Hacked Off on PR Perks

When I left journalism to work in PR I was expecting a bigger salary (well it could hardly have been smaller), and lots of fabulous perks. Over the years these perks have become, well, a bit silly. I love a day off, but really, couldn’t I just have a company car?

Here are the types of “rewards” firms are offering these days:

Massages. It used to be that a company would offer you a spa day. Now you are lucky if someone comes into the office once a year and pummels your shoulders for five minutes. Still, as long as the boss isn’t asking me to give her neck a rub, I’m not complaining.

Days off. You get sick days when you aren’t sick, duvet days and some places even let you take your birthday off. How about I get my kids’ birthdays off too? And the wife’s? And my best friend’s?

Leave-early Friday. This seems to have been a thing in the regions for years. I have never been able to get hold of my clients north of Watford after lunch time on a Friday.

Dress-down days. This used to just be Fridays, but it can be expensive buying outfits that are casual without being scruffy, only to wear them one day a week. So now lots of firms let you wear what the hell you like whenever. Judging from the awful clothes some people in my office strut around in, this is a bad idea. Lycra should never be worn at work.

Free fruit. Companies like to claim they are interested in your health. They aren’t, they just want you to turn up every day. A bowl of fruit is a feeble attempt to look caring.

Coffee bars. Making sure you are awake and full of (coffee) beans is a no-brainer for companies. The generous ones give you free coffee from a smart coffee machine. The meaner ones rent out part of the office to a coffee company and then expect you to be grateful that you can buy an overpriced latte there.

Friday booze. Some agencies wheel out a trolley of drink on a Fiday, although never before 5pm. My office gave this up after an unfortunate incident involving one of the staff getting so inebriated they decided to strip. Unfortunately he wasn’t one of the lookers.

A bonus. Now we’re talking. I have never had a bonus, as all the companies I work for seem to stop making huge profits as soon as I join them for some reason.

A pension. If you have a good pension scheme, crack open the Champagne.

A car. Only joking! Who gets cars anymore?

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