Keeping the staff serious about work and on-task is highly important to any boss looking out for their business. But the well-being of the employees is necessary too in order to keep them satisfied with their choice to work for a particular company.

A few perks here and there will add a little fun to the workplace and employees will appreciate the thought that goes into offering them. These 5 cool company perks will liven up the atmosphere and keep workplace satisfaction in check, thus increasing overall productivity. Try one or all of these at your company and the feedback and results are sure to be positive!

Half-Day Summer Fridays

You may be thinking, "How will all the work get done if I let the staff out early?" Well, it will, and the staff will be happy to get it done in time. Think about it. During summertime, no one can wait for the weekend to come to get to the beach, picnic in the park, or soak up the sun poolside. The summer itch, so to speak, creeps up as the week heads to its end, and employees can get restless. Minds wander, goofing off becomes a little more prevalent, and dreams of fun in the sun replace flowcharts and spreadsheets. If an employer presents the perk of ½ day summer Fridays, if, and only if, the week's work is sufficiently complete, you'll marvel at the output the staff can put out.

Some staff members may even agree to put in a little more time during the other days of the week to reap the rewards of the ½ day summer Friday. According to Entrepreneur, "Eighty-seven percent of those who had summer hours said this benefit contributed to a healthy work/life balance and 76 percent agreed summer Friday policies were an effective tool to boost productivity. Putting in a couple of extra hours from Monday through Thursday in exchange for a short day on Friday, or taking Fridays off completely, seems like a fair trade off."

So "let the dogs out" and summertime will become even more enjoyable, both in and out of the office. As a matter of fact, as per Justworks, "Overworked employees sleep less, drink more, and cost companies more for healthcare." So a little time off is money saved by the company.

Education Reimbursement

Any wise employer seeks out a knowledgeable staff, but any smarty can benefit from even more education. But as well all know, going back to school for another degree or even taking a few classes on weekends or evenings can be costly. Offer your employees who are serious about furthering their education a priceless perk. Pay the tuition or match their cost and split the bill.

While at first this may seem out of budget, the benefits long term will pay for it all, both for the employee and the company as a whole. The employee will become better at what they do by learning the latest and greatest in their field and by expanding their knowledge in general.

As Officevibe notes, "A more educated workforce means a more productive workforce. If employees know they don't have to worry about the cost of those programs and that your company encourages them to develop their skills, they'll be happier at work." Additionally, the employee will feel a sense of loyalty to the company, as Andrew Jensen, Efficiency, Growth & Marketing points out. With a worker that's bound to stick around, the company will save money in the HR department thanks to time saved from recruiting and interviewing which could take months. Jensen notes, "In many companies, contracts are signed between employer and employee as part of the tuition reimbursement program in which the employee agrees to remain a part of the company for a set period of time (usually around 3-5 years) after the company finances their education."

A+ to that!

Gym Memberships

The health of a company's employees is important for a number of reasons. Fewer sick days, high-energy, and positive sense of self are just a few benefits of a fit staff. Get your employees encouraged to move and keep in shape with the perk of free gym memberships. Local gyms may partner up with you for a bulk membership deal making it a win-win for everyone.

Not only are traditional memberships a favored perk, but some companies are now bringing the fitness frenzy right into the office. According to Forbes, "Many companies are now bringing fitness into the office by sponsoring yoga, Pilates or CrossFit. And some companies have given each employee a Fitbit tracking device to help them keep on top of their progress."

An article in the New York Times notes, "When employees exercise more often and eat better, productivity increases and health care costs go down." And Chron adds, "Business owners can deduct (from their taxes) the costs of membership fees paid to benefit their employees. Furthermore, in limited circumstances, they can exclude the value of their gym benefits as income to their employees."

This do-a-body-good perk will not only please the already fitness-minded, but give those couch potato types a reason to consider working out. Your staff will feel and look better, and the increase in productivity will come along with the boost of endorphins and gratitude. They'll get pumped up in more ways than one!

Flexible Work Hours

If someone's a morning person but the office doesn't open 'till 10:30, valuable and productive work hours are lost. Same goes for those night owls who find their inspiration in the latter part of the day. If a company can swing it, and particular hours aren't necessarily required, allowing employees to have a flexible, yet reasonable schedule is a perk that is not only free for the employer, but freeing for the staff.

