Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, things are getting better or things are getting worse. And there are those who think, things are improving, though not fast enough.
Any way you look at it, one thing is probably certain: You haven’t seen a raise in a long time. Years, even.
But I say, look at the bright side. When you are lucky enough to have an office job, there are so many perks that come with it. Perks that can make your head swim, if you think about them for too long. I’m not talking about the obvious, like paid leave or retirement, that some may have. I’m talking about the ones staring you right in the face. Right there in front of your nose. Allow me to outline a few for you:
1. You work in an office that has electricity. So, if there isn’t natural light beaming in from a nearby window, you can still see what you’re doing. All thanks to fluorescent lighting. No need to bring in flashlights or candles from home!
2. You have full access to a bathroom made just for your gender. (The only place where sexism still is allowed—and appreciated. 🙂 ) It’s like being part of a club!
3. The bathroom comes with all the amenities you could ask for—running water, soap, paper towels or hand dryer, sinks, and, well, you get the picture.
4. Chances are, you have your own office space—whether it’s a roomy office, a cubicle or a desk in the janitor’s closet. It’s yours! And you’re free to place a framed photo of your family on it!
5. Access to sunlight: maybe you’re stuck all day at your desk and can’t take a break. Well, you can look up, can’t you? Odds are, there’s a window somewhere on your floor, designed for you to look out and gaze upon the sunlight, imagining you’re enjoying a picnic in the park or bicycling through city traffic.
6. Lunch breaks: If you’re like most, you probably get hungry around midday. If so, then problem solved! You are allowed–even encouraged!–to take a lunch break. (But be back in a half hour, please!)
7. I haven’t even mentioned the computer that is, no doubt, sitting on your desk. Yes, you can send and receive work-related emails, make your deadlines for writing reports, and create flyers as needed—all because of that nifty invention, the computer.
8. As an employee of your office, you’re allowed to attend special staff functions, like the office party! And, on your birthday, someone is sure to bring you a frosted cake, that includes your choice of vanilla or chocolate (candles, extra).
9. Business Cards for networking, sales pitching, and also comes with bragging rights (for those with tony job titles, that is).
10. Office Family: When you spend all day, five days a week at your job, it’s more than likely that you will make friends at the office. In fact, they become your work family—probably even closer to you than some of your relatives. Maybe even some bickering, too. Work families are special because they know all about the work you do. They know that the office supply vendor who overcharged you, or that you were late submitting that last report and got a “good” talking to by the Big Cheese. You can take your problems to them and they’ll understand. Of course, if you find yourself planning your Thanksgiving get-together with them, perhaps you’ve taken the concept of office family too far.
So, the next time you walk into the bathroom to brush your teeth after lunch (it’s allowed!), thank your lucky stars your office offers such accoutrements as running water.
And if, anyone laughs at you for not getting a raise this year, tell them you don’t need one. You’ve got something better: Office Perks!
So, tell me, whether you work inside or outside the home, what are some of the perks you get with your job?
My only office job was in an engineering firm years ago, so our perks were free lunches with sale pitches from industrial supply companies and the occassional donut. But I did get a new office chair after the company newsletter credited my solo project to two men. I love your list of “perks” as they are things that should be considered as standard as air to breathe.
I have an office with a window. I once visited an office that had been an old JCPenney store – no windows. As I toured the building almost everyone we stopped to talk to asked me what the weather had been like outside. This wasn’t just making small talk. They really wanted to know. My company also pays for my CPE which can be pricey.
Savvy, Isn’t it fascinating how we humans crave light? We want to be able to see outdoors, which is why I will never do anything so bad as to land in jail. I need access to windows 24/7–roughly speaking. 😉
You’re completely right. Even if my job can be rather stressful at times, I need to remember the little things and appreciate them! Along with all the things you mentioned, I can’t help feeling lucky that I have great health insurance. Not long ago I would consider this as unimportant, but then I grew up and realized it’s not a bad thing to have! 😀
Up late, I see, eh, Nate? I’m so glad you appreciate your health insurance. I’m with you and feel very lucky indeed to also have it. It’s the little things, indeed. Think of the women who worked in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. All the exits locked. No ventilation, no breaks–a catastrophe waiting to happen–and it did! It’s because of incidents like these, that we now have things like breaks, good working conditions, etc. So, forget your stress–and be happy! 🙂
What a great way of looking at it. My best perks – a paycheck, insurance, most major holidays, and I like most of the people I work with. Not too shabby.
