Monday, January 19, 2015

Do Crazy Perks Attract Crazy Employees?

At my job we get two perks in addition to our salaries. One, we get free coffee. And two, we get the privilege of working there.
I Love Free Coffee!
Photo by Nevit Dilmen

Once I worked for a guy who constantly reminded us that he shouldn't even really be paying us. We were learning so much from him, he said, that we should have been paying him to work there. I guess since he couldn't find people to take him up on that offer, he had to resort to paying me.

Needless to say, I'm really not accustomed to the crazy perks people get while working for Google or other trendy and cool software companies.

Still, looking at the list of benefits Silicon Valley software companies are offering makes me jealous at times. Free lunches. On-site barber shop. Massages on demand. Free dry cleaning. Free bus to work with on-board WiFi. Almost makes me wish I went to a better university so I'd have a chance at employment with one of those companies. I guess I'd have to be really smart too. And an amazing software engineer. Oh well...

The cynical side of me wonders if the companies really offer those perks because they want to make their employees so totally dependent on them that they can never quit. If you always get your hair cut at the Google barber and get all your laundry done at work, you seem pretty dependent on your employer for more than just your paycheck. The line between home and work is blurry. Your whole identity is wrapped up in the company for which you work. Could be dangerous.

But I don't have to worry about any of that. Perks are overrated. I don't have to pay my employer rent for my cubicle space, so I'm happy.

Amphibian.com comic for 19 January 2015