Not Up for A Raise? 9 Things You Should Be Asking For In Your Performance Review Instead

Workers conducting a performance review


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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
July 23, 2024 at 9:53PM UTC
Performance reviews are the perfect time to sit down with your boss and, with their undivided attention, ask them for what you want. Of course, many employees go into performance reviews prepared to ask for raises, but there's a lot of other benefits and perks you should be aware of for which employees are asking, too.
We reached out to managers and working professionals to share what's been asked of them and for what they've asked, respectively. Here's what they had to say.

1. One Work-From-Home Day a Week

"Apart from raises, one of the most common things people ask in performance reviews is remote days," says Ana Bera, founder of "Our job is mainly online so it is possible for people to work from home. I have noticed that workers tend to be much more productive and satisfied if they have at least one day per week that they can spend outside the office."

2. Sabbatical

"I wanted to go traveling for a few months, but I didn't want to have to quit my job to do it," says Hannah, a UX-UI designer. "I met a bunch of nomads on the road while taking a vacation in Bali last year, and many of them had mentioned taking sabbaticals from work. Most of them were from Europe, so I wasn't sure how an American company would handle that kind of request. But I figured I'd go in and give it a shot. I figured I'd give them an ultimatum; I was going to quit if they didn't let me leave for six months and come back to my job. Sure enough, they said yes! And I've been traveling through Southeast Asia for three months now into my sabbatical. When I go home, I know there's a job waiting for me, so I don't have to worry."

3. Gym Reimbursement

"Some have asked for gym membership, so I’ve made a monthly allowance after several requests," Bera adds.

4. The Necessities

"During performance reviews, members of our team have asked for many different perks," says Charlie Marchant, general manager of Exposure Ninja. "This includes additional annual leave days, higher pension contributions from the company, paid lunch breaks, paid internet bills (as our team works from home), paid-for laptops, paid-for glasses, coffee subscriptions, personalized training and development plans and a health subsidy to pay for gym memberships, massages etc."

5. Lunch Vouchers

"I spend so much on groceries every week, and since my company doesn't have the budget to give me a proper raise right now, I figured I'd at least ask for help with lunch costs," says Valerie, who works in human resources. "Now I get a lunch voucher every week that I can spend however I want on our company's Seamless account. It's pretty awesome! And it saves me time cooking and meal prepping during the week, too."

6. Flexible Office Hours/Modified Work Schedule

"I had dreams of starting my own clinical practice long before I even finished graduate school; but, after graduation, once settled into my new job and working Monday through Friday, those dreams began to feel like they were slowly slipping through my hands," says Angel V. Shannon of Sēva Health. "As a mom, wife and full-time employee in a busy medical practice, I was exhausted by the time I arrived home with piles of work I couldn't complete at the office. How was I ever going to find the time to start working on my dreams?
Shannon says that, one day, she "gathered the confidence to ask for a modified work schedule." She wanted to take Wednesdays off so that she could start building her own practice.

"Afraid the managing partner would say no but even more afraid of what my life would look like if I didn't ask for what I wanted, I knocked on his door one day during our lunch hour and stated my need," she said. "Though it meant getting a pay cut, it was exactly what I needed. I used that one day, every week, to work on my business plan, apply for licenses, get business insurance, etc. — and, slowly but surely, it all came together.  Six years later now I'm in full-time practice with 100% ownership in my company. I've never looked back."

8. Networking Memberships

"In lieu of a significant raise increase, I’ve previously negotiated and asked for fees related to my networking membership and premium business subscription services to be covered (i.e. LinkedIn, social clubs)," says Carrie Wick, a publicity executive.

9. Covered Daycare Costs

"I've asked my employer for help covering daycare costs while I'm at work," says Lindsey, a working mom. "It was either I had to quit to be at home with my son, or I had to get some help to afford daycare. He agreed to contribute 50% for daycare five days a week. I was so thrilled that I'd asked!"

10. Charitable Donations

"I’ve also requested a fixed amount of personal wellness days and donation matching to some of my favorite philanthropic initiatives," adds Wick. "It's a win-win because someone in need benefits and it's also a tax write-off for any employer."

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.

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