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Small Business Tips

Small business perks you can offer with little budget

Manasa Reddigari

You don't need a big-company budget to offer employee perks that will keep your staff happy, healthy and motivated.

Read on for a selection of enticing employee perks you can offer on a small business budget.

Small business perks to consider


Letting employees work from home one or more days a week can boost their morale by signaling that you trust in their work ethic. The employee perk can also increase their productivity if there are fewer distractions at home. Today, numerous job functions are remote-friendly, from accounting to web development.

Commuter benefits

If jobs at your business can't be performed remotely, consider offering commuter benefits as one of your employee perks. Some ideas might include discounted access to local public transportation or gas cards for employees who drive.

Flexible schedules

If your employees deliver work on deadline and need not be in the office or online at certain times, it makes sense to offer them flexible schedules. This employee perk allows employees to escape the 9 to 5 grind and work when they feel most productive.

Pet-friendly workplace

Studies show that pet-friendly work environments reduce employee stress. Allowing employees to bring their four-legged friends to work creates a fun and familial work atmosphere. It also affords convenience for pet owners who need to keep an eye on their pets during the day.

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Professional development

Employees feel most motivated to work at a business over the long-run when it commits to investing in their future. Hosting live or web seminars, sending employees to local conferences or inviting industry professionals to deliver talks gives employees the knowledge they need to improve their craft.

Team outings

Most small businesses can't afford to host grand offsite event in Hawaii for their employees. But they can still commit to fostering team spirit and encouraging downtime by hosting budget-friendly off-site events. These employee perks can include trips to local fairs, movies, museums or casual Friday lunches.

Drinks and snacks

Well-funded start-ups are known for their enviable kitchen stock. If you have a tighter budget, consider fueling your employee base by keeping the break room or cafe stocked with essentials like coffee, tea, juice and healthy snacks.

Company freebies

Small businesses that can't afford large-scale employee discount programs can still gift their employees with their own products or services. If you can't provide them for free, provide them at a discount. Employees will gain access to a useful product or service while improving their engagement with your company offering.

Holiday shutdown

Temporarily closing your business during the last week of the year gives employees time to rest and rejuvenate during the holidays without feeling guilty about taking vacation. Are the holidays a busy time for your business? Implement the shutdown during an off-peak time of year.

If you decide to throw a holiday party, don't forget those may potentially be deductible.

Dedicated rest areas

You may not be able to replicate the luxurious employee lounge in the Google headquarters on a small business budget. But you can still create a cozy rest area for employees to relax or mingle with co-workers. Establishing a dedicated lounge or break room is a simple way to make employees feel at home at work.

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