10 Unique Perks At Tech Companies - InformationWeek

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2/9/2016
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10 Unique Perks At Tech Companies

Tech companies are well represented on Glassdoor's rankings of the top beyond-the-basics perks and benefits offered to employees. See 10 of the most interesting and surprising.
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Glassdoor's annual list of the Top 20 Employee Benefits and Perks is out, and it is not surprising that the tech industry was well-represented. Of the 20 featured, 14 are from tech companies.

Glassdoor compiled its rankings by identifying some of the more unique and surprising benefits employees are enjoying at their companies based on the hundreds of thousands of benefits reviews shared by employees on Glassdoor since Aug. 2014. For our slideshow, we feature the 10 tech companies that had at least 20 benefits reviews shared on Glassdoor by employees as of Jan. 28, 2016.

[See 10 Quirky Tech Job Interview Questions That May Stump You.]

One notable thing about the perks and benefits that made the Glassdoor list is that they appear to buck the widely held perception that tech company perks are all about video game contests and well-stocked refrigerators (although there are many of those types of perks, according to the perks list we compiled last year).

Tech companies seem to be tackling work-life balance and even social justice issues with their perks. Although Pinterest and Spotify aren't included in our slideshow, because their ratings were based on fewer than 20 reviews on the Glassdoor site, they are examples of that trend. Both offer extended parental leave.

Pinterest offers three months (plus another month of part-time work to ease back in) and Spotify offers a full six months of parental leave (plus flexible hours for another month). Spotify even covers the costs of employee egg freezing and gives assistance for fertilization treatments. Other companies on the list, as you will see, are also helping new parents in big ways. Others are coming up with ways to nurture the creativity and promote the well-being of their employees.

Take a look at the following pages to see some of the creative perks and benefits that can be found at some of top tech companies, and then tell us about the perks you get in your office in the comments.

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David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/18/2016 | 7:18:12 PM
Re: Shutting down
@kstaron- I'm sure it isn't like that, but I picture a week off at the particle accelerator as a time when the particles can decelerate and take a break, too. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/18/2016 | 12:31:58 PM
Re: Google...could be dangerous
@pdembry950- I hope no one thinks that way, but it is a good deal. Whenever I watch a show where a husband kills a wife with my wife, she always says, "If you're ever thinking of killing me, just tell me. I'll go. You'll never have to hear from me again." I don't know if that would work if she was at Google. :)

Thankfully, we're happy together. 

Seriously though, perhaps the best part of this isn't the salary, but the fact that stocks vest immediately. Google is still known (though it is changing) for having lowish salaries and relying on stock and perks to make up for it. Depending on your position in the company and how long you've been there, the stock vesting might be the best part of what I think is a truly generous and great program.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/16/2016 | 2:35:06 PM
Re: Some incredible perks
@jastroff- Agreed. You can't beat basic human needs for benefits. Ihave to say this, though. Perks like free food and haircuts are important if you have a culture where you work 80 hours per week. If you expect your people to "live" at work, you have to give them all the things they need for "life."

That's probably why I never worked at a job where they gave free food. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/12/2016 | 5:15:55 PM
Re: Relevancy of benefits
@impactnow- I've never worked for Adobe so I can't say for certain. But blogs by their CEO and other leaders emphasize the idea that employees are supposed to be away. And that if they can't be away that they do critical jobs and take a different week off. They warn customers ahead of time. Obviously, some roles, like technical supprt, can't all get off the same week. They claim to rotate them. 

I can't swear to you that 100% of the staff feels like it is a true vacation, but Adobe seems committed to approaching that.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2016 | 2:27:27 PM
Re: Relevancy of benefits

Dave I have to believe the shutdown at Adobe is more a limited work schedule since all the employees could not just go on vacation. Who would support their customers if there were critical issues? It is more of a work from home and answer your texts and email perspective?

I worked at a company that had summer hours from May to Labor Day on Fridays where the office "closed" at 3 pm. Well I never left at 3 but maybe got out at 5-5:30 so it was better than my usual 7:00pm. The reality was not what the marketing perpetuated.

impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2016 | 2:22:01 PM
Re: Relevancy of benefits

Michelle, yes it's sad but true. Even lunch away from the office is still a no in companies. Unfortunately what many don't understand is that building that kind of culture fuels burnout, and a lack of productivity. I always return from a trip rejuvenated and more creative. The cost to companies is high when they burnout employees and create micromanaging environments. As we see with the statistics Americans are still the workforce that is taking the fewest vacations and letting their limited time off be put on the shelf.

.

David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/10/2016 | 1:29:06 PM
Re: Relevancy of benefits
Hrm...both of you have given me second thoughts on the value of the sabbatical. Maybe it needs to be "enforced" like the way Adobe shuts down everything for two weeks so no one feels like they are slacking. 

It is a sad state of affairs when people are afraid to take the time off their company gives them because they are afraid fo what it does to their career.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
2/10/2016 | 12:14:53 PM
Relevancy of benefits

Sane I have also seen the same trend with sabbatical offers and getting approval tends to be complicated. Also many sabbaticals don't cover benefits so they make it financially non feasible. It was one of those sounded "nice" benefits but it was rarely used. I like the benefits that help to recharge the employee regularly. I think the Google benefit is excellent but it's a disaster type benefit. I also like the volunteer hours. Employees should see benefits that really engage them in their job and influence retention and employee acquisition.The mix is really the key.

David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/9/2016 | 2:14:31 PM
Re: Some incredible perks
@jastroff- Obviously, when you start looking at the broader economy it becomes difficult to make one statement that fits all. It is hard enough to do that in tech. But I'd say tech is a slightly special case where persk are always going to be a little better. The fight for talent is real in all industries, but the fight for good technical talent is even crazier. I'd expect companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google to always fight harder for talent than say, Exxon. That said, we often repeat as a mantra on IWeek that all companies are tech companies. Certainly GE and other major companies that see how software is changing their business are now int he fight for talent. So I suspect we will start seeing silicon valley style perks spread to at least techies in other industries. 

But I don't think every industry and every size company will feel a need to jump in which is why tech dominates the list. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/9/2016 | 12:03:37 PM
Re: Some incredible perks
@SaneIT- It is true that perks that reward longevity in a world of cosntant churn may not be as useful as they appear. Still, it is nice that there is a reward at the end of it if it happens. I still meet the occasional person who has worked for the same company for 25-30 years like people did a couple of generations ago, and I marvel.
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