Those are fabulous perks. I just adore having holidays off!
I have worked many an office job! These days in addition to writing, I am an adjunct professor. No office. I do belong to a writers’ space, which provides a sense of writerly community. I think that is part of the perk you talk about. We all need to belong to some type of community.
Catherine, it’s wonderful to have a writerly community you can turn to for support. Which is why, I do consider that one of the perks. Not having an office can also be a perk–no need to feel confined by four walls! 😉
Hi Monica, great list of office perks, but my office doesn’t have a blow dryer in the bathroom! LOL!!
Lisa, and mine doesn’t have a curling iron! What’s up with that! He-he! 😉
What a hoot! I actually did work in a place that had great extras, but I’ve also worked in a place where you were expected to pay for coffee; whether you drank it or not, your paycheck would get dunned ten dollars every month. And windows? Forget about it! We were pallid from lack of natural light.
Great post! 8)
As someone who is not a coffee drinker, I think that is most unfair. My office actually does also provide coffee, but luckily they don’t charge employees for it. However, employees are expected to make it themselves, which I think is most fair. Usually whoever gets in first does that. We have windows, but not at my end of the building, though I can see them from a distance, which is nice. Eloise, you’ve just proven just how much those of us who have these things should be appreciating our perks!
Merci! Come to think of it, I’ve actually had a job that was in the basement of a building. Cinder block walls are not the most aesthetic things around! 8)
Eloise, my first real job was in the basement of a beautiful building, but since our entrance was directly into the basement, I never saw the upper floors!
This is So funny Monica, I was laughing while reading. I love number 3. I work in an Embassy, and they decided to save the Planet, so no water and no soap in our bathroom, just hand gel!!!
No water! Yikes, Nikky, I’m sorry to hear that. All the more reason, I say it’s a perk for those who do have it. We cannot take such basic things for granted, and I hope people that have running water take a moment to appreciate it. I know I do!
By the way, I love how happy you all look and your beautiful red/orange shawl…
Thank you. My team was so thrilled to be part of this blog, because they agree with everything I’ve said. They love being able to use the bathrooms, and are grateful for their computers and office space. None of them seem to mind being relegated to the janitor’s closet. 😉
I was in fits of laughter Monica. You are such a great writer. My husband and I constantly have this conversation about perks at work vs. perks at home. There are some people who like to think that stay-at home mothers are so darn lucky because they don’t work, whaaat?? I usually like to tell them a thing or two about my job, but now feel like I don’t have to justify. Oh I can’t wait for you next post.
Oh, MM, I want to hug you! You are too kind and flatter me so. Thank you for all your kind words. Knowing that I have made you laugh brings so much happiness to my soul. And, as someone who has raised two children, I know just how hard your job is! Perks? How about all the love in the world from your little girls. Yeah, that’s the best perk of all. 🙂
Now, I want to hug you Monica, no one ever says that except my girls teachers. I chose to stay at home, not many understand that. Although I am now looking for part time work, I love being with my girls( 9 & 6), how much longer do I have with them until they go off to college? I want to enjoy every minute I can, although being mum, chauffeur, part time psychologist and teacher can be awfully draining 🙂
My children are grown, as you know, so I can safely tell you, it goes in the blink of an eye. Enjoy them, treasure them. But know that even when they’re grown, they’re still your girls and my relationship with my kids has evolved–there’s so many things we can do now that we couldn’t do when they were little–and it’s still pretty wonderful. We get along so well, for which I’m so grateful. 🙂
It was SORT of hard to tell if you were beng serious or sarcastic… that is why it was so much fun! Sarcastic definitely, but based on truth!
I would give anything to have a good office job right now. I love my job as a para educator but I get paid mere pennies and can’t afford the health benefits they offer. School districts really have no money. Priorities!
Michael Ann, this was tongue-in-cheek all the way! But the funny thing is, that today there was a problem with water pressure at my office so all the bathrooms on my floor were closed! So much for those perks!
You should just open your own bakery. You make the best desserts! I’ve sent your blog link to my daughter so she can start reading up and get ready to bake when she returns home this summer.
I have free parking at work. Sure it’s overcrowded sometimes but you know what? — that means I get a free workout because I get to walk an extra few blocks to my building. Whew! I’ve got perks up the wazoo!
