10 Sweet Job Perks In Tech - InformationWeek

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3/15/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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10 Sweet Job Perks In Tech

Free snacks are yesterday's news. Now tech companies offer $10,000 office decoration budgets and helicopter rides. Here's a look at what Google, Pinterest, Airbnb, Facebook, and others offer employees.
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Image: Wikipedia
Image: Wikipedia

By now, it's common knowledge that the benefits of working at many tech companies go far beyond health insurance and paid vacation days. Tech businesses trying to hire and retain top talent are starting to get creative in terms of what they offer employees.

When you think of where the best perks are offered, Google is usually top of mind. After all, the company offers free gourmet meals, nap pods, massages, and even a concierge service to take care of personal duties like party and home-improvement planning. Its over-the-top headquarters reflect the growing trend of offering excessive benefits to talented employees.

While Google is one of the bigger household names, there are plenty of sweet job perks offered at a broad range of tech companies, from software giants to small startups. My personal favorites on this list? Helicopter rides, frequent trips to the Apple store, and the ability to take a dog to work.  

In most cases, benefits like unlimited (and free) vacation and fully stocked kitchens are intended to lure in top talent and keep people from hunting for new gigs. Yet some perks are pretty sneaky at keeping employees working in the office for longer hours per day. If they are offered free gourmet dinner or in-office exercise classes, workers don't need to worry about leaving to grab lunch or hit the gym.

[iPhone Will Sport 'Force Touch' Tech Later This Year]

Lavish perks have become ubiquitous throughout the tech industry. The trend has even created a job category of its own. Many businesses now hire "workplace coordinators" who lead teams that aim to cater to employees' wishes, the Wall Street Journal reports. They fly under the radar and function as a sort of concierge service, responsible for planning office happy hours and keeping the kitchen stocked with favorite snacks. 

It seems excessive, but such job positions are necessary when successful tech companies grow to hundreds or thousands of employees. In a market where tech wizards receive multiple job offers and sky-high salaries right out of college, interesting perks like fitness classes, game rooms, and haircuts can make a big difference in whether a company gains or loses valuable talent.  

As the perks get bigger, employees try to push their boundaries. One worker at Pinterest asked the company to build a zip line to a nearby bar. At Adobe, another inquired about the possibility of getting a Slip 'n Slide for use during the day. The zip line got a no, unfortunately, but Chris Lavoie, global event strategist at Adobe, spoke more vaguely about the slide. "I'm not making any promises," he admitted to the Journal.

They may not have zip lines, but some of the perks at today's tech companies are pretty outrageous. Click through to see what's on offer. If you could have any job perk, what would it be? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2015 | 2:33:06 PM
Four months paid leave?
Four months paid leave is just great. Most people don't find enough leave after their child is born and this really creates cracks between employee-employer relationships. Such a generous leave means employer wants its employees to feel full and feel accepted. 
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2015 | 2:19:28 PM
Re: Dress code
@Shamika: The company I used to work for, this flexible dress code was only available for 2 days, and the other days we had to wear formals. Basically there should be a dress code, but on regular office days, I don't think so. 
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2015 | 2:16:32 PM
Re: Dress code
"I also think dress code depends largely on business. If you're meeting with clients, yes, you should look put-together and professional. For folks behind the scenes, though, I'd say wear what you want so long as you do the job well. It seems like business dress is becoming less enforced; I once interviewed at a company where my interviewer showed up in cargo shorts."

More like the mindset of floor management. If they want (if they are not cool, that is) they can make employees wear full buttoned down collared shirts on a 40 degrees centigrade plus day, or not. I've been to projects under the canopy of some companies and trust me the case is not the same everywhere. For example the engineering department wore hawaiian shirts that day, and I was all in formals, pretty awkward for me.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/23/2015 | 9:50:42 AM
Re: Dress code
I also think dress code depends largely on business. If you're meeting with clients, yes, you should look put-together and professional. For folks behind the scenes, though, I'd say wear what you want so long as you do the job well. It seems like business dress is becoming less enforced; I once interviewed at a company where my interviewer showed up in cargo shorts.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2015 | 9:20:34 AM
Re: Dress code
@[email protected] well that depends on the business you work for. If you need to meet your clients/stakeholders on a daily manner it always better to be official. However when it comes to IT, especially people such as network admins, system admins, developers can have a flexible dress code.   
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2015 | 9:15:53 AM
Re: The Ultimate Perk
@kelly22 I agree with you. This concept is more convenient when you work for different time zones.  
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2015 | 9:12:09 AM
Re: The Ultimate Perk
This is amazing. Perks will always keep your employees happy. I wish if I had the chance to work for these companies.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/20/2015 | 11:03:45 PM
Re: The Ultimate Perk
Many organizations now practice the modern management style than the tradition. They believe human capital as the most valuable asset in an organization.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
3/20/2015 | 12:23:36 AM
Re: The Ultimate Perk
Technocrati, I think you hit on a major flaw of the flexible work arrangement world these days. In most employers, the policy is that work-from-home benefits are doled out by managers. Enterprise HR has punted the responsibility of coming up with a sound policy and instead deferred to individuals --- and their biases. So as with what happened with you, it can become a popularity contest. Who is deemed too valuable too lose? Who could we care less about being happy? It's a shame, and the problem largely falls on an inept HR culture.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
3/19/2015 | 12:19:39 AM
Re: The Ultimate Perk

@Kelly22   The working from home at least once a week is a great arrangement.  My last clueless boss would allow it for some and not for others. Even the company practiced this alienating approach. Such a tactic works really well in a small department (sarcasm).   Once I was officially denied I knew my time was short.`

It does not take a genius or even above average intelligence to realize some people are more productive outside the cage.  When you can't understand that - we have a problem. 

And since I did not out rank him - my problem was destine to be much greater than his.

Not quite sure how I got on this tangent but I am just trying to relay the implications of this type of  bad judgement for all those budding wanna be's .

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