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Think your office has fun perks? See what our Top Workplaces offer

As an extra perk for employees, USAA has an area where employees can relax and take naps during break. Pictured are the nap areas in their Tampa office in March. | [MALENA CAROLLO | Times]
Published Apr. 5

Employee happines­s is a priority at many Top Workplaces, but achieving that isn't always straightforward. Some Top Workplaces focus how they treat their employees to ensure they remain engaged and excited about the job at hand.

That can run from direct demonstrations of appreciation to paying attention to workplace atmospherics.

At Tampa money transfer service TransferWise, that starts with birthdays. Employees get their birthday off and receive two movie ticket vouchers for a film of their choice. It ranked No. 1 for midsize companies.

"If you have happy employees, they're happy to be here and they're happy to do their work," said Debra Trinca, office manager at TransferWise. "I focus more on the culture and keeping people happy and not losing the startup feel."

READ MORE: Check out all of the Top Workplaces winners in the small, medium and large categories.

Another perk has the sentiment in the name: happy hour. TransferWise has its own bar in the office and serves Yuengling beer to its employees after 6 p.m. on Fridays. The company designed the bar capabilities into the office to help with the monthly events it holds.

Financial services firm USAA, which ranked No. 14 for large businesses, focuses on rejuvenating employees during their shifts.

"One of the things that's really important for us is to be able to engage with our members in a really amazing way (and) give excellent customer service," said Kay Schwartz, executive director for regional human relations operations. To do that, "we need to disengage and recharge."

USAA employees can take a load off in the office's "relaxation zone," which has sleep pods with felt curtains where employees can recline and take a short nap.

If they're feeling stiff, employees can visit a massage therapist that comes onsite for $1-per-minute massages.

"(The massage therapists) are really busy," Schwartz said. "To get on the calendar is not as easy as you think."

TOP WORKPLACES: Did you know? Here are some fun facts about Top Workplaces winners

Achieva Credit Union, which was No. 17 among midsize companies, has a sweet occasional office feature: honey. Its CEO, Gary Regoli, beekeeps in his spare time. Some of the hives live on the company's front porch.

"We can learn a lot about partnership and working together from bee colonies," Janet Till, chief people officer at Achieva, said in an email.

Occasionally, Regoli auctions off some of the honey, and the funds go to the Achieva Foundation, which raises money for schools.

Progressive, which came in No. 7 for large companies, tries to keep its employees happy by beautifying its offices. According to the company, it has "one of the largest art collections in the country" between its offices.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

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