Most employers’ idea of benefits is limited to health insurance, maternity leave and some vacation time. In the tech industry, however, benefits and perks can mean a lot more than that.
Whether its catered meals or bringing your dogs to work, a travel stipend or an indoor slide, these companies are all about keeping their employees happy.
A new era of tech events has begun
We’re back in New York this November for the 4th edition of our growth-focused technology event.
Without further ado, here are some of the coolest perks we’ve come across from 12 startups, in alphabetical order.
While a lot of the perks we’ve discovered really do a ton to enhance office life, one of Airbnb’s perks is all about getting people not only out of the office, but out of the city. Airbnb gives all of its employees $2,000 a year to travel anywhere in the world they want to. (We’re guessing they stay in Airbnb homes while they’re at it.)
Besides the awesome travel stipend, Airbnbers get to bring their pets to work, every day, they go sailing together, have a pingpong table, have weekly Yoga classes at work and get to eat organic lunches on a daily basis.
An interesting twist on the corporate world’s Casual Friday, Airbnbers have the opposite – dressing up for Formal Fridays. And we can’t forget the mustaches. Yep, apparently they get mustaches.
If that wasn’t enough to make you feel like you want to drop everything and apply for a job at Airbnb, the staff also gets theme days, one of which was in the vein of Mad Men. Yes. We’re jealous.
Over at Ask.com, one of the perks is that there’s no such thing as a vacation policy. What does that mean, you ask? Vacation time is not accrued or tracked. In their own words, “We believe the best measure of success is what you accomplish, so we don’t need to measure how much time you take off to enjoy life.”
The company also offers tuition reimbursement, matches charitable donations, and while it might not be as much as other companies on this list offer, Ask.com employees get a weekly breakfast. And while they don’t got into anymore detail than saying that Ask.com has an Ambassador of Fun, that alone sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
In addition to the usual benefits of health insurance and covering the cost of company travel, Automattic employees also get to enjoy an open vacation policy, with no set number of days per year for your holidays. “We encourage our employees to take the time they need to take vacation, develop interests, and spend time with friends and family.” Working at Automattic also earns employees the right to set their own working hours.
While the company is based out of San Francisco, Automattic’s employees work out of their own homes or offices, spread all around the world from California, to Bulgaria, to Japan, but they do meet up at least once a year – with previous meetups in the US, Mexico, Canada and Hungary.
Dropbox describes itself as a “pretty sweet place to work“. Want to know why? For starters, they get free breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks and drinks.
The office also comes with a fully equipped music studio and game rooms, which sound like every nerd’s dream with DDR, pingpong, and gaming tournaments. Of course it doesn’t surprise us that Dropbox employees get to drink their own Kool-Aid, with Dropboxers getting to set their own storage quota.
There’s one perk that we’re very curious to hear much more about – and that’s Dropbox’s Whiskey Fridays. Seriously, tell us more, Dropbox.
Voted one of the best places to work in the Bay Area two years in a row by the San Francisco Business Times, Eventbrite encourages its employees to go out and about together, with breakfasts, biking, and best of all team outings to the trampoline park.
The company also provides a “never-ending snack supply”, alongside a monthly fitness and wellness stipend, so it’s employees are no doubt pretty balanced. And it would also appear that everyday is ‘Bring your pet to work‘ day at the office and apparently there seems to be access to lego at work.
— Eventbrite (@eventbrite) October 28, 2011
Do we even need to mention the Zen Room at this point?
We’ve already taken an in-depth look at what its like to work at Facebook, where innovation and autonomy are encouraged. That’s not all that’s encouraged at Facebook. For new or expecting parents, it doesn’t get much better than this: “Four months paid parental leave, reimbursement for daycare and adoption fees and $4,000 “baby cash” for your new arrival.”
If you’re not a parent or parent-to-be, there’s still plenty to make the idea of working at Facebook appealing, besides working at one of the most talked up startups of all time.
