I’m a little jaded.
I was actually feeling pretty good today about my workplace. As a limited time benefit, we get to leave early on Fridays for the rest of the month—at 2:30 p.m. Plus, I’m wearing a T-shirt and jeans today. All in all, it’s a good day to be at work.
But then I read an article that's curbed my enthusiasm. That's because Google makes the rest of our workplaces look like a joke.
Aside from scoring high on the pay scale (the average tech employee in Silicon Valley makes more than $100,000 a year, per Dice Holdings research), the Google campus is like one big playground: There’s swimming pools, bikes and ball pits (yes, like McDonald’s).
My real jealousy lies in this list: Employees get free gourmet food—that’s three full meals and unlimited snacks—arguably one of the best perks ever, especially with an appetite like mine. They get free onsite haircuts (if you all could see how I’m looking today, then you know I’d benefit) and onsite doctors.
Their maternity and paternity benefits are also outstanding: New dads enjoy six weeks of paid leave while moms can take 18 weeks after the birth of a child.
And, according to a Forbes interview with Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock, the company’s perks even extend into the afterlife. Formally implemented in 2011—but just now publicly announced—if a Google employee dies while employed for the search engine powerhouse, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive 50 percent of their salary every year for 10 years. Oh, and there’s no tenure requirement.
Additionally, surviving spouses will see all stocks vested immediately and any children will receive a $1,000 monthly payment from the company until they reach the age of 19 (or 23 if the child is a full-time student).
Yes, it is Google we’re talking about, a company far from being cash-strapped. But it’s an example of the link between benefits and employee satisfaction—and general happiness—at its best.
It’s been proven—and not far from the realm of plain common sense—that the better the perks, the higher employee retention and the better the employee performance. An office full of overworked and grumpy workers don’t exactly say, “Come work for us! We’ll pay you peanuts and make you pay for coffee!”
If health care reform goes as planned, staying at a job purely because of offered health insurance won’t be needed like it was. Sadly, for many companies, the benefits stop there.
I do know that these ridiculous Google benefits are a bit of an outlier and beyond my reach, so I’ll keep a positive attitude about the whole leaving early thing.
But then again, I’ve got a lot of work to complete before the weekend begins so it’s unlikely I’m leaving very early today. Good thing I’ve got coffee at my office to keep me energized—only 50 cents a cup…
I suppose there’s no harm in googling “Google jobs.” You know, just in case.