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
2/10/2016 | 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.

SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/10/2016 | 8:28:27 AM
Re: Some incredible perks
In this case it was part churn and part culture.  While there were people who took the sabbatical time not many who did returned and even more that qualified never took the time because it had become a signal that your time with the company was coming to a close.  I'm off especially long durations in the US don't tend to be viewed as a good thing anywhere I've ever been.  I spent time in a very large global company where I was reminded of the family and medical leave policies of other countries and sat in awe that someone could be gone for 6 months and come back to a position without being far behind everything that happened while they were away. 
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. 
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2016 | 1:42:03 PM
Re: Some incredible perks
@dave - thanks. food for thought re: the workplace and what people can/should/might expect. Certainly these companies are changing the game now for a while --

What are your thoughts on how much it extends to more established companies not in the tech sector? Which  approach will "win-out?" Older or newer?

I did cherry pick some of the benefits -- I'd like to combine them and go to work. Then work wouldn't be such...work, so to speak
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.
Vision33r
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Vision33r,
User Rank: Strategist
2/9/2016 | 11:00:34 AM
Benefits are great but real time off would be better
I often hear companies giving time off and great benefit packages.  The problem is that there is no such thing as real time off.  Companies that tell you that you have x days to take, people rarely take them because they are discouraged to do so because there's always some big project or push going on that you need to be a part of or responsible for.  Missing a process can be bad move career wise if you are trying to get promoted.  Then to be let down that towards a certain time you can't take time off. 

What good are medical benefits when you don't have time to use it.  I've seen people die on the job because they are not fit and the firm does not promote gym memberships and wellness.

People come to work asleep because of long work hours and no flexibility with telecommuting.

The perks are great if a company can promote and ensure that your manager follows it.  
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2016 | 8:42:10 AM
Some incredible perks
I worked for a company that offered a long sabbatical after 7 years of employment, sometimes up to 6 months but the number of people who made it that long or managed to take that time off was incredibly small, hopefully that isn't a common thread across tech companies.  

If I had to pick a favorite perk though and one that I think would be the most beneficial to the community around a company, the Salesforce volunteer days and donations is huge.  Vacation time is nice but I think that people come back from volunteer work just as recharged as they do from down time.  The feeling of accomplishing something and doing something good for someone else is very powerful. 

 
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