According to BusinessDictionary.com, perks are “privileges granted to employees in addition to their salaries and benefits,” and may include such things as “the company car, vacations, reserved parking spaces, spacious offices, private dining and washroom facilities, etc.”

Perks are different from benefits since they are less important (typical benefit health coverage, typical perks reserved parking spaces) and Perks are more discretionary, can be offered to individuals either as a way to entice them to join, or as a way to reward them as they move up the ranks.

According to Huffington Post, Google offers 7 perks to his employee in Mountain View campus:

Perks for users

  • On site doctorsI’m not sure if it’s an actual perk not to have to leave the office when you’re sick, but on-site doctors ensure that this is a reality at Google’s Mountain View campus. According to Google’s benefits site, physical therapy and chiropractic services are also available.
  • Japanese Toto Toilets. Is it really any wonder that Googlers have access to some of the most high-tech toilets around? These Japanese johns offer washing and drying of your nether regions as well as the mysterious “wand cleaning.” Both the wash water and the seat itself can be warmed or cooled depending on your preference.
  • Endless Lap Pools. One perk about not working at Google is that Gawker never posts a photo of you swimming in one of the Googleplex’s lap pools. The outdoor mini-pools are like water treadmills: a strong current allows the Googler to swim and swim and go nowhere. Luckily, according to How Stuff Works, lifeguards are always on duty in case someone gets in over their head.
  • Conference Bike. According to PC Magazine, Google’s Conference Bike is used as a team-building exercise for new employees. It has four wheels and five riders who work together to move it around.
  • Free Food. Google’s food program may not be the most creative perk at the company, but it is probably the most valuable to employees. Everyday, Googlers get three full meals and unlimited snacks from the campus’ 25 cafeterias totally cost free. According to The Atlantic, the company makes an effort to keep the meals as healthy as possible by putting vegetables in every dish, using small plates and giving healthy items prime real estate in the cafeterias. Google has also developed a creative pricing system for vending machine food (the only edibles that cost money). The more sugar and fat contained in the snacks, the more they cost, which Google hopes will be enough incentive to keep its employees from gaining weight.
  • Free Haircuts. Employees who don’t have the time or inclination to get haircuts in the real world can get trimmed up at Google for free. According to Reuters, the service is provided by a company called Onsite Haircuts which operates out of mobile homes that travel around cutting the hair of Silicon Valley’s tech army.
  • Ball Pit. Google has two things in common with McDonald’s: an inclination toward primary colors and a ball pit. The Google Chrome ball pit is as you might expect a ball pit filled with plastic balls in the yellow, red, blue and green of the Google designed browser, Chrome.

Ford BMAXRecently perks reach social media influencers. Some of the companies who claims to measure social influence start perking the most high ranked users. Among t-shirts and tea bags some of these have given away stocks of venture capital startups. The reason is to promote brand on influencers, perking the people with something they love and which keep the brand sticked to them. Today is the first time this policy come to Europe and to start doing it is one of the leading brand in Europe, Ford, who’s obviously American. The perk is a 3D holographic model of the new Ford BMAX and is addressed to automotive, design and tech lovers. The perks come with the launch of the BMAX on the European market. Check if you’re entitled to receive it at www.peerindex.com/vip/bmax

What do you think about influence measurement like Klout, Kred or Peerindex? Do you think that perking users enhance engagement? Tell me your point of view in a comment.

[Photo: courtesy of Y; file from Flickr.com. More information here]

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