Google-style perks expanding beyond Silicon Valley
The average working class citizen with a 40 hour a week, Monday through Friday job has very little time to handle personal responsibilities. Office employees need to make sure their outfits are cleaned and pressed for each day of work, commuters need to make sure their oil is changed frequently and sometimes the job can be so physically taxing, that the body just needs a nice, relaxing break.
California-based HR consulting firm Espresa is just one of the companies that are trying to bring these benefits — common at tech giants like Google — to the entire United States, and international companies as well.
Founder of Espresa Dr. Alex Shubat, says he was inspired to offer these benefits after working with a company that was acquired by Google and hearing about all of their amenities.
“I was looking for new businesses to get into and a company I was involved with called, ‘Odysee’ was recently acquired by Google,” Shubat says. “When we were having our celebration dinner [creator of Odysee, Raghavan Menon] was telling me how great he was being treated and that really got me thinking.”
Shubat says his new platform will allow for any size company to provide workplace services for employees such as car repairs, dry cleaning, massage and wellness classes through a mobile app.
“Work-life balance is an important topic as HR departments compete to attract and retain top talent,” Shubat says. “We streamline business operations with a unified platform for employees to use, employers to manage and vendors to deliver services in the workplace.”
Nearly all U.S. employers (92%) believe voluntary benefits and services will be important to their employee value proposition over the next three to five years, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson.
The growth of VBS is widespread among employers of all sizes and in all industries,” says Amy Hollis, voluntary benefits leader of Willis Towers Watson. “The appeal is simple: these programs enrich traditional benefits by offering a high level of personalization to employees and that reflect changes in the types of protections employees are seeking.”
Also see: “Top 10 employee incentives.”
According to John Izzo and Pam Withers’ book, Values Shift: the new work ethic & what it means for business, companies with highly engaged workforces have a 44% higher retention rate and generate 29% more revenue.
“In the past, employers have focused VBS programs on the needs of baby boomers,” says Mary Tavarozzi, group benefits practice leader of Willis Towers Watson. “Now, employers need to attract, retain and engage millennial employees, who have very different needs and priorities.”
Shubat says his platform is currently available to the Bay Area of California, but intends to have it made available in other markets, both in the U.S. and internationally by 2017.