What perks does your job offer to promote family life?
You work long hours, and wish you could get that work-life balance thing straight. Does your workplace drive you like you don't have a family? Or does it offer unexpected perks for your family? Share the best and worst things your company has done for you.

In the middle of the desert in Egypt lies a big factory town, manufacturing pipes for oil and petrol. The hostels are tall, wide, bleak buildings, housing workers that have come the thousands of miles from China to make a living and send money back home to their families.

Wired.com reports that the Chinese company soon realised a work environment such as this might not be conducive to employer morale. Their solution? To build four theme parks right next to the factories, with a family hotel, to entertain the workers and their families.  

We won't be able to confirm the morale levels among the employees of TEDA after Fun Valley was erected, and the theme parks themselves are a tad old-fashioned and strange. But it does impress to think that the company – not a creative agency, not a "fun" food chain, but a manufacturing plant – dropped $5.6 million into the middle of a desert to make their workforce happy. Or like they say, "inject a happy force".

Here are a few family perks we've come across:

  • Toyota SA has an annual Family Day, inviting employees and their families to a big day out with a braai and entertainment. 
  • Some companies, like Facebook, Apple and Spotify, offer free egg-freezing for young female employees.
  • Facebook also offers thousands of dollars in cash to every new parent to help with nappy and nanny costs.
  • Netflix offers a fully paid one-year parental leave! Change.org offers 18 weeks of paid parental leave to every parent (male or female, biological or non-biological). 
  • Kindergartens at the office: Campbell Soup is taking this a step further with after-school and school holiday programmes.
  • Many companies, including Media24, now have breastfeeding rooms, enabling mothers to express breastmilk in peace and privacy, on a comfortable chair, and store the milk in a separate, private fridge.
  • Working flexi time is a great benefit for parent and one that more companies are willing to negogiate.
  • You may take your pet dog to work at select companies.
  • The World Wildlife Fund gives their employers Panda Days – they get every second Friday off.
  • Family travel! AirBnB gives their workers a few thousand dollars' worth of travel every year to go and stay anywhere in the world. And some airlines offer free air travel to their employees and their families.
  • Pinterest offers their employees who were on parental leave two counselling sessions to help them when returning to work. 
  • Mattel offers their employees 16 hours off a year for those school events you can't miss. 
  • Various companies also offer financial assistance to parents who want to adopt.
  • Microsoft's healthcare policy is the first one in the world to cover treatment for autism.

What are the best job perks you've heard of that helps the employee - male or female - spend more quality time with their family? And which companies are the worst? Send your comments to chatback@parent24.com for possible publication.

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