5 Atypical Employee Benefits

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Sabbaticals—Both Paid and Unpaid

A common trend among the 2010 winners of the Top Small Company Workplaces was to offer employee benefits outside of the typical package offerings. On such offering is providing time off to improve professional skills: not so uncommon. However, many companies offer it with or without pay and vary the weeks offered based on years of service. Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, based in Ventura, California, provides 16-week, unpaid sabbaticals at every year of service. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based technology consultancy MAYA Design offers six weeks of paid leave at five years of service.