Low Cost Employee Benefits You Should Start Considering

As a small business owner, everything you do is on a budget. You might be trying to save money every chance you get and rid your business of unnecessary expenses. Some employers like to cut corners when it comes to employee expenses. But, without happy and motivated employees, you won’t have a successful company. Low cost employee benefits can help your business budget and keep employees motivated.

Low cost employee benefits

The most popular employee benefits that might spring to mind include health care insurance and small business retirement plans. Though employee insurance costs can be high, very small business owners can receive the health insurance tax credit, saving them significant money.

As an employer, you need to know about free and inexpensive employee benefits. There are many ways to show your appreciation for your employees without doling out large sums of cash.

Here are some free employee perks you might consider:

  • Flextime
  • Telecommuting
  • Casual dress code
  • Company socials
  • Pet therapy

Here are some low cost employee benefits:

  • Company-sponsored events
  • Paid time off
  • Wellness benefits
  • Employee referral program
  • Educational assistance program

Low Cost Employee Benefits

Free employee benefits

These are cost-free options you can offer employees.


Some businesses allow their employees to have flexible work arrangements. Flextime is where an employee can choose their work hours each day. At the same time, they make sure to get in their required hours.

For example, your business opens at 8:00 a.m and closes at 5:00 p.m. An employee might want to work from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. instead to accommodate their personal life. With flextime, employees can determine their schedules to a certain extent.

Flextime might not be good if your business sells goods to customers. You need employees to be there during store hours. But if your employees do office work, project design, or computer development, flextime might be a good option.


Let your employees work remotely from home. When employees telecommute, they can get all their work done without having to come into your business.

As long as the employee has internet access, they can stay connected with your business and communicate with other employees on team projects.

Telecommuting could even save you the cost of office space. An employee who works exclusively from home does not need a desk. Or, maybe you have an employee who works remotely on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and another employee who works remotely on Tuesday and Thursday. These two employees could share their office space.

Casual dress code

Instead of requiring business attire, you could let employees wear whatever they’re comfortable in. Jeans and a sweatshirt? No problem.

Of course, this depends on the type of business you run. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might not be able to give your employees this perk.

Company socials

Throughout the year (especially during holidays), you can encourage on-site company socials during work hours. To avoid spending money on food and drink, ask employees to bring a dish.

This potluck-style event lets employees socialize and get a break from work. And, you don’t need to spend money by catering or going somewhere off-site, like a restaurant.

Pet therapy

Sometimes, employees need a little pick-me-up. Pet therapy is a great way to give employees a break and let them ease tension and stress by playing with dogs. You can invite local shelters to bring in dogs or ask your employees to bring in their own.

Before having pet therapy at your business, check to make sure nobody has allergies or problems with the event. You don’t want to end up taking an employee to the ER because they have an allergy attack at your pet therapy session.

Low cost employee benefits

Free benefits are a great perk to both you and employees. Sometimes, though, it’s good to spend a little on your employees. Take a look at some of these inexpensive employee benefits you might want to try.

Company-sponsored events

A company-sponsored event can be similar to an on-site company social. You might host it to celebrate holidays or milestones at your business. A company-sponsored event is completely paid for by the business.

You can host a company-sponsored event off-site, like at a restaurant, party center, or roller skating rink. Or, you can have a company-sponsored event at your business location and hire a catering service. Employees do not need to worry about making a dish or spending money.

At company-sponsored events, you might consider having raffles, commemorating employees for jobs well done, and giving prizes. Maybe, you give employees cash bonuses or gift cards. Whatever you decide to do, you can do so on a budget while showing your appreciation for your employees.

Paid time off

Offering employees paid time off (PTO) is a great benefit they will appreciate. You can decide how many days you want to give them off from work.

Pay employees their normal wages while they are using their PTO. Employees can use paid time off for vacations, when they’re sick, or if they just need a break.

Wellness benefits

Having wellness programs at work motivates employees to take care of themselves. You can offer gym memberships and/or free screenings as part of your wellness program.

With most wellness programs, it’s beneficial to offer employees incentives. For example, you might give employees extra paid time off or bonus pay if they meet their wellness goals.

Employee referral program

If you don’t already have one at your business, consider setting up an employee referral program. Not only is this a benefit to employees, it is also a great way for sourcing candidates to fill open positions.

Let employees know about the program. Typically, they will need to fill out a form to refer someone they know. If you end up hiring the person they refer, give them a cash bonus.

Educational assistance program

An educational assistance, or tuition reimbursement, program encourages employees to continue their education. The classes they attend can drastically help improve their knowledge and overall job performance.

With an educational assistance program, you can pay for part or all of the classes an employee takes. You can establish program terms and conditions, like reimbursing only if the employee gets a B grade or higher.

The benefit of employee benefits

Free and low cost employee benefits might seem like they will cost your business time. Instead, they have the potential to maximize employee productivity.

Employees who feel appreciated will want to work harder, and they will feel rejuvenated after having breaks from work.


Get the latest small business news delivered straight to your inbox!

Most popular blog categories