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  1. Blog
  2. Finding a Job
  3. May 15, 2024

The 6 Best Types of Employee Stipends, Ranked

Plus, learn more about the companies offering these stipends

woman working from home with a remote stipend
Photo courtesy of Samson Katt

This article is part of InHerSight's Finding a Job series. Discover our most popular and relevant resources for finding a job fast—at a company that cares as much about your career as you do.

Personal finances have historically—and understandably—been a consistent worry for people across the globe. The American Psychological Association’s 2023 Stress in America survey found that all age groups reported money and the economy as their most significant stressors, with these stressors continuing to increase since 2019.

In addition to offering a fair salary and comprehensive benefits package, one way for employers to ease some financial stress is by providing stipends. Stipends offer employees financial support, flexibility, and opportunities for personal and professional growth, making them an attractive, and very valuable, aspect of employment packages. They can be unique and near to the heart of the company’s mission, too. The dating app Hinge, for example, offers employees a monthly $200 dating stipend, and the pet care app Rover offers a one-time $1,000 stipend to help employees adopt or foster a pet.

If you’re an employer, offering stipends can give you a competitive advantage in attracting top talent. The availability of stipends serves as a reflection of your commitment to employee satisfaction and wellbeing and signals you’re invested in your employees’ long-term growth and advancement. 

In 2024, we asked our audience: “Beyond your regular benefits, which type of employer-provided stipend would be most enticing to you?” and respondents told us which stipends matter most to them.

Whether you’re an employer curious about your prospective employees’ must-haves or a jobseeker prioritizing financial support beyond just a salary, learn more about six of the best kinds of stipends, ranked, according to our data.

Read more: A Beginner's Guide to Retirement Plans & Financial Literacy

#1 best type of stipend: Remote work stipend 

According to InHerSight data, 23 percent of employees say a remote work stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is a remote work stipend and what can it be spent on?

With remote work here to stay, many companies provide stipends to help employees set up their home offices, helping them purchase necessary equipment, upgrade internet connections, or cover other expenses related to remote work. These stipends can be a valuable benefit for employees’ wellbeing, productivity, and satisfaction while working remotely.

A remote work stipend can be spent on:

  • Technology (laptops, monitors, keyboards, mice, software licenses, etc.)

  • Furniture (ergonomic chairs, desks, lighting, etc.)

  • Internet and utilities

  • Office supplies

  • A coworking space membership

Companies that offer a remote work stipend

  • Assembly AI: They offer a $1,000 work-from-home stipend for employees to use to improve their home office however they'd like. 

  • Buzzer: They offer a $500 work-from-home reimbursement to support employees’ home office setups.

  • Clever Inc.: They offer a $1,000 remote work stipend.

  • Databricks: Full-time employees may be reimbursed one time up to $500 (or currency equivalent) toward home office equipment.

  • dbt Labs: They offer a one-time stipend of $1,500 to use toward home office set-up. In each subsequent year, you may reimburse up to $400 relating to home office expenses.

  • Hyperproof: They offer a $1,000 remote office stipend.

Read more: The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Happening. These Are Realistic Ways to Negotiate Permanent Remote Work.

#2 best type of stipend: Health and wellness stipend 

According to InHerSight data, 18 percent of employees say a health and wellness stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is a health and wellness stipend and what can it be spent on?

The primary purpose of a health and wellness stipend is to encourage employees to prioritize their health by providing financial support for various wellness-related activities, services, and products. This type of stipend can promote a healthy workplace culture, ultimately benefiting both employees and employers.

A health and wellness stipend can be spent on:

  • Gym memberships

  • Wellness programs (nutrition counseling, stress management workshops, smoking cessation programs, mindfulness training, etc.)

  • Fitness equipment

  • Health screenings

  • Mental health services

  • Alternative therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, yoga classes, etc.)

Companies that offer a health and wellness stipend

  • Aurora Insight: They offer employees a health and wellness allowance of $100 per month to spend on anything related to health and wellness, including fitness classes, ski passes, gym equipment, mental health subscriptions, and more.

  • BetterUp: They offer employees $360 each year for wellness programs.

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): They offer a fitness allowance, and employees can take up to three hours per week of excused absence to focus on physical fitness.

  • JupiterOne: They offer up to $600 per year for wellness activities, such as gym memberships, fitness equipment, yoga, meditation, sports, and more.

  • MYR Group: Employees receive $1,200 annually for health and wellbeing-related purchases.

  • Ping Identity: They offer a $20 monthly health allowance, whether employees belong to a gym, participate in races, or workout at home.

  • Pittsburgh Regional Transit: Employees are eligible to earn a wellness credit, $200 (single coverage) or $400 (family coverage), after the completion of four wellness activities.

  • PS: They provide a monthly wellness stipend valid for fitness, massage, mental health services, and more.

Read more: 6 Emotional Wellness Programs That Help Employees Skill Up

#3 best type of stipend: Equipment stipend

According to InHerSight data, 14 percent of employees say an equipment stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is an equipment stipend and what can it be spent on?

An equipment stipend assists employees in acquiring the necessary tools, devices, or equipment to perform their job duties effectively. This type of stipend is most relevant in industries or roles where employees require specialized equipment or technology, including computer software, construction, or healthcare.

