25 March 2019

The Best Employee Perks (That Don't Cost Anything) for Small Businesses

In the UK today, 61% of the workforce is disengaged. Employee turnover, retraining new recruits and workplace absence are all costing the economy £340 billion a year. (Ouch.) One reason? We’re not doing enough to take care of our staff. Introducing perks and rewards that benefit the entire business can transform this, keeping the whole office happy while contributing to better team engagement, attracting new talent, and improving overall culture.

As the saying goes, the ‘best things in life are free’, and employee perks and rewards are no exception. With company initiatives like flexible working and unlimited holidays becoming more and more commonplace, many small businesses are signing up to external schemes that offer so much more to employees than just the common perks of the job.

Thanks to these numerous schemes and initiatives, you and your colleagues can now benefit from rewards such as discounts, freebies, cashback, and even actual products — turning your office from workplace into a perkplace.

Dive into our list below to discover eight of the best free perks that you and your colleagues could be benefitting from.

The business perks you and your employees can enjoy

1. Sign up your office to a business travel frequent flyer programme for perks the whole team can enjoy

If you find yourself booking a lot of business flights for your colleagues or bosses then signing up your company to a free frequent flyer programme will save you time and money. Many airlines now offer loyalty programmes aimed specifically at passengers flying for work, with business rewards varying from free flights and cabin upgrades to seat reservations and extra baggage allowance.

Lufthansa Group, for example, offers a PartnerPlusBenefit programme that can be used with 11 different airlines and in addition to collecting miles with your personal air miles loyalty programme. Not only will your company collect points every time one of your colleagues flies, but their perks include free cabin upgrades, global hotel vouchers or even gadgets for your office — how about that free coffee machine everyone keeps asking for?

2. Propose the business signs up to a ‘perks-at-work’ scheme

Everyone loves a freebie, and platforms such as Perkbox and Perks at Work are a great incentive to drive employee engagement and create a better working atmosphere. Benefit from discounts and gift cards, as well as monthly offers such as free hot drinks from your favourite coffee house. For example, you can purchase a £50 gift card for a top retailer for the price of £47. Little and often, it all adds up.

Discounted cinema tickets are one of the more popular rewards, which can be an ideal location for a social event with colleagues outside of working hours.

In particular, Perkbox suits businesses of any size, so small businesses can benefit just as much as large ones. Although it may cost your business to set up an account, you and your colleagues will reap the benefits every month, free of charge.

3. Keep in contact with local businesses

Sometimes keeping it local is the best way to free perks. Could your business come to an agreement with that bakery around the corner or the nearby leisure centre to see if you can get any sort of ‘neighbouring perks’? A bakery may offer discounts to local businesses buying in bulk, whilst many independent cafés offer loyalty card schemes where you and your employees will get a stamp for every purchase. What better way to burn off those calories than an after-work trip to the local gym? It’s common for leisure centres to offer discounted gym memberships or facility usage for nearby businesses.

4. Shared technology and gadgets

One initiative that small businesses are adopting is communal technology and gadgets. Many companies are introducing gadgets like tablets or Kindles that employees can share and use, saving them the need to buy their own. These initiatives are also very handy for a quick, temporary replacement if your personal gadget is broken, lost, or running on empty. Kindles can also harbour shared books, meaning everyone can enjoy the online library at no extra cost.

5. Look for rewards that are linked with your work pension

Sometimes your work pension can offer rewards. Smart Pension, for example, offers a Smart Rewards scheme where you and your colleagues can enjoy cashback on everything from retail purchases and insurance to airport parking. This account can be linked to the business bank account or a personal card. To save time, bookmark the page and remain signed in, so all you’d need to do is click on the tab and choose your cashback.

6. Create a ‘cashback’ account

There are a number of free online cashback accounts that anyone can sign up to. Quidco and TopCashback are arguably the best examples of cashback and voucher sites available. These sites offer cashback percentages on thousands of stores across the UK and the money earned can be paid into a business bank account; that’s one way to pay for the office Christmas party bar tab!

As well as cashback returns, these sites also offer discount codes to apply on top of the cashback rate, meaning you and your colleagues can save even more money. In addition, a ‘refer a friend’ scheme means you’ll be rewarded with cash for anyone who signs up to an account using a unique friend referral URL. For example, Quidco offers £5 for every friend who signs up using the referral link. So, if you sign up five people, that’s £25 into the business account.

7. Monitor bank account rewards

Your business will have a bank account so it’s best practice to check if there’s a rewards scheme connected to this. Santander and Nationwide are a few recognised financial service companies that offer such rewards, mainly in the form of cashback from a variety of retailers. Signing up for these rewards couldn’t be easier; simply click on the retailer you’re looking to buy from, use that business account card to pay, and then claim cashback for that ‘end-of-year business’ pot.

8. Download Google Extensions

One for outside the office, too, the Google Extension store offers a host of extensions that can contribute to discounts or voucher codes on purchased goods. Pouch and Honey will become your best friend as they instantly and automatically find discounts or voucher codes for your retailer as you checkout online, saving you time and effort manually searching. A handy pop-up also notifies you of all the voucher codes, meaning you don’t lose your place at the checkout.

Whatever you’re purchasing, and whoever for, you and your colleagues can reap the benefits of perks and rewards from a number of platforms, all at no extra cost. So be the most popular person in the office and introduce your colleagues to the schemes available, turning your workplace into a perkplace.

Be your office hero by accessing perks the whole team can enjoy. Learn how by downloading our PartnerPlusBenefit Point Redemption Guide

PartnerPlusBenefit Point Redemption Guide