Perks at this car insurance company take employees international

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Forget company watches — employees at Metromile receive gifts like world travel and custom Nike trainers to celebrate work anniversaries.

Metromile is a San Francisco-based digital car insurance company designed to serve people living in urban areas; consumers are charged individual rates based on how many miles they drive. The company takes a unique approach to employee engagement programs by offering a number of unconventional perks to employees, which includes a variety of gifts, given at different milestones in the office.

“It was important for us to come up with gifts that a wide variety of employees could get excited about, that’s why you’ll see a combo of products and experiences,” says Debra Jack, vice president of customer experience, communications and sales at Metromile.

Metromile’s anniversary program spans seven years. Here are some of the rewards employees receive for each milestone.

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Year one: Office plant
Employees receive an air plant with a card that reads: “Thanks for growing with us.” The succulent is placed in a wooden planter box with the Metromile logo. Most employees display the plant on their desk, Jack says.
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Year two: Music speaker
A Metromile-branded wireless speaker from Aquathump. Jack says the company wanted to give employees something they could use in their personal time, and a mini speaker to blast their favorite music from their smartphones seemed like a fun option.
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Year three: Custom Nikes
A $200 gift card to design the Nike sneakers of their dreams. Employees choose the colors and shoe style they want on Nike’s website, and pay with the gift card.

“It’s the sort of thing they really want, but wouldn’t get for themselves,” Jack says.
Year four: Road trip
Metromile gifts employees $250 towards a personal trip because, “we’re a car insurance company, it feels like us,” Jack says. Recipients are encouraged to use the money to travel somewhere in the United States they’ve never been.
Year five: Six week paid sabbatical
An extended vacation that must be taken all at once because, “we really want to encourage people to check out,” Jack says. Employees receive full-pay during the entire six weeks they’re off so they can relax with peace of mind, Jack says.
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Year six: Employee bobblehead
The employee receives a bobblehead of themselves for their desk, or to take home. Metromile contracts with an Etsy shop that specializes in creating custom bobblehead figurines.
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Year seven: Global adventure
Metromile employees receive $1,000 to put towards a trip abroad, whether it’s wandering the lavender fields of southern France, or sampling fresh seafood at a Tokyo market. The money can be used for flights, lodging and activities.