walking and grab-and-go meals.

See Our Slide Show: Best Languages to Learn to Get Ahead in Your Career

Consider the value of such perks before you take the bait. Don’t reject a competitor’s offer of a higher salary or better health insurance in favor of free snacks or the opportunity to play air hockey at work. But free or low-cost child care could be worth it. Ask the employer how long the benefits have been in place and how long you have to be employed before you can use them. Gauge the office culture. Do employees seem to take advantage of the amenities, or are they mere window dressing? And be aware that all those in-house services could be designed to give you fewer reasons to leave the office—and encourage you to put in long hours.

See Our Slide Show: 10 Great Jobs for Your Future

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