As Officevibe puts it, "Flexible schedules are about showing your employees that you respect them and trust them enough to make their own decisions."

As long as the work gets done and there's not much interruption around the office with this plan, then this flexible scheduling will allow employees to put in their finest hours and work when they're at their peak. This is also helpful for parents who need to get home to their children, folks who have a second job or volunteer, and those with commutes that are difficult.

Flexibility with employees will become a two-way street too. When the boss needs something out of the norm, these workers will be more than happy to comply. Plus, as per Entrepreneur, a survey conducted by FlexJobs resulted in the following, "20 percent of survey respondents would take a 10 percent pay cut for flexible work options. Twenty-two percent would be willing to forgo health benefits. 18 percent would be willing to work more hours." Benefits to the company are clear.

Company Trips

An annual or bi-annual company retreat is not only fun, but brings the team closer together and aligned in teamwork. A paid day outside the office with food, fun, and festivities is always appreciated and something to look forward to.

Whether an employer takes the team to an amusement park, a beach party, or a day of wine tasting, it's all about the comradery rather than the destination itself. A boss can surprise the staff each time or have each person put an idea into a hat and let the team select.

The day off will allow for the employees to unwind and reset their brains while allowing people who don't normally interact on a daily basis to get to know one another a little better. This bond helps with productivity among the group and with customers. According to Entrepreneur, "A team that acts like a family tends to have better communication, enhanced trust and appreciation for one another and increased productivity. Creating this tight-knit environment doesn't only strengthen internal relationships, it also filters into interactions with customers, which can make them feel like part of the team."

Additionally, you may find that employees have hidden talents outside their job qualifications that can help the business save money from having to hire another person for a task. As per Life Source Retreats, "A team building corporate retreat will allow your company to maximize the talent pool that it already have."

Are you perked up for company perks? These 5 can be implemented in nearly any field and employees will feel all the perkier with these tokens of appreciation from the higher-ups.

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I thought I had a pretty good handle on my finances out of school. I worked several jobs while attending university and had little to no problem managing my income. However, once I graduated, I realized how much more complicated personal accounting could really be.

There were so many variables I needed to keep track of. Biweekly bills, monthly charges, and general necessities amounted to a heap of confusing numbers that were often impossible to decipher. The funniest part was that I was actually trying to do this by hand (I don't know what I was trying to prove to myself, either).

After messing up for the 17th time, I decided to give Microsoft Excel a shot. I used Excel a bit in school and I knew all the big-wig finance people used it, so what could I possibly have to lose? The answer is about six hours of my precious time. Excel isn't much of an improvement over handwriting and it's still dependent on the user to manually input all of the information. It's like doing everything by hand with the slightest help, meaning that it still required a tremendous amount of time and concentration. Well that was all for nothing, I guess.

It's sort of funny. I was certain that I could manage my personal finances with ease, when it's practically a full-time job. I was already stressed out enough with my first job and I knew I didn't have enough time to give my finances the attention it deserved.

That's why I decided to try out a budgeting app. My best friend told me that he uses an app called Truebill to manage his finances. "What does it even mean to manage your finances?" I asked him. He told me that Truebill was the personal financial assistant I wished I could have. It could aggregate all of my account information into one place and give me specific insights and actions.

I loved the idea of having full control over my finances, especially during a time of financial uncertainty, and I realized that Truebill would be the easiest way to accomplish this. The user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive, so it doesn't even feel like a finance app! Truebill offers a multitude of features, with their most popular being the ability to cancel subscriptions with the press of a button.

Okay, I had no idea how many subscriptions I was still subscribed to. In fact, I wasn't even using a quarter of the subscription services I was signed up for. Subscription boxes, streaming services, my old gym, and even an old subscription to my favorite magazine--it was all there and I was livid. How could I let myself waste all of this money and how did I never catch this? Thank goodness for Truebill.

