Cleverbridge’s Roof Deck

Happy employees are productive employees.

According to the Journal of Labour Economics, happy workers are 12 percent more productive than their counterparts, with numerous studies suggesting that individuals work harder and use their time more effectively when they are happier.

Taking this happiness factor into consideration, numerous Chicago companies offer amazing perks, events, and office amenities to appease and please their workforce. Explained Kaitlin Arntz, Public Relations Associate with Enova, “We give our top-notch team members all the tools they need to be successful and happy, from challenging work that makes a true impact to recognition and celebration for a job well done.” Enova, a Chicago-based financial services company, also offers month-long sabbaticals, Summer Fridays, Cubs outings, and more.

Outside of some of the standard perks – stocked kitchens, lots of vacation time, generous benefits, etc. – many Windy City businesses are getting creative when it come to keeping their employees content. From “Ferris Bueller Days” to in-house baristas, here are some ways that Chicago companies help their workforce get happy.

Centro, the 600-person AdTech agency, offers three-week paid sabbaticals to employees following their fourth-year of service. (After that, employees can take another one every fourth year). The company also does “Ferris Bueller Days,” giving employees 10 days where they can take the day off without any questions asked. As CEO Shawn Riegsecker told AOL, “I firmly believe that we’re moving in the world to a place where focusing on the happiness, health, well-being, and fulfillment of your employees is the number one determinant of success.”

Digital agency Frequency540 is committed to Life Cross Training, “bringing movement, mediation and mindfulness into the work place to increase happiness and wellbeing.” The agency also works with the Conscious Leadership Group to help employees become mindful leaders and “foster a collaborative, creative, and productive environment.” Frequency540 also gives each employee $540 to “learn something new via a class, event, or experience to fuel their individual curiosity.”

On-demand parking app SpotHero offers unlimited vacation time & company travel outings to destinations like Las Vegas and St. Thomas. As long as employees “hit their goals and get their job down,” they can take as much time as they’d like. SpotHero also caters in lunch every Thursday and hosts a monthly team outing; last summer they did kayaking on the Chicago River.

Most Fridays, Marbles: The Brain Store has a Play-Testing Happy Hours where employees “play-test” new games they company is developing.

Avant, the fast-growing lending platform and financial service company, caters breakfast and lunch EVERYDAY.

UI and UX development agency AKTA offers individual education stipend to keep employees learning.

At Uproar PR, employees are given a sabbatical once they hit their 5 year anniversary, which includes an extra 5 paid days vacation and a $1,000 stipend to use on whatever the individual wants.

Cleverbridge, a provider of e-commerce software for cloud companies, has a handful of clever perks built into its space, including the Quiet Room (a tranquil, private space for meditation, stretching, and spiritual practices) and an amazing, 1,500 sq. ft. roof deck.

Rise Interactive hosts Rise Day, the digital agency’s annual summer employee appreciation event. Employee spend an entire paid work day on the Fox River “for water activities, games, food and drinks, and fun in the sun.”

Whittl’s Team Getting Pedis

kCura, the maker of e-discovery software for lawyers, relies on its employees to tell them what makes them happy. For example, several developers reached out about getting Killer Queen, a 10-player arcade strategy game, in-house and the company made it happen. Now, Killer Queen joins Ms. Pacman and Karate Champ in its cafeteria.

Last year, Devbridge Group, a web and mobile development company, took the entire office on a Lithuanian adventure to spend time in its two Lithuanian offices. The trip was dubbed #DBSummerCamp.

At the Chicago Literacy Alliance, every employee gets his or her own personal razor scooter in order to zip around the office.

Swoon, a tech-focused staffing form, offers a “Presidents Club” incentive in which the top performers get an all-expense paid trip to somewhere tropical.

To promote diversity within ContextMedia, the health information media company, offers employees a floating cultural holiday. ContextMedia also provides employees with multiple initiatives to help them live healthier, including treadmill desks, massage chairs, sponsored Divvy memberships and in-house yoga. ContextMedia also (most impressively) has a full-time, in house barista.

Finally, Whittl – a platform for booking appointment with spas, barbers, and more – encourages its employees to use its product, offering a “generous stipend” to services on the site. As Ashley Grove, Whittl’s Director of Growth, said, “we have had breast milk facials, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, massages in the office and highlights.”