Upcoming holiday season to bring cheer, joy back

interns Contributor

Miss the free office soft drinks, commuter subsidies — and yes, even those year-end holiday parties? Don’t despair. The workplace perk is beginning to make a comeback.

During the recession, many cost-conscious companies furloughed fringe benefits such as holiday fetes, bonuses and free snacks. But now that the economy is improving, some perks are slowly being reinstated.

“We’re starting to see perks returning,” says Jennifer Rosenzweig, research director at the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement, which focuses on employee engagement. Firms want to keep morale up, retain top talent and maintain a benevolent reputation as the economy improves. “Many companies are now showing a positive bottom line,” she says. “The employees see that.”

This year, 12% of firms say they’ll dole out Thanksgiving goodies such as turkeys and retail gift certificates — a slight rise from 2009, according to the Bureau of National affairs. Employees can expect more year-end parties as well, according to the National Association of Catering Executives.

Full story: Perks at work are reappearing

WATCH: HOLIDAY PARTIES ON THE ENDANGERED LIST