Best Places to Work

12 Amazing Side Perks for Portland Workers

From ski passes and unlimited vacation time to massages and gyms, these Oregon companies are going beyond the kegerator.

By Jennifer Lagdameo December 31, 2019 Published in the January 2020 issue of Portland Monthly


In addition to a 20 percent discount, employees of local grocery chain New Seasons also partake in a “Blue Slip” program that gives them “edible but unsaleable” food for free. // Twice a year Schoolhouse hosts a covetable employees-only sale where staff can shop seconds and returns of the high-end household furnishings at cheaper prices.


Employees at Mt. Hood Meadows are eligible for a free season pass that also works at several other Northwest ski areas. They can also qualify for dependent passes, free group
lessons, and discounted rentals.


In addition to being dog and child friendly, Boly:Welch is also a massage-friendly office. Employees can pay for private massages at
the office in either “The Nap Room,” which has a cot, or “The Lactation Room.”


Vancouver, Washington–based Pacific Energy Concepts offers perks including regularly catered meals, a hairstylist on site twice a month, an in-house gym and personal trainers—as well as unlimited paid time off when employees are meeting their objectives. 


The Adidas campus in North Portland—which is currently undergoing a major multimillion-dollar expansion—features a Maker Lab. Decked out with a full range of machines and equipment, the space allows employees to take a break from work and stretch their creative muscles.


With a supervisor’s approval, Vacasa employees are eligible for unlimited paid vacation. // Living Room Realty actively encourages workers to take as much time off as they can: if they skip out five days off in a row, they can get a $500 bonus. “You really need a full week off at least once a year to fully restore,” explains Living Room Realty marketing director Shanon Emerson.


Educational hardware maker Vernier has been offering paid volunteer time to its employees for close to 20 years. Every employee is eligible for four hours paid volunteering per month (or can roll it to the next month).


German-owned North Portland truck maker Daimler makes morning drop-offs easy with a reduced cost, on-site day care center—built with KinderCare for to 118 kids at a time (workers save major bucks on day care costs each year). // At Oregon Children’s Theater, children of employees can take classes for free, and staffers can confidentially donate leave time to colleagues in need.


Who knows if it will become as beloved as “Summer Fridays”—which allow Nike full-time employees to leave at noon between Memorial Day and Labor Day—but the company just opened its epic on-campus gyms to all full-time employees (and their families) for free. It includes a giant climbing wall and a pool with a floating obstacle course.


Website maker Squarespace sponsors a wide range of “resource groups” for employees that have historically faced marginalization or underrepresentation in the workplace. Its Portland office boasts Tran[email protected], supplying the office with inclusive pronoun pins.


Dealing with homes that have water and mold damage on a daily basis can be taxing, so Oregon Restoration owner Ryan Gilyeat offers workers two-week paid sabbaticals after five years of employment on top of regular vacation hours. “People start to burn out after five years,” he says. “I want them to take enough time off to do something that makes them feel human.”


Beyond the kombucha on tap and an endless stream of healthy snacks, Airbnb’s Portland office also provides employees with free breakfast, lunch, and a bartender who serves drinks every afternoon.

Filed under
Show Comments