From ski passes to luxury cars, these 4 companies think outside the box when it comes to perks

by Andreas Rekdal
June 30, 2016

In the tech world, job seekers are always on the lookout for opportunities at companies that are doing exciting stuff. But with stiff competition out there for talent, it doesn’t hurt if your employee perks are up to snuff, too.

Chicago’s tech companies offer all of the perks you’d expect from any good employer, like health benefits, vacations and professional developments. But they also like to think outside the box, offering benefits that uniquely reflect their cultures.

We asked a few companies with unique perks how those perks affect company culture. Here's what they've got up their sleeves:


Based in the Boeing building, BMW Technology Corporation is an agile team specialized in connected car services. Their primary focus is on building software services that integrate people’s digital lives with their driving experiences.

What “outside the box” perks they offer

“In addition to a generous vacation and benefits package, BMW Technology Corp. offers its employees a BMW or MINI vehicle!” said Product Marketing Director Randy Cavaiani. “The cost of the benefit is based on the vehicle chosen and the job grade. At any level, the program is a bargain as it is aggressively priced and includes insurance. Employees can also get attractively priced lease vehicles for family members.”

How those perks shape company culture

“The entire team becomes steeped in BMW technology and the Ultimate Driving Machine experience,” said Cavaiani. “In essence, everyone becomes a brand ambassador and tester for our own digital services. As an agile team that pushes out daily software builds for testing, large amounts of data and user experience feedback can be accumulated from a consumer perspective to drive fixes and enhancements. It’s truly a win-win!!”


Codifyd leverages its extensive experience with digital marketplaces to design engaging content for B2B e-commerce sites. The company’s work ranges from information architecture to user experience content, search, product images and copy.  

What “outside the box” perks they offer, and why

“At Codifyd we take care of our employees by offering valuable perks and benefits, including flexible schedules, work from home options, Divvy memberships, annual flu shots, weekly happy hours where employees pick a rotating craft beer selection, quarterly themed potlucks, an office ping pong table, a softball team and your favorite candy on your birthday — plus choices of cool anniversary gifts,” said HR and Operations Director Joanna Niezgoda.

How those perks shape company culture

“We offer programs to help you feel like part of the family which has created a very collaborative environment,” said Niezgoda. “Employees who work at Codifyd enjoy more than just a job. Each team member plays a significant role in the success of the company. This has created a culture that encourages people to go above and beyond.”


Instructure is a maker of engaging education software, including the Canvas learning platform for K-12 schools and higher education and the Bridge talent development platform for corporate learners. The company’s platforms have more than 10 million active users worldwide.

What “outside the box” perks they offer

In addition to fully covered medical and dental premiums, education opportunities, equity and flexibility, Instructure offers incentives and rewards for employees to work on their wellness and fitness. Employees also get to partake in on-site lessons for fitness, yoga, meditation and healthy cooking — plus outings like group rock climbing. Employees also get to reward each other with “recognition money” for upholding the company’s values.

Plus, when traveling to Instructure’s Utah offices, employees get free ski passes.

How those perks shape company culture

“These perks and benefits are all focused around helping to support our open, collaborative, transparent, learning-oriented culture where we trust everyone to act like an owner of the business — balance and manage their own schedules and speak up when they have a suggestion to make the business and customer experience better,” said Corporate Technical Recruiter Ariel Pao.


A provider of online financial services to non-prime consumers and small businesses, Enova determines creditworthiness based on advanced analytics. The company has provided more than $17 billion in loans and financing to four million customers around the world.

What “outside the box” perks they offer

“What really sets Enova apart from a perks perspective is our focus on continuous learning and growth. We have an entire department dedicated to helping our people develop their knowledge, skill sets and careers,” said Julie Emerson, senior manager of recruitment. “Our team members can take advantage of internal training workshops and free conference attendance to boost their knowledge in various software programs; take part in buddy shadowing, job shadowing and mentoring programs; and advance their careers through our leadership series workshops, manager bootcamps and tuition reimbursement. We also understand that sometimes what's needed is time to reflect and recharge, which is why we offer a sabbatical program.”

How those perks shape company culture

“Our focus on team member growth has instilled a culture that values continuous learning and a commitment to the development of each team member,” said Emerson. “When our people succeed, we succeed as a company.”

Images via listed companies.

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