Free parking is “the bomb” of perks. I’m not sure many can top that. Some of us have to pay astronomical amounts for that privilege, so I’m sure you thank your lucky stars everyday when you pull into your free spot. It doesn’t get better than that! 😉
What a positive post! At the college our dean is always sprucing things up. She added one of those coffee/tea/hot chocolate single cup brewers and just yesterday brought in an ice machine. Yes, water is good with ice! And when the “big cheeses” have a meeting…often…she brings a platter or two of what was served. Yes, grazing is encouraged. On the days I don’t teach, I work from home so I fill up my gas tank about once every two weeks…now there’s a perk. Enjoyed my visit this morning. 🙂
Wow, Georgette, sounds like you have lots of perks, thanks to your dean–and ice, too! What more could you ask for? I love having ice in my drinks. It’s so refreshing and that is also a nice way to reward yourself after making that deadline. Thanks so much for stopping by! 😉
Very funny post Monica. I like it when something is looked at in a different way. I would add the benefit of free water from the water cooler, usually free coffee and free electricity to charge your cell phone 🙂
Thanks, Bassa. I have an off beat way of looking at things which makes life a lot of fun, if you ask me. Of course, having you visit my office would be a great perk! 😉
I love your outlook, Monica. You are right; there is much to appreciate! And I love the photo by the water. Nice digs for lunch!
Thanks so much, Lisa. This is a great restaurant, here in San Diego. It’s called C-Level ( a play on words, I think), and the food is yummy! Plus the views. Yes, our team gets to have lunch with nice views. A great perk!
Monica, you forgot coffee and tea! Now most US workplaces offer those, don’t they? I love how this post allows us to dwell on how lucky some people are to have all those perks. I think of people living and working in impoverished countries and my heart breaks. Child labor especially comes to mind. I think the best perk I have is I get to take breaks whenever I want! And I can stay in pajama pants all day if I so choose! 🙂
OMG, Bella, how could I forget? I know why–because I don’t drink the stuff! But my office has it in abundance. Seems like you could dub my place of work an honorary Starbucks, because someone is always preparing another batch of coffee or making themselves a tea. Yuck. But there’s also purified water, so when the water bottle I bring each day runs out, I can refill it! That’s a great perk!
So, you’re another pajamas gal. There’s quite a few here, who have named that as one of the perks of working from home. You guys should all get together for a pajama party! Another great perk, if you ask me. 😉
Monica!! I love this post! And I say this unbiasedly : ) You are too clever!!
Thanks, Ash. Now you have me blushing, and, for a Latina with olive skin, that’s a hard thing to do! 🙂
And at least you’re not in a sweatshop in China making iPads for 20 cents an hour. Woo-hoo! Seriously funny, girlfriend. I get to work at home where the biggest perk is staying in my pajamas till noon. 🙂
Jayne, I love my iPad and iPhone, etc, but I do feel kind of guilty, too, knowing that they work under such conditions. You think they’ll ever unionize?
Pajamas are probably the best perk hands down, when it comes to working from home.
I work for a technology start up, the perks are getting paid – when that happens, it’s a good day indeed. 🙂 It’s not always a good day in the neighborhood when paydays roll around the cookie jar is empty, but it eventually comes in. I ponder this crazy existence regularly, but so far… I’ve managed to keep a smile on my face. Hugs, Monica, for always making it real.
Working for a start up sounds like it could be stressful at times, Brenda, but, on the other hand, how exciting that you are on the forefront of technology, making history in your own way. Very cool–and a great perk!
I’m my own boss, so there lots of perks. But also lots I responsibility.:(
Jodi, I think having the responsibility is a perk, too. You get to decide. You get to decide when you want a break, when to schedule a meeting and when to call it a day. Fabulous perks, if you ask me. 😉
I work from home, and I dearly love it, but I miss the lunches/conversations with co-workers, the birthday cakes, and the steady paycheck! Would I trade my perks for them? Not a chance. I’ve got my independence, I get to wear several hats every day, and I don’t have any fear of being fired, haha!
Debbie, What’s not to love about working from home? Once in a while I am able to do that. But, I love being around people and I love my team (pictured above), so I enjoy heading to the office and working with these folks. They’re a fun group–my work family! 😉
Since I work from home, my perks are endless. I call it my jammie job, which makes me so happy! And when I want a break, I can throw in a load of laundry, or do a little gardening, or run to the grocery store. There really are too many perks to list, but gotta love them.
Susan, I would love to go to work in my jammies. Talk about comfort! I’m glad you appreciate all your perks. 😉
Nice view from the inside, from someone who works from a home office 🙂
Thanks, DogDaz! Lucky you to work from home. I bet you have some wonderful perks!