Facebook employees get free meals, have access to kitchens stocked with snacks, and the Facebook Culinary Team lets you know what’s on the menu using, you guessed it, a Facebook page. It also makes it easy to request specific dishes, and of course leave compliments, of which there are many.
Here’s a glimpse of what’s on people’s plates at Facebook:
The Googleplex needs no introduction. The company’s corporate headquarters is over 500,000 square feet of awesome, so much so that tours have been offered in the past for a whopping $5,000 – although all proceeds did go to charity.
So what do Google employees get? Well for starters, they get snow in California. Other than that, they also get a cafeteria which uses homegrown organic produced in its kitchen, bikes,volleyball courts, heated swimming pools, on-site oil change and car wash services, dry cleaning, massage therapy, a gym, a hair stylist, fitness classes, bike repair aaaaand an indoor slide.
Rather than read a much longer list of all of the amazing things you can find at the Googleplex, why not just watch this ever so slightly cheesy video instead.
Even if you’re not based in Google’s California office, doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of benefits available. Google employees get up to $12,000 tuition reimbursement per year to further your education, as long as you receive at least a ‘B’ in all your courses. Googlers also get emergency back-up child care and adoption assistance, with up to $5,000 reimbursement in legal fees.
If you’re a social media and Apple fan, Pinterest probably has one of the most attractive perks any fanboy or girl could ask for – frequent trips to the Apple store. “Whatever you need to be productive is what you should be using”, the description reads, and we’re sure lots of shiny Apple equipment is a great added incentive to anyone who wants to work at one of the industry’s most talked about startups these days.
It may seem like a tame perk in comparison to some of the other great extras listed here, but getting to visit the Apple store during your working hours definitely deserves a mention.
If you’re a foodie, StumbleUpon may just be the best place for you to work. Employees not only get 5 days of breakfast and lunch, they also get a kitchen stocked with organic fruit, snacks and beverages. They don’t have to worry about putting on a few pounds, because StumbleUpon offers a gym/wellness reimbursement – so no excuses!
Stumblers also get quarterly team outings, access to an art program and if you thought a Zen Room was cool, at StumbleUpon, you can schedule onsite massage sessions!
As if that wasn’t enough to make you want to work at StumbleUpon, you can also check out the video below which lets you know a little bit more about what it’s like to work in their San Francisco offices.
While Twitter is opening offices all over the world, the latest coming to Dublin and Berlin, its the San Francisco office that gets one particularly tasty perk. San Francisco employees get to enjoy a daily catered breakfast and lunch, which they’ll be enjoying in their brand new 220,000 square foot space.
Twitter’s tweeps also get Weekly in-office yoga and pilates classes as well as a Zipcar and wireless discount.
Beer. Enough said.
Ok seriously, while beer is a pretty cool company perk, it’s not all that Yammer offers. Employees also get a fully stocked kitchen with unlimited breakfast options, can bring their pet dogs to work and also enjoy a “generous vacation policy: take it as you need it.”
Like any other company offering unlimited food, it also makes sure you stay healthy with onsite fitness classes, and free bikes to use during the day. And cupcakes on Valentine’s Day.
Zynga has been doing pretty well for itself and is definitely all about rewarding its employees.
So apparently, after reading this list, we may as well just rule out free meals as a perk and call it run-of-the-mill. Zynga provides employees with free lunches and dinner all week round, as well as free snacks.
Like Automattic and Ask, the company also has no vacation policy to speak of. Their vacation policy is “please rest and take some days off.”
It really comes as no surprise, and is to be expected that a gaming company has, well, on-site gaming. Zynga offers relaxation lounges with Nintendo, arcade games, Xbox 360, and PS3 gaming systems, and if you really want to relax, you can go for an onsite massage, reflexology and acupuncture. And what the hell, hair cuts are thrown in as well.
At Zynga, every day is also bring your dog to work day, and the company hosts a monthly poker tournament.
Do you know of any other companies that offer awesome perks and benefits? Let us know about them in the comments.