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Perks unheard: Yearly vacation stipend and four-day weeks during summer
HRKatha News Bureau | New Delhi | Friday, 30 June 2017

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Basecamp provides its employees a $5,000 annual vacation stipend along with shortened four-day, 32-hour weeks during summer.

While a lot of organisations across the globe may be going tight on offering additional bonuses and benefits to employees in a bid to control costs, there is one company that has gone the extra mile to offer attractive perks to its people. Web development company Basecamp has some mind-blowing employee benefits as its CEO, Jason Fried is a true believer of employee happiness.

The company views standard of living of its employees as a top priority. More than employee productivity or RoI on perks offered, the company sees the perks as virtues by themselves.

Generous salaries, healthcare plans, 401(k) matching, and time-off policies are only to name a few. In addition, Basecamp provides its employees a $5,000 annual vacation stipend along with shortened four-day, 32-hour weeks during the summer. It also offers $100 a month for home massages; $100 for fresh produce; 16 weeks paid parental leave; and tenured sabbaticals every three years.

The company is a closely knit unit (about 50 members), entirely self-funded with no board of directors, which is why it is possible for Fried to take such calls. He believes it is important to give people if they seek something reasonable. Basecamp accepts ideas for such perks from its employees. So, whenever employees have an idea for a new perk, they submit it through a shared internal document. Then it's put to a vote among the staff, and if enough of them like it, Fried weighs whether it's feasible.

This probably explains why not many people who joined Basecamp have left the company since its launch in 1999. Fried believes that those who make past the one year mark, tend to stick around for quite a while. More than 60 percent of the staff has been there for four years or more. The perks might have something to do with it.

Fried says his goal is to keep people at the company, but not at the office. It’s about distancing oneself from this trend of being always on, always working, he adds.

© 2016 HR Katha

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