According to, 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.”

It’s the “etc.” that seems to be changing with the times.

Until recently, most discussions of perks focused on what high-tech companies in Silicon Valley were offering their employees: free gourmet meals, 24-hour gym, yoga classes, on-site nutritionist, massage therapy, concierge service, discounted artwork, auto detailing, even botox injections and bring-a-pet-to-work day. The idea was often two-fold: (a) make the company an attractive place to work, and (b) make it easy for employees to work long hours — without worrying about leaving to eat, get to the dry cleaners or exercise. Yet the question arises: If the idea is to encourage employees to work harder, then are free meals really perks? As Steven E. Gross, a senior partner at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, notes, “some people would view that not as a perk, but as serfdom.”

Read the full article on!