With 7 animals as office staff, I definitely do. There are always 2 dogs under the desk and 1 or 2 cats next to me. It does make for a lot of hair in the keyboard.
There are offices that allow you to bring your pet to work. Studies show that people who can do that are more productive–and happier. So, lucky, lucky you! Make that triple lucky! I know I miss my Henry when I’m away.
I work from home and have for a while now, but when we lived in Haiti, my partner Sara, I”m afraid, was guaranteed neither electricity nor running water. I remember visiting one day and having to flush the toilet with a bucket of water left in the corner. Guess we really should be grateful for what we have here in the US.
I’m seeing a trend in these responses, Kathryn. It seems a lot of bloggers work from home and are their own bosses. Interesting. To many, having electricity and running water are luxuries, which we take for granted. I hope folks see that, and agree with me, that, after all is said and done, having an office with all these amenities is a pretty good thing.
You’re funny, as always, but you do remind me that we shouldn’t take our safe and mostly comfortable workplaces for granted. They aren’t the norm everywhere and I’m grateful for the sometimes cumbersome regulations that protect us from having sweatshops filled with child workers in this country.
Shary, I’m so glad you said that because that’s exactly what I was thinking and trying to (subtly) convey. There are so many that work in terrible conditions, that I’m so grateful for what we have here, regulations and all–and the fact that we have all these basic things which we can take for granted, because they’re not going to go away.
~~~~~~~~You know what i love about you, Monica?
No matter what you write about, you put a positive spin on it!
Omg, you mean you get to have toilet paper there! WOW. Xxxxxx
Thanks, Kim! I often feel like Pollyanna when she’d play the Glad Game. I do try to look at the bright side–and the humorous side–in just about everything. Not always easy, but I try.
The main perk is having an income, Not so for over 20 million and for far too many of the rest it has become no pension, no health care, no sick leave, no vacation and extra work load. $12 an hour – take it or leave it. One of the causes of the Great Depression often overlooked is that industry did not pay wages high enough for workers to become consumers of their own manufactures. How can you have a consumer based economy without consumers ? Workers unite. Dictatorship of the proletariat.
All good points, Carl. What we need to do as a country, is raise the minimum wage. It’s abysmal that we haven’t in a long time. There’s lots of talk about cutting taxes for the wealthy, but I’ve yet to hear anyone talk about raising that wage for the rest. It’s clear we have our priorities.
This post made me laugh out loud.
I work from home, my office is my world in the day.
I have loads of perks, I will list them for you.
1. Quick commute- Unless I forget my coffee in the kitchen then my commute time doubles as I have to go back downstairs and get it.
2. I can receive private calls on the house phone. From all the people who don’t appreciate although I am at home I am actually working.
3. I get callers at the door on a regular basis either asking me to take parcels for neighbours or they are trying to convert me to some religion or other.
4. I can look out of the window all day at the garden that’s shouting for attention.
5. The bathroom is handy, though multi gender and I get moaned at if I leave the seat up, oh for single gender bathrooms here!!!
6. I can pop into the office in my own free time and do extra work at all hours. Oh the bliss of being able to do this.
7. My neighbours can disturb me for the smallest thing, normally the parcel I took in for them.
8. I can’t remember the last time I got a pay rise, I always talk myself out of it.
9. Birthday cakes don’t arrive by themselves, but I have access to the same food for lunch as I get at home.
10. I have no work colleagues, and have been known to hold conversations with myself.
Oh the joys of my office.
Nice to see by the way Monica that your the youngest looking in your office!!!
Oh, my goodness, Robert! Your head must be swimming with all the perks you have. I love how you have single gender bathrooms. What a novelty! 😉
Thank you for the compliment. I’m probably the youngest at heart!
I get a few perks. Like an apartment and a ride to work. Since I can’t be unescorted, without a male, that is, maybe they’ll eventually give me one of those. I don’t know. I’d have to see if I’d even wanna be bothered since that would entail cooking. Anyhow, we do need to consider how lucky we are. And don’t forget those office potlucks. Nothing like free food. If it’s good enough to look at and eat, mind you. I’m usually the one who’d bring in the paper goods though. Very necessary for taking food home to the family for dinner.
Totsy, you’ve got it made with the apartment and the ride. Makes it worthwhile being where you are, especially if they throw in the male and perhaps a cook to prepare his meals (yours, too!). As for the potluck, but of course, how can I forget the proverbial potluck. We’re having one of those next month at my office. Another perk!