Truebill also offers bill negotiations. There is a 40% fee based on how much you save and Truebill even claims that there is an 85% chance that they'll be able to lower your bill once a negotiation is requested. Why wouldn't I take them up on this? There was zero risk and I would only have to pay once my bill was lowered (which means that I would be saving money regardless).

More standard features of Truebill include the ability to generate a credit report on-demand and even request a pay advance. I only used the pay advance feature once when I wanted to buy a gift for my mom, but didn't have enough cash in hand and Truebill automatically reimbursed itself when I got my next paycheck.

The credit report is another fantastic feature and practically taught me what good credit meant. Truebill's credit report basically shows you which financial decisions have the most significant impact on your credit score and ways that you can improve your credit month-over-month. I've never had such control over my credit and it feels good.

I'll be the first to admit that I was extremely naive coming out of school. I figured that as long as I was attentive, I could manage my finances with ease. We manage money to some extent throughout our entire lives, but once you're thrown out on your own, it's a completely different story. With Truebill, I've finally been able to take control over my finances and stay on top of all of my responsibilities.

Update: Our friends at Truebill are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to sign-up for Truebill.

My buddies and I always try to make it out to a game, but we never really care which one we end up at. Obviously we have our favorite sports and teams, but it was rarely about what game we went to or who we saw playing. It was about watching the game live.

In the early months of lockdown, all we had was Korean baseball, and trust me, we loved it. The only issue was, none of us had any idea what the commentators were saying. Even then, a few of my friends weren't huge fans of baseball. They were into sports like football and basketball, ones that moved at a quicker pace with less down-time in between plays.

We decided to see if there were any other events going down and came across horse racing. Yes, horse racing. It was perfect--short, fast-paced, and most importantly, an opportunity for betting.

I had never really considered watching a horse race any time other than the Belmont Stakes, but the prospects of the sport seemed exhilarating. Even better, with horse racing we knew we could still recreate the atmosphere of a race track. Salty snacks? Check. Stale beer? Check. A simple and easy way to bet? Check.

One quick Google search later, we came across TVG, powered by FanDuel. It's an online betting platform that takes you right to the heart of the action. We were a little apprehensive about using a mobile app to place our bets, but TVG's ability to bet on live horse races from all over the world was too good to pass up.

Here are 5 reasons why we are obsessed with horse racing thanks to TVG:

1. Betting has never been easier

Use your phone or computer to watch and bet on live horse races in real-time. TVG offers a bunch of features to make betting even simpler--live odds and handicapping tips leverage recent learnings to help you make your best bet. Not to mention, TVG's exclusive race content and wagering guide offers an under-the-hood look into the strategy behind horse race betting.

2. The biggest selection of horse races out there

If you're looking to drop a little dough on a horse race, chances are your best option is your local race track. But watching the same few horses races over and over again isn't the most exciting thing. With TVG you have access to over 150 tracks worldwide with races happening consistently throughout the day.

3. Get a generous sign-up offer when you place your first bet

Once you register your account, you will be eligible for a $200 risk-free bet. All you have to do is place your first bet and you're covered. If you happen to lose, TVG will insure you for up to $200 as a sort of wagering credit. I may have been a little trigger happy when placing my first bet, so having this insurance was a great perk. There are also a bunch of promotional offers available year-round.

4. Making deposits and cashing out at the touch of button

With a ton of payment options such as PayPal, BetCash, debit/credit, wire transfers, and other third-party services, making a deposit is a breeze. But what about the payout? Depending on your deposit method, your withdrawal will be available in a few days. No more waiting in-line to collect your winnings!

5. Watching live races with your friends while betting is exhilarating

Even when we were watching Korean baseball, Zoom calls with my friends were a little dull.

With TVG, we haven't had this sort of fun in months! Every weekend we'll turn on a race and throw our bets in. After a few races, and quite a few drinks, we'll tally up our winnings to see who won the most! Sometimes it's not even about making money, but just having a good time.

TVG is the perfect way to add a little excitement to an otherwise mundane afternoon. It introduced me to the world of horse racing, a sport I never would have considered otherwise.

The races just keep ramping up and thanks to TVG, I can always get in on the fun.

UPDATE: The biggest derby in horse racing is THIS WEEKEND. Get in on the action with your $200 risk-free bet!

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