// you’re reading...

education and career

fringe benefits of being employed

WSA adsense code -->

The benefits of going to work for a living.

There are many ways of generating an income, and lots of people seem to ideologically favour working for yourself, or working at home. Being your own boss is the great way to wealth apparently. Probably wouldn’t work for me, but each to their own.

One of the things that people who are for some reasonable reason against being employed talk about, especially those advocates of stay at home parenting, are the hidden costs of working. I’m talking about things like commuting, eating lunch out, buying nice clothes, conveniences that you use which you wouldn’t if you spent more time at home.

This got me thinking about the converse. The things that you can get from your workplace that would cost you money to have to provide for yourself. I mean, just like you don’t notice the hidden costs of working, so maybe we don’t notice the hidden benefits of working.

  • At my current job we get free stationery, not exactly for our own personal use, but still a pen is a pen.
  • My walking commute enables me to exercise easily for free.
  • I have to travel to London at least once a month, and I can use this train ticket to meet up with friends or family for dinner or drinks and then head back to my own place for no additional cost.
  • There’s a subsidised gym (which I don’t use)
  • It gets me out of the house everyday and talking to real people. What can I say, I’m an introvert at heart
  • They heat the place. If I had to heat my house all day, that would get expensive pretty quickly.
  • Let me know what benefits you get out of work.

    Similar Posts:

    If you like what you're reading, why not leave a comment below, subscribe to my feed, or check out some of my best posts.


    12 comments for “fringe benefits of being employed”

    1. Apart from the obvious health and retirement benefits:

      Paid professional development - as well as expensive QS-specific seminars I do all the stupid “improve your emailing etiquette” courses I’m offered, they’re paid for and I might learn something.

      Like your pen example, fax and copier use, the odd envelope and the investing magazine from the office’s copy of the newspaper etc.

      Breakfast once a week, varied lunches, dinner and taxi fare when I work late, etc.

      Points on work expenses I put on my credit card.

      Professional membership - I think I lose my chartered designations if this isn’t paid for and kept up to date. And associated with this, the discounts (hotels, insurance, etc) that members of my organization get.

      Heat and light is a big one here in Toronto. When my husband was home last winter we spent an awful lot on utilities during the day.

      Posted by guinness416 | March 31, 2009, 3:56 pm
    2. also the peace of mind that you are not liable if the venture goes under!

      Posted by neimanmarxist | March 31, 2009, 4:02 pm
    3. I really like this post! I have often been asked if I will ever have my own practice, and at this point in my career, I don’t think it’s right for me. Here are a few “hidden” things I really value at work.
      1. Social support-If I’m having a rough time with something at work, I have a few colleagues with whom I can commisserate and they understand fully. When I was a grad student working on my dissertation alone at home, there was no one to vent with when the stats program wasn’t cooperating. My dog just wasn’t the support I needed right then.
      2. Professional Development-I’ll second what guiness416 said here. I’ve been to many conferences, seminars, and workshops that work has paid for that I probably wouldn’t have gone on if I had to pay out of pocket (too frugal sometimes!) I learn new things and network with other professionals.
      3. Employee Assistance Program-my company covers the cost for short-term counseling/consultation on myriad areas of concern
      4. Getting to know and access a different part of town-My office is located in a historical area that I would probably never go to if I didn’t work here, but I’ve found neat shops, restaurants, and parks by wandering around at lunch
      5. Collegiality-If I was practicing completely on my own, I would not have built in colleagues who work with the same clients. I value the input and ideas that my colleagues provide, and the comfort in knowing other people can cover for me if I have an illness/emergency
      6. Books/Resources-If I worked alone at home, it would be expensive and difficult to compile a library of books and resources that my emloyer gives me access to
      7. Access to a variety of experts-I don’t do the things I’m not good at (e.g., billing) because my company has staff for that. If I practiced on my own, I would most likely do this myself, at least at the outset until I built up my practice.

      These are just off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more.

      Posted by psychsarah | March 31, 2009, 5:07 pm
    4. Yes, I agree with you .. these costs are hidden and we are getting benefits which we don’t realize! now many countries are levying the corporates for these ‘fringe benefits’ they are offering to employees!

      Posted by Steve | April 1, 2009, 10:17 am
    5. I work as a seasonal contractor. My family and friends are constantly asking me when I will start my own business.
      They all assume it is my goal, but
      I currently have no plans to do so-for the reasons listed above, liability, perks and socialising, but also for the relative freedom. Based on the small business owners and contractors I know, self employment seems like the equivalent of having a really demanding baby. A paperwork spewing, time-eating baby. the concept of being your own boss does sound more rewarding than ‘earning money for someone else’, but I love the freedom of being able to travel and get out of town relatively easily and pretty much whenever I want- I would be more tied down as a business owner. ( no big surprise I don’t have kids, either? :P )

      Posted by Jen | April 2, 2009, 2:38 pm
    6. I disagree!

      A pen is not just a pen. I will only write with Pilot G-2 mini’s.


      Posted by rocketc | April 2, 2009, 4:02 pm
    7. You’re reaching there a bit with the… pen…

      Posted by Shadox | April 3, 2009, 11:10 am
    8. Well, on this side of the pond, of course, possibly the most important perk of working for a company or government agency is health insurance.

      As one who has owned a incorporated business and also has worked for others, I’d rather be a worker bee than an owner or independent contractor any day. Because…

      When you’re an employee, you don’t have to worry about the reams and paperwork and the mind-numbingly complex taxation and government rules.

      You can have a life outside the office.

      You can have a life outside your home.

      Trotting in to an office gives you an opportunity to meet people and make friends.

      You get to travel on the company’s dime. Socializing at conferences gives you even more opportunities to meet people.

      Sometimes you get free university education or trade-group training.

      Unless you’re a marketing person, someone else goes out and hustles up the work.

      So much better…all of those!

      Posted by Funny about Money | April 4, 2009, 3:37 am
    9. I would say helping your mind stay active and nourishing your brain with new experience and knowledge. People who work until a late age or “never retire” tend to be more sharp, and generally a happier person. Do no underestimate the advantages of learning new things in social settings (sometimes you tend to see things from a different perspective). And you never know who and when you will meet- life is full of surprises you aren’t going to get staying at home.

      Posted by Bob | May 14, 2010, 12:36 am
    10. I was practicing completely on my own, I would not have built in colleagues who work with the same clients. I value the input and ideas that my colleagues provide, and the comfort in knowing other people can cover…

      Posted by Home for Sale | August 16, 2010, 11:02 am
    11. I will ever have my own practice, and at this point in my career, I don’t think it’s right for me. Here are a few “hidden” things I really value at work.

      Posted by Home for Sale | August 16, 2010, 11:02 am

    Post a comment

    Proud member of the