An equipment stipend can be spent on:

  • The purchase or upgrade of technology (laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, software licenses, etc.)

  • Industry-specific equipment or tools required for particular job functions (cameras for photographers, tools for tradespeople, scientific instruments for researchers, etc.)

  • Communications equipment (mobile phones, headsets, webcams, etc.), safety gear (personal protective equipment (PPE), safety goggles, helmets, etc.)

Companies that offer an equipment stipend

  • Circle: They offer employees a monthly $150 stipend to use on their cell phones.

  • Databricks: All full-time employees may be reimbursed one time up to $300 (or currency equivalent) toward workplace headphones. 

#4 best type of stipend: Vacation or experience stipend 

According to InHerSight data, 11 percent of employees say a vacation or experience stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is a vacation or experience stipend and what can it be spent on?

Unlike traditional stipends that cover work-related expenses, a vacation or experience stipend is specifically designated to encourage employees to take time off for rest and relaxation. It recognizes the importance of taking regular breaks from work to recharge and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment.

A vacation or experience stipend can be spent on:

  • Travel funds (airfare, accommodation, transportation, meals, activities, etc.)

  • Experience allowance (concert tickets, museum memberships, wellness retreats, cooking classes, outdoor adventures, etc.)

  • Wellness retreats or spa getaways 

Companies that offer a vacation or experience stipend

  • Airbnb: They offer employees an annual $2,000 stipend ($500 per quarter) to travel anywhere in the world in an Airbnb listing. 

  • Elevate Labs: They offer an annual travel stipend for employees to visit other people who work at the company.

  • StartPlaying: They offer one free “nerd convention,” plus one company sponsored offsite trip per year.

  • Travelzoo: They offer employees a $1,500 travel stipend.

#5 best type of stipend: Learning and professional development stipend 

According to InHerSight data, 10 percent of employees say a learning and development stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is a learning and development stipend and what can it be spent on?

Continuous learning and professional growth is essential in today's dynamic and competitive job market. Learning and professional development stipends support employees in pursuing educational opportunities, acquiring new skills, and advancing in their careers. 

A learning and development stipend can be spent on:

  • Financial assistance for formal education (undergraduate or graduate degrees, certificate programs, professional certifications, etc.)

  • Training courses (workshops, seminars, conferences, or online courses, etc.)

  • Books and materials

  • Membership fees (the cost of joining professional associations, networking groups, or industry organizations, etc.)

  • Coaching and mentorship

  • Skill-building activities (language courses, coding boot camps, public speaking workshops, leadership training programs, etc.)

Companies that offer a learning and development stipend

  • Boats Group: They offer employees $500 a year to use toward certifications, tuition, conferences, or anything that helps advance their professional skills.

  • BetterUp: They support employees’ continued growth through an annual $1,000 learning and development stipend.

  • Buzzer: They offer a learning and development of $1,000 per year toward education and professional development programs.

  • Chainalysis: They offer each employee $1,500 per year to invest in training, conferences, courses, and tools that enrich their career development.

  • Clever Inc.: They provide a professional development stipend of up to $500 every year for learning and development opportunities.

  • Databricks: Full-time employees are eligible to receive $1,000 (or currency equivalent) annually to support personal development in their job.

  • dbt Labs: They provide up to $500 per year to each employee to use on their own learning and development, however they see fit.

  • Deepwatch: They offer up to $6,000 annually per employee for professional development. 

  • PwC: They offer educational support up to $5,250 per calendar year.

  • VTS: They offer a learning and wellness stipend eligible for education activities, with a portion that can be used toward wellness, caregiving expenses, and desk tools.

#6 best type of stipend: Family-related stipend 

According to InHerSight data, 9 percent of employees say a family-related stipend would be the most enticing to them. 

What is a family-oriented stipend and what can it be spent on?

Family-oriented stipends are designed to help employees balance their work commitments with their family obligations. These stipends promote a healthy work-life balance by providing financial support so employees can better manage personal commitments alongside their work responsibilities, improving productivity and engagement levels at work.

A learning and development stipend can be spent on:

  • Childcare services (daycare, after-school programs, babysitters, nanny services, etc.)

  • Elder care services (home healthcare services, assisted living facilities, etc.)

  • Fertility assistance (Egg freezing, IVF, adoption and surrogacy costs, etc.)

Companies that offer family-oriented stipends

  • Dropbox: They offer a perks allowance, a quarterly stipend given to employees to spend on anything that betters themselves or their family. Employees have used it toward gym memberships, fitness equipment, standing desks, childcare, groceries, and personal travel.

  • Intuit: They offer regular employees up to $1,300 per fiscal year for expenses related to the physical, emotional, or financial wellbeing of employees and their family.

  • Nitro, Inc: They offer a $500 stipend to use as parents see fit (lactation consultants, baby classes, etc.).

  • Patagonia: They offer a childcare stipend ranging from $50 to $250 per month.

  • Spotify: They offer a $10,000 egg freezing stipend.

Read more: How to Negotiate Your Job Benefits: 10 Conversation Example Scripts

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